New York City, NY
Giovanni Francesco Barbieri, known as Guercino (1591–1666), was arguably the most interesting and diverse draftsman of the Italian Baroque era, a natural virtuoso who created brilliant drawings in a broad range of media. The Morgan owns more than twenty-five works by the artist, and these are the subject of a focused exhibition, supplemented by a handful of loans from public and private New York collections.
The exhibition includes sheets from all moments of the artist’s career. His early awareness of the work of the Carracci in Bologna is documented by figures drawn from everyday life as well as brilliant caricatures; two drawings for Guercino’s own drawing manual are further testament to his interest in questions of academic practice. Following his career, a range of preparatory drawings includes studies made in connection with his earliest altarpieces as well as his mature masterpieces, including multiple studies for several projects, allowing the visitor to see Guercino’s mind at work as he reconsidered his ideas. The Morgan’s holdings also include studies for engravings, as well as highly finished landscape and figure drawings that were independent works. While some of the Morgan’s Guercino drawings are well known, they have never been exhibited or published as a group, and the selection includes a number of new acquisitions.
Guercino: Virtuoso Draftsman continues a series of exhibitions focused on highlights from the Morgan’s collection.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website