Guercino, Il


Guercino, Il
(Italian: "The Squinter") orig. Giovanni Francesco Barbieri

born Feb. 8, 1591, Cento, Papal States
died Dec. 22, 1666, Bologna

Italian painter.

Strongly influenced by the Bolognese school, he was called to Rome in 1621 by the Bolognese pope Gregory XV and, among other commissions, decorated the Villa Ludovisi; the ceiling fresco Aurora is painted to appear as if there were no ceiling, so that Aurora's chariot is seen to float directly over the building. He returned to his native town of Cento in 1623. In 1642, upon the death of Guido Reni, he moved to Bologna and was its leading painter until his death. One of the outstanding draftsmen of his age, he had a profound impact on the development of 17th-century Baroque decoration.

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▪ Italian artist
original name  Giovanni Francesco Barbieri  
born Feb. 8, 1591, Cento, near Ferrara, Papal States [Italy]
died Dec. 22, 1666, Bologna
 Italian painter whose frescoes freshly exploited the illusionistic ceiling, making a profound impact on 17th-century Baroque decoration. His nickname Il Guercino (“The Squinting One”) was derived from a physical defect.

      Guercino received his earliest training locally, but the formative influence on his style came from Bologna, especially from the naturalistic paintings of Lodovico Carracci. Such early works as “Madonna in Glory with Saints and a Donor” (1616; Royal Museum of Fine Arts, Brussels) have large forms, strong colour, and broad, vigorous brushwork. His method of using light and shadow was unrelated to the discoveries of Caravaggio and was derived from Bologna and Venice, which Guercino visited in 1618.

      In 1621 Guercino went to Rome, where he played an important role in the evolution of Roman High Baroque art. Among many other commissions, he decorated the Casino Ludovisi. The main fresco, “Aurora,” on the ceiling of the Grand Hall, is a spirited romantic work, painted to appear as though there were no ceiling, so that the viewer could see Aurora's chariot moving directly over the building. Yet it already reveals something of the crucial experience of his stay in Rome, his contact with Pope Gregory XV's private secretary, Monsignor Agucchi, a propagandist for the classicism of Annibale Carracci's balanced and restrained Roman style. Guercino seems to have tried to make his own style conform with Carraccesque principles, an effort reflected in his “Sta. Petronilla” (1621; Capitoline Museum, Rome). On the death of Gregory XV in 1623, Guercino opened a studio in Cento. Then, upon the death of Guido Reni (1642), whose position in Bologna as heir to Annibale Carracci had been unassailable, he moved to that city, where he was the leading painter until his death.

      Some of Guercino's late works, such as “Abraham Driving Out Hagar and Ishmael” (1657–58; Brera Picture Gallery, Milan), are impressive achievements, but other paintings seem weak or sentimental.

Additional Reading
Denis Mahon, Studies in Seicento Art and Theory (1947, reprinted 1971), and Guercino: Master Painter of the Baroque, trans. from Italian (1992), an exhibition catalog; Denis Mahon and Nicholas Turner, The Drawings of Guercino in the Collection of Her Majesty the Queen at Windsor Castle (1989); Claudio Strinati and Rossella Vodret (eds.), Guercino and Emilian Classicist Painting: From the Collections of the Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica in Palazzo Barberini, Rome (1999).

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Guercino —   [guer tʃiːno], il Guercino, eigentlich Giovanni Francesco Barbieri, italienischer Maler, getauft Cento (heute zu Budrio, Provinz Bologna) 8. 2. 1591, ✝ Bologna 22. 12. 1666. Ausgebildet in Bologna (1607 bezeugt), wo er durch L. Carracci und B.… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Guercino — (izg. guerčȋno) (pravo ime Giovanni Francesco Barbieri) (1591 1666) DEFINICIJA talijanski barokni slikar; iluzionističko stropno slikarstvo (freska Aurora u Casinu Ludovisi, Rim) …   Hrvatski jezični portal

  • Guercīno — (spr. Guerischino), Maler, s. Barbieri 1) …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Guercino — (spr. gwertschīno), eigentlich Giovanni Francesco Barbieri, ital. Maler, geb. 8. Febr. 1591 in Cento (daher G. da Cento, »der Schielende von Cento«, genannt), war daselbst Schüler von Benedetto Gennari und G. B. Cremonini, bildete sich dann… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Guercino — (spr. tschihno), eigentlich Giovanni Francesco Barbieri, ital. Maler, geb. 1591 zu Cento bei Bologna, gest. 1666 in Bologna, Meister der Bologneser Schule; biblische und Heiligenbilder (Petronella, Rochus, Franziskus) …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Guercino — (–tschino, der Schielende), eigentlich Giovanni Francesco Barbieri, ital. Maler, geb. 1590 zu Cento bei Bologna, Schüler des Lodovico Carracci, malte aber später mehr in der Manier von Guido Reni, errichtete 1616 eine eigene Akademie in Bologna,… …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • Guercino — Guercino, Giovanni Francesco Barbieri, llamado El …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Guercino — Il Guercino Autorretrato de Il Guercino Nombre de nacimiento Giovan Francesco Barbieri Nacimiento …   Wikipedia Español

  • Guercino — Giovanni Francesco Barbieri (February 8, 1591 December 9, 1666), best known as Guercino or Il Guercino, was an Italian Baroque painter from the region of Emilia, and active in Rome and Bologna. Guercino is Italian for squinter , a nickname that… …   Wikipedia

  • Guercino — (Giovanni Francesco Barbieri; 1591 1666)    The youngest member of the Carracci School. Guercino s appellation (in English, squinter) stems from the fact that he was slightly cross eyed, which caused him to squint. He was born in Cento, not far… …   Dictionary of Renaissance art


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