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  • 1 The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, P.O. Box 8515, Jaffa, Tel Aviv, Israel
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Abstract

The sculptural rendering of loose folds of clothing was part of the classical legacy, which was a salient characteristic of Bernini's figural sculpture. The expressive potential of non-figural drapes was an innovation which has seldom received adequate attention. At first sight the evocative dynamism of such independent draperies carved in marble may seem like a sort of Abstract Expressionism avant la lettre but Bernini employed the effect as a “Symbolic Form” in Ernst Cassirer's famous definition, a concrete object communicating an intelligible meaning.