ITALIAN PAINTER WITH CAREFUL EYE – Guercino and the effects of light and shade

GIOVANNI FRANCESCO BARBIERI / GUERCINO 1/3 – Because he was cross-eyed, at the early age he acquired the nickname Guercino (Italian for “squinter”). He was Italian Baroque painter from the region of Emilia, active in Rome and Bologna. Considering a subject for a painting, he imagined the scene from every angle. Often he used close-up studies, to examine the relationships between characters and their facial expressions. He was sensitive to the effects of light and shade, choosing the medium, that best reflected the texture of the subject, he was drawing.

GIOVANNI FRANCESCO BARBIERI / GUERCINO 2/3 – His works were remarkable for color quality and expression of feelings and enrich the museums around the world. In Guercino’s drawings, even now can be felt the artist’s pen scratching the paper. He is known for his calligraphic pen strokes combined with dots, dashes, and parallel hatching lines describe the forms. His favorite medium was a goose-feather pen dipped in ink, which allowed him to record his ideas on paper perfectly. Outcome of the injury in childhood, which left him cross-eyed, renowned his innovative psychological insight in painting. He had great sympathy for a variety of human situations. His drawings of daily life always show gentle sense of humor (together with a fond appreciation for everyday life).

GIOVANNI FRANCESCO BARBIERI / GUERCINO 3/3 – He was recommended by Marchese Enzo Bentivoglio to the Pope Gregory XV and his Roman years were very productive. He was great entrepreneur, directing a busy workshop in Bologna and become the city’s principal painter. That enabled him to connect with Italian and foreign buyers. He returned to his hometown after the death of Gregory XV. In 1626 he began his frescoes in the Duomo of Piacenza. He was remarkable for the extreme rapidity of his executions. He preferred to paint in a realistic way, using a bright light falling from above, thus creating a chromatic sensitivity with extraordinary chiaroscuro effects. His intense pictorial activity is (almost exemplary), the particular unfolding of Baroque art.

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