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St. Robert Bellarmine

Artist: William Pupa (active ) Primary
Date: 2013
21st Century
Object Type: Statue
Creation Place: North America, United States
Medium and Support: Bronze
Credit Line: Purchase by the university, 2013
Accession Number: CAC2017.02.01
On View: In front of entrance to Bellarmine Road, behind Donnarumma Hall

Upon its founding in 1942, the university’s name was “Fairfield University of Saint Robert Bellarmine, S.J.” Although Robert Bellarmine’s name is no longer included, he remains the university’s patron saint. Born Roberto Francesco Romolo Bellarmino in 1542, he became a member of the Order of the Society of Jesus in 1560, and gained renown as a professor of theology. Pope Clement VIII made him a cardinal in 1599, writing that “the Church of God had not his equal in learning.”
However, Bellarmine’s life was not without controversy. As counselor to Pope Paul V in the early 17th century, he was involved in the early proceedings against Galileo Galilei as well as the trial of Giordano Bruno. He died in Rome in 1621, and his subsequent reputation was based on his prolific published works of theology. Dressed in a cardinal’s robes, Bellarmine rests his hand on books which bear the titles of his own work; draping the pedestal underneath them is a banner bearing his name and the symbol of the Jesuit Order, the letters IHS, taken from the first three letters of Jesus’ name in Greek. Although the process to seek his canonization began just a year after his death, it was completed only in 1930.

For more information about this piece, as well as the other sculpture that you can find around the Fairfield University campus, see ourOutdoor Sculpture Audio Guide here.


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Period and styles of painting, sculpture, graphic arts, and architecture dating from the recent past and present. It differs from modern art in that the term 'Contemporary art' does not carry the implication of a non-traditional style, but instead refers only to the time period in which the work was created. 'Modern' and 'Contemporary' are inherently fluid terms. The term 'Contemporary' is sometimes more narrowly used to refer to art from ca. 1960 or 1970 up to the present. To refer to the current time period without reference to style of art, use "contemporary (generic time frame)".
Refers to a broad range of alloys of copper, specifically any non-ferrous alloy of copper, tin, and zinc or other trace metals. Bronze was made before 3,000 BCE -- possibly as early as 10,000 BCE, although its common use in tools and decorative items is dated only in later artifacts. The proportions of copper and tin vary widely, from 70 to 95 percent copper in surviving ancient artifacts. Because of the copper base, bronze may be very malleable and easy to work. By the Middle Ages in Europe, it was recognized that using the metals in certain proportions could yield specific properties. Some modern bronzes contain no tin at all, substituting other metals such as aluminum, manganese, and even zinc. Historically, the term was used interchangeably with "latten." U.S. standard bronze is composed of 90% copper, 7% tin and 3% zinc. Ancient bronze alloys sometimes contained up to 14% tin.
Sculpture in the round, usually but not always depicting humans, animals, mythical beings, or small figure groups. Statues are relatively large in scale, being life-size, larger than life-size, or only slightly smaller than life-size. For small-scale representations of humans, animals, or mythical beings, use "figurines," "statuettes," or another appropriate term. For depictions of humans, animals, or mythical beings in media other than sculpture, use "figures (representations)."
Refers to the world religion and culture that developed in the first century CE, driven by the teachings of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Its roots are in the Judaic tradition and the Old Testament. The tenets include a belief in the death and redemptive resurrection of Jesus. The religion incorporates a tradition of faith, ritual, and a form of church authority or leadership.
Ecclesiastical officials of the Roman Catholic Church who constitute the Pope's council, or the Sacred College, and who retain the right of electing future popes.

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