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The Young Saint John the Baptist
Photo credit: Christ Church, University of Oxford

The Young Saint John the Baptist

Guido Reni (1575–1642)

Christ Church, University of Oxford

(b Bologna, 4 Nov. 1575; d Bologna, 18 Aug. 1642). Bolognese painter, draughtsman, and occasional etcher. From about 1584 to 1593 he was a pupil of Calvaert, then transferred to the academy run by the Carracci, where he absorbed their tradition of clear, firm draughtsmanship. By 1601 he had moved to Rome and he was based there until 1614, although he made frequent visits to Bologna. He flirted briefly with the Caravaggesque manner (Crucifixion of St Peter, 1603, Pinacoteca, Vatican), but Raphael and the antique were the main inspiration for his graceful classical style, as is seen in his most celebrated work, Aurora (1614, Casino dell' Aurora, Palazzo Rospiglioso-Pallavacini, Rome), a captivatingly beautiful ceiling fresco painted for Cardinal Scipione Borghese.

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


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