5.00pm : Loyd Grossman

Thursday 15th : 5.00pm

An Elephant in Rome

In 1655, Pope Alexander VII determined to restore the prestige of his church by making Rome the must-visit destination for Europe’s elite.  To help him achieve this, he enlisted the talents of Gian Lorenzo Bernini, already celebrated as the most important artist of his age. Together, Alexander VII and Bernini made one of the greatest artistic double acts in history, inventing the concept of the bucket list destination and in the process, creating Baroque Rome as a city that continues to delight and attract.

With a love of Rome that was first kindled by his encounter with the enigmatic monument – the elephant carrying an obelisk outside Santa Maria sopra Minerva – to the relationship between artist and pope, Loyd Grossman teases out all the intertwined strands of history, power and art that make up the Baroque.

Loyd Grossman is an entrepreneur, author and broadcaster, well-known to TV audiences through programmes including MasterChef and Through the Keyhole. He has a lifelong interest in history, the arts and heritage and has served on the boards of a number of cultural institutions, including English Heritage and the British School at Rome. In June 2015, he was appointed CBE in recognition of his services to heritage. His previous work includes the major study Benjamin West and the Struggle to be Modern.