Bringing together established and emerging specialists in seventeenth-century Italian sculpture, Material Bernini is the first sustained examination of the conspicuous materiality of Bernini’s work in sculpture, architecture, and paint. The various essays demonstrate that material Bernini has always been tied (whether theologically, geologically, politically, or in terms of art theory) to his immaterial twin. Here immaterial Bernini and the historiography that sustains him is finally confronted by material Bernini. Central to the volume are Bernini’s works in clay, a fragmentary record of a large body of preparatory works by a sculptor who denied any direct relation between sketches of any kind and final works. Read together, the essays call into question why those works in which Bernini’s bodily relation to the material of his art is most evident, his clay studies, have been configured as a point of unmediated access to the artist’s mind, to his immaterial ideas. This insight reveals a set of values and assumptions that have profoundly shaped Bernini studies from their inception, and opens up new and compelling avenues of inquiry within a field that has long remained remarkably self-enclosed.