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Cento ca. 1591 - 1666 Bologna
Price range
250,000 – 3,000,000 USD +
Giovanni Francesco Barbieri, whose nickname Guercino means ‘squint eye’, has always been one of the most admired artists of the seventeenth-century Bolognese school.

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.

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Selected Artworks

Top 3 auction prices

2,375,263 $
2,415,000 $
7,864,747 $
From our journal
Notable exhibitions

Piacenza, Palazzo Farnese and Duomo, Guercino: tra sacro e profano, 4 march – 4 June 2017. Curated by Daniele Benati.

Milan, Palazzo Reale, Guercino: Poesia e Sentimento nella Pittura del ‘600, 27 September 2003 – 18 January 2004. Curated by Denis Mahon, Massimo Pulini, Vittorio Sgarbi.

Bologna, Pinacoteca Nazionale, Giovanni Francesco Barbieri, Il Guercino, 1591-1966, 6 July – 10 November 1991; travelled to Cento, Pinacoteca Civica e Chiesa del Rosario; Frankfurt am Main, Schirn Kunsthalle, 2 December 1991 – 9 February 1992; Washington D.C., National Gallery of Art, 15 March – 17 May 1992. Curated by Sir Denis Mahon.

Cambridge, Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Guercino, Master Draftsman: Works from North American Collections, 15 February – 31 March 1991; travelled to Ottawa, National Gallery of Canada, 3 May – 16 June 1991; Cleveland, Cleveland Museum of Art, 27 August – 13 October 1991. Curated by David M. Stone.

Paris, Musée du Louvre, Le Guerchin en France, 13 May – 12 November 1990. Curated by Stéphane Loire.

Bologna, Palazzo dell’Archiginnasio, Il Guercino (Giovanni Francesco Barbieri, 1591-1666): Catologo critico dei Disegni. 1 September – 18 November 1968.


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.

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