Drawn to Paint

Il ContentoIl Contento Il ContentoIl Contento Study for the Painting 'Erminia Finding the Wounded Tancred'Study for the Painting 'Erminia Finding the Wounded Tancred' Erminia Finding the Wounded TancredErminia Finding the Wounded Tancred A Lady's Left Hand Holding a Rose. Study for the Painting 'The Artist's Wife: Margaret Lindsay of Evelick'A Lady's Left Hand Holding a Rose. Study for the Painting 'The Artist's Wife: Margaret Lindsay of Evelick' The Artist's Wife: Margaret Lindsay of Evelick, c 1726 - 1782The Artist's Wife: Margaret Lindsay of Evelick, c 1726 - 1782 A Lady Descending from a Sedan Chair. Study for the Painting 'The Porteous Mob'A Lady Descending from a Sedan Chair. Study for the Painting 'The Porteous Mob' The Porteous Mob (detail)The Porteous Mob (detail) Study for the Portrait of Diego MartelliStudy for the Portrait of Diego Martelli Diego Martelli (1839 - 1896)Diego Martelli (1839 - 1896)

Guercino (Giovanni Francesco Barbieri)

Study for the Painting 'Erminia Finding the Wounded Tancred'
1650
This is the only surviving drawing for Guercino's great painting 'Erminia Finding the Wounded Tancred'. The delicate figure is only a fraction of the size of Erminia in the painting. The loose handling and vibrancy of the drawing were achieved using red chalk, which was one of Guercino's favourite drawing methods. Red chalk allowed him to work at great speed, and was easier to correct than pen and ink. Guercino concentrated solely on the figure of Erminia here: her expression, pose and billowing clothes. How she would fit into the overall composition would have been the focus of other preparatory drawings that are sadly all now lost. The survival of this sheet is invaluable, as it allows us to see how Guercino conceived this figure before rendering her in paint.
  • Credits Purchased with the assistance of funds from the Art Fund 1997
  • Medium Red chalk on paper
  • Size 19.40 x 14.00 cm

Did you know?

Guercino made numerous preparatory drawings for each of his paintings. His drawings were considered to be so fine that they became prized among collectors as works of art in their own right.