St. Luke

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Giovanni Battista Pasqualini
St. Luke
7 1/8 x 6 inches (181 x 153 mm)
Gift of Jack Henry Kunin.
Jack Henry Kunin.
Marciari, John. Guercino : virtuoso draftsman. New York : Morgan Library & Museum, in association with Paul Holberton Publishing, 2019, p. 38.
Lettered at lower left: Io. Franciscus. Barberius. Centensis. Inu; at lower right: Io. Bapt.a pasqualinus. Centensis. Sculpsit.

This print is related to a drawing of the same subject by Guercino in the Morgan's collection (inv. no. 2009.155). The printmaker Giovanni Battista Pasqualini (1595-1631) was born in Cento to a prominent local family and was likely one of Guercino's pupils in the painter's Accademia del Nudo. Pasqualini perhaps learned the art of engraving from Oliviero Gatti when Gatti came to Cento to work on the prints after Guercino's drawing manual. Soon thereafter, however, Pasqualini became Guercino's primary printmaker, and he produced more than sixty prints after Guercino's designs between 1618 - 1631. Very early in their collaboration, in 1618 or 1619, Guercino provided Pasqualini with drawings for engravings of the Four Evangelists. Unlike many of Pasqualini's prints, these do not appear to have been related to paintings (or to preparatory drawings for paintings) by Guercino, but rather, constituted an end in themselves. Presumably, the experience of having his drawing-manual studies turned into engravings and also of producing new drawings specifically to be made into prints were factors in Guercino's development of what David Stone has labeled his "gravure style," pen and ink drawings made with a combination of hatching and stippling that was surely meant to help Pasqualini transmit the designs to the copperplate. The technique is readily apparent here, and a comparison of the drawing with Pasqualini's engraved St. Luke makes clear how much Pasqualini relied on Guercino's design: although Pasqualini simplified some of the hatching, he still used stippling as shading in the areas where Guercino used stippling in the drawing. It is also noteworthy that areas of the drawing that are not crisply drawn-the saint;s eye, most notably, where the pupil is lost in heavy ink shadows-are likewise problematic in the engraving. Two other preparatory drawings from the print series are known. The drawing for St. Mark is in the Albertina, Vienna, and that for St. Matthew is in the Uffizi. -- Catalog entry: Guercino : virtuoso draftsman, Morgan Library & Museum, 2019, p. 38.