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Bernini began work on the marble bust immediately after the election of Pope Gregory XV in February 1621, and completed the work in September of that year. Bernini was well rewarded for his efforts in creating the Bust of Pope Gregory XV. On 30 June 1621, at the age of twenty-two, Bernini was awarded a papal knighthood by the pope—the Supreme Order of Christ—and an accompanying lifetime salary.


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