Guercino (Giovanni Francesco Barbieri)

Italian (Bolognese)
Guercino (Giovanni Francesco Barbieri) Erminia Finding the Wounded Tancred About 1650


Born 1591
Died 1666
Nationality Italian
Birth place Cento
Death place Bologna

Guercino was a highly original and lyrical painter and draughtsman. He was born Giovanni Francesco Barbieri in Cento near Bologna (his nickname 'Guercino' means 'squint-eyed'). He was largely self-taught, but was strongly influenced by the bold figure painting of the Carracci family and the dramatic chiaroscuro (light and shadow) of Caravaggio. Guercino chiefly worked in Cento, briefly visited Rome (1621-3), and painted a wide range of subjects, making many exquisite drawings in red chalk and ink. He excelled in daring foreshortening. After the death of his arch rival Guido Reni in 1642 he moved his studio to Bologna.