Giovanni Francesco Barbieri (February 8, 1591 – December 22, 1666),
best known as Guercino, or il
Guercino [ɡwerˈtʃiːno], was an
Baroque painter and draftsman from the region of Emilia, and
Rome and Bologna. The vigorous naturalism of his early
manner is in contrast to the classical equilibrium of his later works.
His many drawings are noted for their luminosity and lively style.
7 External links
Guercino's strabismus is evident in this period portrait of him.
Caravaggio's influence is manifest in this canvas Christ and the Woman
Guercino - The Persian Sibyl
Giovanni Francesco Barbieri was born in Cento, a village between
Bologna and Ferrara. At an early age he acquired the nickname Guercino
(Italian for 'squinter') because he was cross-eyed. Mainly
self-taught, at the age of 16, he worked as apprentice in the shop of
Benedetto Gennari, a painter of the Bolognese School. By 1615, he
moved to Bologna, where his work was praised by Ludovico Carracci.
Guercino painted two large canvases,
Elijah Fed by Ravens
Elijah Fed by Ravens and Samson
Seized by Philistines, for Cardinal Serra, a Papal Legate to Ferrara.
These paintings have a stark naturalist Caravaggesque style, although
it is unlikely that
Guercino saw any of the Roman Caravaggios
The Arcadian Shepherds (Et in Arcadia ego) was painted in 1618 at the
same time of
The Flaying of Marsyas by Apollo
The Flaying of Marsyas by Apollo in Palazzo Pitti. Its
dramatic composition is typical of Guercino's early works, which are
often tumultuous. He often claimed that his early style was
influenced by a canvas of
Ludovico Carracci that he saw in the
Capuchin church in Cento. Some of his later works are closer to the
style of his contemporary Guido Reni, and are painted with more
lightness and clearness.
Guercino - The Woman taken in Adultery, Dulwich Picture Gallery
Guercino - Flagellation of Christ
Guercino was recommended by Marchese Enzo Bentivoglio to the Bolognese
Ludovisi Pope, Pope Gregory XV. The years he spent in Rome, 1621–23,
were very productive. From this period are his frescoes Aurora at the
casino of the Villa Ludovisi, the ceiling in
San Crisogono (1622) of
San Chrysogonus in Glory, the portrait of
Pope Gregory XV
Pope Gregory XV (now in the
Getty Museum, and The Burial of Saint Petronilla or St. Petronilla
Altarpiece for the Vatican (now in the Museo Capitolini), which is
considered his masterpiece.
After the death of Gregory XV,
Guercino returned to his hometown. In
1626, he began his frescoes in the Duomo of Piacenza. The details of
his career after 1629 are well documented in the account book, the
Libro dei Conti di Casa Barbieri, that
Guercino and his brother Paolo
Antonio Barbieri kept updated, and which has been preserved.
Between 1618 and 1631, Giovanni Battista Pasqualini produced 67
engravings that document the early production of Guercino, which is
not included in the Libro dei Conti. In 1642, following the death
of Guido Reni,
Guercino moved his busy workshop to
Bologna and become
the city's principal painter. In 1655, the Franciscan Order of Reggio
paid him 300 ducats for the altarpiece of Saint Luke Displaying a
Painting of the Madonna and Child (now in Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art,
Kansas City). The Corsini also paid him 300 ducats for the
Flagellation of Christ
Flagellation of Christ painted in 1657.
Guercino was remarkable for the extreme rapidity of his executions: he
completed no fewer than 106 large altarpieces for churches, and his
other paintings amount to about 144. He was also a prolific draftsman.
His production includes many drawings, usually in ink, washed ink, or
red chalk. Most of them were made as preparatory studies for his
paintings, but he also drew landscapes, genre subjects, and
caricatures for his own enjoyment. Guercino's drawings are known for
their fluent style in which "rapid, calligraphic pen strokes combined
with dots, dashes, and parallel hatching lines describe the forms".
Guercino continued to paint and teach until his death in 1666,
amassing a notable fortune. As he never married, his estate passed to
his nephews and pupils,
Benedetto Gennari II and Cesare Gennari.
Other pupils include Giulio Coralli,
Giuseppe Bonati of
Cristoforo Serra of Cesena, Father
Cesare Pronti of
Ferrara, Sebastiano Ghezzi, Sebastiano Bombelli, Lorenzo
Bergonzoni of Bologna,
Francesco Paglia of Brescia., Benedetto
Zallone of Cento, Bartolomeo Caravoglia, and Matteo Loves.
