|St. Luke Displaying a Painting of the Virgin, 1652-53, Guercino
|Guercino was one of the most prolific painters of his time, turning out
during his lifetime some 106 altarpieces alone, plus another 144 other
paintings, not to mention a huge portfolio of pen and ink drawing's.
|Though the church likely kept him too busy to paint portraits,
Guercino's self-portraits indicate he could have. The one on
the left suggests that he appears to have eaten quite well
from his painting efforts.
|Guercino's secular subjects were as popular as his religious works.
Most large-scale paintings brought him around 300 gold ducats each
|Et in Arcadia ego, 1618-22, Guercino (Giovanni Barbieri).
The title derives from the words carved beneath the skull.
The years 1621–23 found Guercino in Rome, where he was extremely productive. From this period come his frescoes Aurora at the casino of the Villa Ludovisi, the ceiling in San Crisogono (1622) of San Chrysogonus in Glory, the portrait of Pope Gregory XV, and The Burial of Saint Petronilla (sometimes called the St. Petronilla Altarpiece) for the Vatican. Following the death of Pope Gregory XV, Guercino returned to his hometown where he began his frescoes in the Duomo of Piacenza. Guercino's career after 1629 is well documented in an account book that Guercino and his brother, Paolo Antonio Barbieri, kept updated, and which has been preserved. In 1642, after the death of Guido Reni, Guercino moved his workshop to Bologna where he became the city's principal painter. The prices he received for his work would seem astounding, even today. In 1655, the Franciscan Order of Reggio paid him 300 gold ducats (about $25,000) for the altarpiece of Saint Luke Displaying a Painting of the Virgin and Child (top). In 1657 the Corsini family also paid him 300 ducats for the Flagellation of Christ(pictured above among the Life of Christ paintings).
|Guercino also specialized in figures from the Old Testament
as well as those from the parables of Christ.
|Notice that only Guercino's early works, from around 1615, suggest the influence of Caravaggio, while his later "mature" work, though definitely Baroque, tend toward a style all his own.
|One of Guercino's more amusing