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Toronto Gallery Receives $50M Bernini Sculpture as Donation

Bernini Sculpture of Corpus

Gian Lorenzo Bernini
ca. 1650, bronze,
Height: 174.0 cm (68 ")
Gift of the Murray Frum Family, 2006
Photo Copyright: Salander - O'Reilly Galleries / Maggie Nimkin.
Collection, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto

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Italian Baroque master Gian Lorenzo Bernini's bronze crucifixion sculpture known as Corpus has found a new home. Long thought to be lost, Bernini's masterpiece was donated in January 2007 to Maggie Nimkin/Salander-O'Reilly Galleries/Art Gallery of Ontario. Bernini's work was owned by Murray Frum, a prominent real estate developer. The donation of Corpus was made to the gallery by his family.

Bernini Sculpture of Corpus Is One of Three Versions

Bernini's Corpus sculpture dates to around 1650. It is life-sized and reported to be worth $50 million. Bernini made three versions of this theme, one of which was destroyed during the French Revolution. The Spanish royal family holds the third work. The one donated to the Ontario Gallery was only attributed to Bernini about three years ago. It was perhaps the one the great sculptor made for this own collection.

The gallery will not unveil the Bernini sculpture until the summer of 2007 as part of its permanent collection. Frum purchased Bernini's work from a U.S. art dealer. He also had an interest in African art and donated a collection to the same gallery previously.

Brenda Harness, Art Historian

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