Tuesday, March 29, 2011

40 Days of Artists: Guercino

Il Guercino, otherwise known as Giovanni Francesco Barbieri, was a self taught painter of the Bolognese school. This was a traditionally classical mode of painting in the 16th and 17th centuries. Guercino's early influences included the Carracci family of painters, particularly that of Lodovico Carraci, and his classical figures. Guercino's style saw some changes from his early paintings to the later works, particularly in terms of color. Later on in his career, we can see a more vibrant use of color, but still with the classical influence, as though he combined the Florentine and Venetian schools of painting together. In a few of his paintings, we can see a fantastic use of blues and its compliment of the bright red-oranges. This is one of the influences that Carracci had, as we can see similar use of color in his paintings, as well as the classical drawing of the figures. Another painter of the Bolognese school, Guido Reni, was probably one of the great names in this art. Upon Reni's death, Guercino moved back to Bologna from Emilia where he had lived for nearly 20 years. He lived there until his death in 1666, and had taken up the reputation as the leading figure in Bolognese art of the time.

Il Guercino
St. Luke Displaying a Painting of the Virgin
oil on canvas

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