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Guido Cagnacci (1601–1663) is among the most eccentric painters of seventeenth-century Italy. His works, mostly religious in subject, are known for their unabashed, often unsettling eroticism and his biography is no less intriguing.
Though his pictorial style was influenced by some of the greatest painters of his time — the Carracci, Guercino, and Guido Reni — Cagnacci was almost entirely forgotten during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Exhibitions in Rimini and Bologna in the 1950s revived the interest of Italian art historians and writers, but he remains little-known outside of his home country. This fall, his ambitious Repentant Magdalene will be on view in The Frick Collection's East Gallery. A masterpiece of the Italian baroque, the large-scale canvas has not been seen outside of California since its acquisition by the Norton Simon Museum in 1982.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website
Whether you go or not, the exhibition catalog, The Art of Guido Cagnacci, is the first full account in English of the painter’s life and work and provides an overview of his astonishing artistic achievements. Guido Cagnacci (1601-1663) was one of the most original and idiosyncratic painters in seventeenth-century Italy. Trained in Bologna and Rome, he led an extraordinary life, between Romagna, Venice and Vienna. This book examines Cagnacci's life and his eccentric work, from his early religious paintings to the later canvases showing ancient heroines and allegorical and biblical figures, often in defiantly sensual attitudes.