Giovanni Francesco Barbieri, called Il Guercino - Saint Dominic
Giovanni Francesco Barbieri, called Il Guercino
Oil on canvas (relined). 79.5 x 58 cm.
Nicholas Turner published his catalogue raisonné of the works of Guercino in 2017. He discovered this depiction of Saint Dominic one year later. The archives and the artist's commission records include two paintings ordered by Prince Roberto Obizzi on 14th December 1631, the whereabouts of which long remained a mystery (B. Ghelfi op. cit.). In his extensive expertise written in 2018, Turner identified the present work as one of the pieces ordered by Prince Obizzi. This is the only one of Guercino's works to depict a single figure of Saint Dominic. The whereabouts of the pendant, an image of Saint Andreas Corsini, remains unknown to this day.
The 12th century Spanish saint is depicted leaning slightly towards the right, dressed in the typical black and white habit of his order, the Dominicans, and holding a book and cross. The finely rendered facial features are of the typically robust type found in many of Guercino's male figures. Turner notes that this work can be dated to the artist's transitional phase that began in around 1625 and lasted until circa 1635.
Nicholas Turner, London 28.092018
English private ownership.
B. Ghelfi: Il libro dei conti del Guercino, 1629-1666, Bologna 1997, p. 63, no. 43.
For more on this artist cf.: N. Turner:The paintings of Guercino. A Revised and expanded Catalogue raisonné, Rome 2017.