Powercoin ties up its beautiful Eternal Sculptures series with an epic five ounce Bernini-themed special
A nice surprise today sees Powercoin release one final ‘tribute’ piece in its extremely elegant ‘Eternal Sculptures’ series of fine art coins. Launched in 2016, the five-coin series showcased some of the world’s greatest sculpted masterpieces in a unique way. Employing high-relief smartminting on both sides, they were struck to make it appear as if the sculpture was embedded through the coin. Enhanced with a marble-style colouring and set against a black proof backdrop, they remained true to the original work in a way we’ve not seen on other coins.
This special coin has an all new design on the reverse – Bernini’s ‘Ecstacy of Saint teresa’ and there are a few changes from the coins that have gone before. Most notable is the bumping up in the amount of fine silver from two ounces to five. This has allowed the diameter to increase from near 39 mm to 65 mm. The reverse looks ostensibly the same as the earlier coins, but also includes some gold colour. We’d normally be disappointed at a change of this type, but not only is this an end of series special, the subject is part of a wider setting, which the colour helps reproduce. Each of the earlier coins showcased a sculpture that is freestanding in isolation.
The obverse differs considerably. In this case the sculpture does not pass through the coin, instead its replaced by a superb encapsulated view of the whole series of two-ounce coins in miniature form. You can see CIT’s enhanced smartminting at work here and it looks mightily impressive.
It was a shame to see this series end, but we’re pleased that Powercoin took the time out to make such an exquisite piece to round it out in true style. With a mintage of 499 pieces and a price around €600, it’s clearly not for everyone, but collectors of the series, lovers of fine art, and any coin collector looking for something different, will find much to like here. Available to order now with shipping around August time, assuming we don’t get another Covid variant from Narnia or something…
GIAN LORENZO BERNINI
7 December 1598 – 28 November 1680. An Italian sculptor and architect. While a major figure in the world of architecture, he was the leading sculptor of his age, credited with creating the Baroque style. In addition, he was a painter (mostly small canvases in oil) and a man of the theater: he wrote, directed and acted in plays (mostly Carnival satires), also designing stage sets and theatrical machinery, as well as a wide variety of decorative art objects including lamps, tables, mirrors, and even coaches. As architect and city planner, he designed both secular buildings and churches and chapels, as well as massive works combining both architecture and sculpture, especially elaborate public fountains and funerary monuments and a whole series of temporary structures (in stucco and wood) for funerals and festivals.
Bernini possessed the ability to depict dramatic narratives with characters showing intense psychological states, but also to organize large-scale sculptural works that convey a magnificent grandeur. His talent extended beyond the confines of sculpture to a consideration of the setting in which it would be situated; his ability to synthesize sculpture, painting, and architecture into a coherent conceptual and visual whole has been termed by the art historian Irving Lavin the “unity of the visual arts”. (Wikipedia)
ECSTACY OF SAINT TERESA
The Ecstasy of Saint Teresa is the central sculptural group in white marble set in an elevated aedicule in the Cornaro Chapel, Santa Maria della Vittoria, Rome. It was designed and completed by Bernini, the leading sculptor of his day, who also designed the setting of the Chapel in marble, stucco and paint. It is generally considered to be one of the sculptural masterpieces of the High Roman Baroque. It depicts Teresa of Ávila.
The two central sculptural figures of the swooning nun and the angel with the spear derive from an episode described by Teresa of Avila, a mystical cloistered Discalced Carmelite reformer and nun, in her autobiography, The Life of Teresa of Jesus (1515–1582). Her experience of religious ecstasy in her encounter with the angel is described as follows:
I saw in his hand a long spear of gold, and at the iron’s point there seemed to be a little fire. He appeared to me to be thrusting it at times into my heart, and to pierce my very entrails; when he drew it out, he seemed to draw them out also, and to leave me all on fire with a great love of God. The pain was so great, that it made me moan; and yet so surpassing was the sweetness of this excessive pain, that I could not wish to be rid of it. The soul is satisfied now with nothing less than God. The pain is not bodily, but spiritual; though the body has its share in it. It is a caressing of love so sweet which now takes place between the soul and God, that I pray God of His goodness to make him experience it who may think that I am lying.
The group is illuminated by natural light which filters through a hidden window in the dome of the surrounding aedicule, and underscored by gilded stucco rays. Teresa is shown lying on a cloud indicating that this is intended to be a divine apparition we are witnessing. Other witnesses appear on the side walls; life-size high-relief donor portraits of male members of the Cornaro family are present and shown discussing the event in boxes as if at the theatre. Although the figures are executed in white marble, the aedicule, wall panels and theatre boxes are made from coloured marbles. Above, the vault of the Chapel is frescoed with an illusionistic cherub-filled sky with the descending light of the Holy Ghost allegorized as a dove. (Wikipedia)
|MODIFICATIONS||Colour, High-relief Smartminting|
|BOX / C.O.A.||Yes / Yes|
Magnificent; beautiful finale. A work of Art in & of itself.