Guercino was born in the small town of Cento but getting his start in nearby Bologna he moved to Rome from 1621–23 to exploit the patronage offered by the Bolognese Pope Gregory XV. On the Pope’s death he returned to Cento and thence to Bologna where he assumed the mantle of the leading Bolognese artist Guido Reni (1575–1642) who had died in 1641. Thereafter, he enjoyed a national and international reputation, wisely refusing an invitation to settle in England.
Books on Guercino
Nicholas Turner, The Paintings of Guercino: A Revised and Expanded Catalogue Raisonné, Rome, 2017.
Sir Denis Mahon, ed., Guercino: Master Painter of the Baroque, exh. cat., Washington, D.C., 1992.
Carlo Cesare Malvasia, Felsina Pittrice: Live of the Bolognese Painters, 1678, trans. ed. Elizabeth Cropper, Washington D.C., 2012.