Guercino [key], 1591–1666, Italian painter whose original name was Giovanni Francesco Barbieri, b. near Bologna. He studied with Ludovico Carracci. Extremely skillful, prolific, and quick to finish his work, he was known for his frescoes, altarpieces, oils, and drawings. Between 1621 and 1623 he was in Rome, where he painted the Baroque ceiling frescos (Aurora) of the Casino Ludovisi and his superb Burial of St. Petronilla (Capitoline Mus., Rome). The classicist tendencies prevalent in Rome caused him to alter his style so that he never equaled the dramatic intensity of his early work. An extensive collection of his drawings is in the Royal Library at Windsor and other examples of his work are included in such major collections as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Hermitage, and the Getty Museum.
See D. Mahon, Studies in Seicento Art and Theory (1947); J. Brooks, Guercino: Mind to Paper (2006); S. Prasad, Guercino: Stylistic Evolution in Focus (2006).
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