Drawn to Paint

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Guercino (Giovanni Francesco Barbieri)

Erminia Finding the Wounded Tancred
1650
Erminia has been transformed from the feminine girl in the drawing into a more substantial figure here. Although there are few differences in pose and dress between the painted and the drawn versions, Erminia's physique has become considerably more muscular. The light, fluid chalk strokes of the drawing have been translated into solid lines and defined areas of dense colour. Erminia's facial expression has also been altered from a forlorn, emotional appearance to a more panic-stricken look of shock and fear. The similarities between the sketch and the painting show that Guercino actually had a fully formed idea of how he wanted Erminia to appear before he began to paint her. The changes in mood and technique are largely the result of converting the design from a small drawing into a vast oil painting.
  • Credits Purchased by Private Treaty with the aid of the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Art Fund, and corporate and private donations 1996
  • Medium Oil on canvas
  • Size 244.00 x 297.00 cm (framed: 286.00 x 327.70 cm)

Did you know?

The figure of Erminia in the painting is more than eight times the size of the figure in the drawing . Guercino is likely to have made drawings of all the figures and used studio assistants to 'square' them up for transfer to the large canvas.