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(bapt. Cento, nr. Bologna, 8 Feb. [b ?2 Feb.] 1591; d Bologna, 22 Dec. 1666). One of the outstanding Italian painters and draughtsmen of the 17th century; his nickname Guercino (‘Squinter’) was given to him because of an eye defect that is said to have been caused by a childhood accident. He seems to have been mainly self-taught, and his early work drew on a variety of north Italian sources, notably Ludovico Carracci and Venetian painting, to create a highly individual style characterized by dramatic and capricious lighting, strong colour, and broad, vigorous brushwork.

Text Source: The Oxford Dictionary of Art and Artists (Oxford University Press)