Giovanni Lorenzo Bernini (December 7, 1598 – November 28, 1680) was a pre-eminent Baroque sculptor and architect of 17th Century Rome.
Bernini was born in Naples to a Mannerist sculptor, Pietro Bernini, originally from Florence. At the age of seven he accompanied his father to Rome, where his father was involved in several high profile projects. There as a boy, his skill was soon noticed by the painter Annibale Carracci and by Pope Paul V, and Bernini gained the patronage exclusively under Cardinal Scipione Borghese, the pope's nephew. His first works were inspired by antique Hellenistic sculpture.
Under the patronage of the Cardinal Borghese, young Bernini rapidly rose to prominence as a sculptor. Among the early works for the cardinal were decorative pieces for the garden such as The Goat Amalthea with the Infant Zeus and a Faun, and several allegorical busts such as the Damned Soul and Blessed Soul. By the age of twenty-two years, he completed the bust of Pope Paul V. Scipione's collection in situ at the Borghese gallery chronicles his secular sculptures, with a series of masterpieces: