Giovanni Francesco Barbieri, il Guercino (Cento1591-1666) Madonna and Child
Pen Ink and Watercolour on Paper.
In a XVII century gilded Frame which requires some restoration.
Folio: 137 x 108 mm (approx 5.5 x 4 inches); Framed: 260 x 215 mm (approx 10 x 8.5 inches)
Provenance: Private Collection.
Denis Mahon and Nicholas Turner 'The Drawings of Guercino in the Collection of Her Majesty the Queen at Windsor Castle' Cambridge 1989
The iconography of the Drawing which dates mid 1630 is very close to two drawings at Windsor Castle - see Denis Mahon and Nicholas Turner 'The Drawings of Guercino in the Collection of Her Majesty the Queen at Windsor Castle' Cambridge 1989, no.87 and no. 89, illustrated 91, 93-4 'Two Women'.
Giovanni Francesco Barbieri (1599-1666) is one of the leading figures in Italian seventeenth-century painting. Ha was nicknamed Guercino (little squint eye) on account of a pronounced squint which afflicted him and, it would appear, also affected his personality. Naturally gifted, he acquired his skill without the guidance of a teacher, using as his model the paintings he saw around him and becoming, indirectly, a pupil of Ludovico Carracci. It was this great elder statesman of Bolognese painting who spotted Guercino's exceptional talents early on, predicting a glorious future for him after seeing some drawings the young man had made. Barbieri owed his early successes to the appreciation of three patrons of the arts- his fellow-countryman Padre Antonio Mirandola, and the cardinals Serra and Ludovisi who supported the artist during his most innovative and intensely creative years. With more than 100 altarpieces, hundreds of easel paintings, and thousands of drawings to his name, Guercino was a prolific artist who despite alterations in his style and changing tastes, succeeded in maintaining impeccable quality. He died in 1666, aged 75, and, in recognition of his moral and spiritual qualities, was buried dressed in a Capuchin friar's habit, in the Church of San Salvatore at Bologna.
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