Ecstasy of Saint Teresa  

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"I would see beside me, on my left hand, an angel in bodily form ... He was not tall, but short, and very beautiful, his face so aflame that he appeared to be one of the highest types of angel who seem to be all afire ... In his hands I saw a long golden spear and at the end of the iron tip I seemed to see a point of fire. With this he seemed to pierce my heart several times so that it penetrated to my entrails. When he drew it out, I thought he was drawing them out with it and he left me completely afire with a great love for God. The pain was so sharp that it made me utter several moans; and so excessive was the sweetness caused me by the intense pain that one can never wish to lose it, nor will one's soul be content with anything less than God." --The Complete Works Of Saint Teresa Of Jesus Volume I, transl. by Allison Peers

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The Ecstasy of St. Teresa (1647–1652, alternatively St. Teresa in Ecstasy or Transverberation of St. Teresa) is the central marble group of a sculpture complex designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini for the Cornaro Chapel, Santa Maria della Vittoria, Rome. It is a depiction of the religious ecstasy described by Spanish mystic Teresa of Ávila. A photography depicting the face of Teresa is used on the cover of Georges Bataille's book L'Érotisme.

It is a depiction of her most famous vision (right).

Similar works by Bernini

See also

facial expression, transverberation

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