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Giovanni Francesco
Guercino

Italia 
1591−1666
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Born in Ferrara province, he was raised in the tradition of the Bologna school. As an artist developed under the influence of Lodovico Carracci, but not directly studied in the Academy, "embarked on a new path", founded by the Carracci brothers. In 1621 Guercino was invited to Rome by Pope Gregory XV. After the death of Guido Reni, Guercino moved to Bologna, where he occupied one of leading places in the circle of the masters of this school of painting.

Italian painter of the Baroque era. Born in Cento, near Bologna, baptized 8 Feb 1591. His real name – Giovanni Francesco Barbieri (Barbieri). Francesco Guercino as an artist developed under the influence of Lodovico Carracci, but directly at the Academy, "embarked on a new path", founded by the brothers Carracci, was not trained. Early works — "the Martyrdom of St. Peter" (1618-1619, Modena, Galleria Estense), "Tancred and Erminia" (1618-1619, Rome, Galleria Doria-Pamphili) filled with high dramatize light and shadow. This resembles the manner of Caravaggio, but is borrowed from the painting schools of Northern Italy — Ferrara and Venice.

From 1617 to 1621 Guercino lived in Bologna, where he wrote his most outstanding works. In a huge altar images, such as "the Martyrdom of St. Peter" (Modena, Museum), "the Return of the Prodigal son" (Turin Museum), "the Ecstasy of St. Francis" (Paris, Louvre) and "St. William of Aquitaine receives the monastic robes" (Bologna, gallery), Guercino has resulted in a rich, "painterly" Baroque style. The structure of the shape dissolves into streams of light, emphasizing the protruding parts and leaving more and more immersed in impenetrable shadow; movement directed diagonally in depth, unlimited space pattern; asymmetrical composition and a rich Venetian colouring to enhance the overall dramatic effect.

In the paintings of apparent fantasy artist Ferrara, the heir to the traditions of Dosso Dossi. Guercino's talent was spotted by the papal legate in Ferrara, cardinal Serra, for which he wrote a number of works. It is believed in the circle of experts that their best work the artist created in his youth, so the works written in the early period was called"il vero Guercino" ("the true Guercino"). An example of a similar early manners of the Bologna master is the painting "the Martyrdom of Peter." This is a large altarpiece. It affected the influence of Venetian painting of the 16th century, widely represented in the collections of the Dukes d'este, study of the altarpiece in the churches of his native town of Cento and the surrounding area.

In 1618 Guercino visited Venice, where he was impressed by the works of Tintoretto and Jacopo Bassano. In 1621 Guercino was invited to Rome by Pope Gregory XV. The artist arrived in Rome and wrote a famous fresco "Aurora" in Casino Ludovisi made in the tradition of the brilliant Venetian colours and the Bologna academic. However, the Roman classics had a deterrent influence on the Baroque style of Guercino. During this period, the artist dramatically changed his style, moving away from the relief sculpting of the volume with light and shade, but still using the bold composition, unusual camera angles, but less aromatizirovannaya gestures. This transition to classicissima manner characterize the painting "Christ appearing to Mary" (1629, Cento, public gallery), a giant altarpiece "the Burial of Santa Petronilla" (1623, Rome, Capitoline Museum). In the depiction of the Evangelical episode of the artist still uses emotionally expressive possibilities of light and shade, but the gestures of the actors is much more restrained.

A huge altar in the manner of Guercino, "the Burial of Santa Petronilla" (Rome, Capitoline Museum) felt greater balance and completeness of the composition. Frescoes of the Villa of Ludovisi in Rome (1621-1623) with a depiction of the allegory of "Night" and the phenomenon of the goddess of the dawn Aurora ("Aurora") — continued the tradition of monumental painting of Annibale Carracci, demonstrating the outstanding talent of the artist in transmitting light effects, the winning angle, inherited from the masters of Northern Italy.

In 1623 Guercino returned to Cento. His palette began to vysvetleniya, and energetic Baroque style was changed in the direction of classicism, particularly under the influence of the Bolognese artist Guido Reni. One of the last works of the artist Guercino, executed in Rome — "the Holy Romualdo" (1640-1641, Ravenna, Pinacoteca). In the manner of execution is the most classic work of the painter. In the centre depicts St. Romualdo, protect the angel against the wiles of the demon. The contrasts of light and shadow look more invited, but the luminosity of the colours betrays the hand of the master of the Bologna school. Cloth light robe of St Romualdo, illuminated by the flood of light seems to be itself a radiant glow.

After the death of Guido Reni, Guercino moved to Bologna, where he occupied one of leading places in the circle of the masters of this school of painting. The style of the artist changed dramatically during this period under the influence of Guido Reni ("the Martyrdom of Catherine", St. Petersburg, Hermitage Museum; "Hagar", 1657, Milan, Pinacoteca Brera). The manner of recent works has become more conditional, for example, in such films as "the appearance of the virgin to Saint Bruno" (Bologna, gallery) and "the cumaean sibyl" (1651, London, gallery magon).

In the paintings of Guercino much close to the art of Caravaggio: the irrational lighting, dark gloomy background, major figures, folksy types. Being a follower of Ludovico Carracci, he has used the romantic chiaroscuro erodes the sculptural clarity of form. Painting Guercino studied a European masters later time. Early works of the artist Guercino had a direct effect on the Neapolitans, P. F. Mola, M. Preti, G. Blanca. M. Crespi. Guercino died in Bologna on 22 December 1666.

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