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(gwĕrchē`nō), 1591–1666, Italian painter whose original name was Giovanni Francesco Barbieri, b. near Bologna. He studied with Ludovico CarracciCarracci
, family of Italian painters of the Bolognese school, founders of an important academy of painting. Lodovico Carracci, 1555–1619, a pupil of Tintoretto in Venice, was influenced by Correggio and Titian. He also studied in Bologna, Padua, and Parma.
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. Extremely skillful, prolific, and quick to finish his work, he was known for his frescoes, altarpieces, oils, and drawings. Between 1621 and 1623 he was in Rome, where he painted the Baroque ceiling frescos (Aurora) of the Casino Ludovisi and his superb Burial of St. Petronilla (Capitoline Mus., Rome). The classicist tendencies prevalent in Rome caused him to alter his style so that he never equaled the dramatic intensity of his early work. An extensive collection of his drawings is in the Royal Library at Windsor and other examples of his work are included in such major collections as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Hermitage, and the Getty Museum.


See D. Mahon, Studies in Seicento Art and Theory (1947); J. Brooks, Guercino: Mind to Paper (2006); S. Prasad, Guercino: Stylistic Evolution in Focus (2006).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(pseudonym of Giovanni Francesco Barbieri). Baptized Feb. 8, 1591, in Cento, Emilia-Romagna Province; died Dec. 22, 1666, in Bologna. Italian painter of the Bologna school.

Guercino studied in Cento and was influenced by L. Car-racci, Caravaggio, the Venetian artists, and G. Reni. He worked primarily in Cento and Bologna, but also in Venice (1618), Ferrara (1619), Rome (1621-23), Piacenza (1626-27), and Modena (1633-34). From 1642 he headed the Bologna Academy. In his best works, painted during 1610-20 (frescoes in the Casino Ludovisi, Rome, 1621; The Burial of St. Petronilla, 1621, the Capitoline Museum, Rome; The Ascension of the Madonna, 1623, the Hermitage, Leningrad), Guercino sought to combine a lifelike quality, dramatic emotional images, compositional dynamism, and sharp contrasts of light and shade with the splendid decorative manner of Carracci and with baroque effects. Guercino unequivocally adopted the academic style in the late 1620’s.


Grimaldi, N. II Guercino. Bologna, 1968.
II Guercino: Catalogo critico dei dipinti. Bologna, 1968.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Artur Ramon, a generalist dealer from Barcelona with a special interest in Spanish and Italian drawings from the 17th to the 19th century, will be exhibiting a drawing by Giovanni Francesco Barbieri, the Italian baroque painter known as Il Guercino (1591-1666).
While Giovanni Francesco Barbieri (known as Guercino) was putting the finishing touches to the creature's dog ears, he may well have been thinking about his next religious masterpiece.
A second painting, 'King David', by 17th Century Italian artist Giovanni Francesco Barbieri, fetched 5,193,250 pounds, reports the Daily Star.
A second painting, "King David" by Giovanni Francesco Barbieri, is estimated to sell for as much as 8 million ($12 million.)
One of the new objects that wasn't in a previous exhibition called "Legacy of the Popes" is the exquisite oil-on-silk "Face of Christ with Thorns" by Guercino (Giovanni Francesco Barbieri) from the 17th century.
Every age has interpreted Cleopatra differently, and the exhibit includes more than 350 archeological finds and masterpieces of ancient art that show these differences, such as a marble portrait of Cleopatra from 50-30 B.C., which portrays her in the Hellenistic Greek style as she appears on her coins, to the drawing by Giovanni Francesco Barbieri (1591-1666), which portrays her moments before the snake bite that is said to have killed her, to a bronze coin that shows her in middle age, wrinkles and all.
There is also the chance to see Monster Animal and Peasant, drawn by Giovanni Francesco Barbieri, known as Guercino, who liked to show off his inventive imagination by drawing bizarre or fantastical creatures, to amuse himself and his friends.
Also on show is an intriguing ink drawing by Giovanni Francesco Barbieri, A Group of Spectators, Probably at a Bullfight, Peeping through a Fence.
Giovanni Francesco Barbieri, called Il Guercino (1591-1666) Study of a Dragon Pierced by a Lance.