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Guernico image

Guercino (Giovanni Francesco Barbieri; 1591–1666)
The Holy Family,1620s
Black, red, and brown chalk, blue pastel, with gray wash
14 x 10 1/2 inches (356 x 267 mm)
Gift of J. P. Morgan, Jr., 1924; I, 99
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A highly talented and prolific draftsman, Guercino spent his career almost exclusively in Emilia. This drawing is unique in his oeuvre for its high degree of finish and use of multiple colored chalks, wash, and blue pastel, which indicate that it was likely intended for sale or presentation to a patron or friend. Stylistic analogies with the artist’s frescoes in the dome of Piacenza cathedral suggest that this display of virtuoso draftsmanship probably also dates to the 1620s.

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The programs of The Morgan Library & Museum are made possible with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Background images: Photography by Todd Eberle unless otherwise noted. © 2006 Todd Eberle.