The exhibition features over 25 Guercino drawings from the Morgan Library’s own collection as well as additional pieces on loan from public and private New York collections. It traces the entire span of the artist’s career and showcases the broad range of media he employed to create his drawings.
Born in 1591 in Cento, Italy as Giovanni Francesco Barbieri, Guercino was a self-taught artist who received various influences throughout the course of his career, starting from the Carracci brothers’ work in Bologna, from which he took inspiration to create figures drawn from everyday life as well as poignant caricatures.
The show also showcases various preparatory drawings that the artist made as he worked on creating his altarpieces, as well as studies of engravings, which allow the viewer to understand his process, to see how he worked and reworked his creations to achieve the desired effect. As Curator John Marciari puts it, "It's like seeing his mind at work.”
Viewers can also admire various finished landscape and figure drawings created as independent works. All these pieces - some well-known while others are recent acquisitions - have never been exhibited or published together as a group.
This is therefore an incredible opportunity to get acquainted with one of the most interesting and diverse yet still little-known artists of the Italian Baroque, a rich and dynamic era which saw the production of some of the most remarkable works in the western art historical canon.