Barbieri, Giovanni Francesco

Barbieri, Giovanni Francesco (called Guercino), an Italian painter, was born at the village of Cento, in Ferrara, in 1590. Befre he was ten years old, he painted a figure of the Virgin on the facade of his father's house which woutd have been thought a very remarkable production even at a more advanced age. At different periods of his life he followed three different. styles. In early life he imitated Michael Angelo Caravaggio in his violent contrasts of light and shadow. After visiting Bologna, Venice, and Rome, he chose a style distinguished by a grander and more elevated taste and design. In the middle of his life he commenced his stupendous work of the dome of Piacenza. Malvasia gives a list of one hundred and six altar-pieces for the churches, One hundred and forty-four large historical pictures besides his great fresco works, and numerous Madonnas, portraits, landscapes, and private collections. Later in life, after the death of Guido, the great fame of that painter induced him again to change his style, but in this great undertaking he fell into feebleness and languor. In this weak state he painted most of his works for the churches at Bologna, also The Marriage of the Virgin, in the Church of San Paterniano at Faro. He left a great number of drawings, which are highly valued. He died in 1606.

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