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An Elephant in Rome. Bernini, the Pope and the Making of the Eternal City



An Elephant in Rome. Bernini, the Pope and the Making of the Eternal City

Book launch of An Elephant in Rome. Bernini, the Pope and the Making of the Eternal City by Loyd Grossman - published by Pallas Athene.

The author in conversation with Georgina Godwin, introduced by Katia PIzzi

In 1655, a new Pope, Alexander VII, fired with religious zeal, political guile and a mania for building, determined to restore the prestige of his church by making Rome the must-visit destination for Europe’s elite. To help him do so, he enlisted the talents of Gian Lorenzo Bernini, already celebrated as the most important artist of the age. Together, Alexander VII and Bernini made one of the greatest artistic double acts in history, inventing the concept of soft power and the bucket list destination. Bernini and Alexander ’s creation of Baroque Rome as a city grander and more beautiful than since the days of the Emperor Augustus continues to delight and attract. Loyd Grossman’s love of Rome was kindled by his first encounter with the enigmatic monument to this relationship between artist and pope: the elephant carrying an obelisk outside Santa Maria sopra Minerva, just behind the Pantheon. With the elephant as his starting point, this richly illustrated book teases out all the intertwined strands of history, power and art that make up the Baroque.

Loyd Grossman is an entrepreneur, author and broadcaster, well-known for presenting TV programmes including MasterChef, Through the Keyhole and Behind the Headlines. He has a lifelong interest in history, the arts and heritage, receiving a PhD from the University of Cambridge and serving on the board of a number of cultural institutions including English Heritage, the British School at Rome and the Public Monuments and Sculpture Association. He is Chairman of The Royal Parks, President of The Arts Society and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. In June 2015 he was appointed CBE in recognition of his services to Heritage. Loyd’s previous work includes the major study Benjamin West and the Struggle to be Modern (Merrell Publishers, 2015).

Georgina Godwin is Books Editor for Monocle 24 and the host of host of Meet the Writers, Monocle Reads and The Globalist. She chairs literary events worldwide and hosts a number of commercial podcasts. She was a founder member of Zimbabwe’s first independent radio station, before being declared an “Enemy of the State” and exiled to London. She is on the boards of the charities English PEN and Developing Artists. She tweets @georginagodwin. 

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Date: Thursday, March 18, 2021

Time: At 6:00 pm

Organized by : ICI London

Entrance : Free


Online - Webex