Susanna and the Elders, 1617
Return of the Prodigal Son, 1619
Joseph and Potiphar's Wife, 1649, National Gallery of Art
Saint Matthew and the Angel, 1622
Capturing Christ, 1621
Christ and the Woman of Samaria II
St Peter Weeping before the Virgin, 1647
Mars with Cupid, 1649
Cleopatra and Octavian, 1649
Atlas holding up the celestial globe, 1646
St. Cecilia, 1649
David with the Head of Goliath, circa 1650
The Vocation of Saint Aloysius Gonzaga, 1650
The Return of the Prodigal Son, 1651
Personification of Astrology, ca. 1650–55, Blanton Museum of Art,
King David, 1651
La morte di Didone, 1631
Tomb of Guercino, Santissimo Salvatore, Bologna
The exhibition Guercino. Triumph of the Baroque. Masterpieces of
Rome and Polish collections, displayed at the National Museum
Warsaw from September 2013 to February 2014.
^ "Beside the easel". besidetheeasel.blogspot.se. Retrieved 14
^ a b "Oxford Art Online: Guercino". Oxford University Press.
Missing or empty url= (help)
^ Griswold 1991, p. 6
^ Griswold 1991, p. 13
^ Griswold 1991, p. 35
^ M. Fiammenghi, L. Cremonini, E. Cavalleri, F. Gozzi, Sacro e profano
nelle Incisioni da Guercino, Bologna, Culturalia, 2006
^ "Guercino's Saint Luke Displaying a
Painting of the Virgin".
Smarthistory at Khan Academy. Retrieved March 15, 2013.
^ Griswold 1991, p. 36
^ Orlandi, Pellegrino Antonio; Guarienti, Pietro (1719), Abecedario
pittorico, Naples, p. 265
^ Orlandi, page 207.
^ Orlandi, page 120.
^ Orlandi, page 350.
^ Orlandi, page 399.
^ Orlandi, page 397.
^ Orlandi, page 294.
^ Orlandi, page 171.
^ Lanzi, Luigi (1847).
Thomas Roscoe (translator), ed. History of
Painting in Italy; From the Period of the Revival of the Fine Arts to
the End of the Eighteenth Century. III. London; Original from Oxford
University, Digitized January 2007: Henry G. Bohn.
^ The exhibit comprised 80 works, including 33 paintings by Guercino.
The exhibition included paintings from the Pinacoteca, churches and
Cento (mnw) as well as the Arcadian Shepherds (Et in
Arcadia ego) from the Barberini collection (legitymizm) and the
monumental Crucifixion with St Elizabeth of Hungary and St Frances of
Rome, the altar painting from the Potocki Chapel in the Wawel
Cathedral.(artinfo) The exhibition, curated by Boris Kudlička, was
the most extensive European presentation of work by
of his home country.(legitymizm)
^ "Guercino. Triumf baroku. Arcydzieła z Cento, Rzymu i kolekcji
polskich". www.new.mnw.art.pl. Retrieved 20 May 2014.
^ "Guercino. Triumf baroku". www.legitymizm.org. Retrieved 20 May
^ "Guercino. Triumf baroku". www.artinfo.pl. Retrieved 20 May
Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Giovanni Barbieri". Catholic
Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
Marchese Antonio Bolognini Amorini (1843). "Parte Quinta". Vite de
Pittori ed Artifici Bolognesi. Tipografia Governativa alla Volpe,
Bologna. pp. 223–272.
Griswold, William M. (Spring 1991). "Guercino". Metropolitan Museum of
Art Bulletin. 48(4): 5–56.
Guercino's Saint Luke Displaying a
Painting of the Virgin,
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Guercino.
Wikisource has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article
Barbieri, Giovanni Francesco.
Guercino on the Web Gallery of Art
Getty exhibition of
Encyclopædia Britannica, Il Guercino
(in Italian) Short biography
Pinacoteca Civica Il Guercino
Virtual exhibition "
Guercino a Fano" in high resolution
Jusepe de Ribera, 1591-1652, an exhibition catalog from The
Metropolitan Museum of Art (fully available online as PDF), which
contains material on
Guercino (see index)
Velázquez , an exhibition catalog from The Metropolitan Museum of Art
(fully available online as PDF), which contains material on Guercino
ISNI: 0000 0001 2131 914X
BNF: cb120730207 (data)