Guido Reni

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Guido Reni


born Nov. 4, 1575, Bologna, Papal States [Italy]
died Aug. 18, 1642, Bologna

early Italian Baroque painter noted for the classical idealism of his renderings of mythological and religious subjects.

First apprenticed to the Flemish painter Denis Calvaert at the age of 10, Reni was later influenced by the novel naturalism of the Carracci, a Bolognese family of painters. In 1599 he was received into the guild of painters, and after 1601 he divided his time between his studios in Bologna and Rome. Upon gaining prominence Reni surrounded himself with helpers—such as Giovanni Lanfranco, Francesco Albani, and Antonio Carracci—who were fascinated by his noble if somewhat tyrannical personality.

In his early career Reni executed important commissions for Pope Paul V and Scipione Cardinal Borghese, painting numerous frescoes in chapels for these and other patrons. Among these works is the celebrated fresco “Aurora” (1613–14). In his religious and mythological paintings, Reni evolved a style that tempered Baroque exuberance and complexity with classical restraint. Such compositions as “Atalanta and Hippomenes” (1625) show his preference for gracefully posed figures that mirror antique ideals. In the later part of his career, Reni employed lighter tones, softer colours, and extremely free brushwork.

Except for the work of the Carracci family, the frescoes of Raphael and ancient Greek sculptures were the main inspiration for Reni's art. He strove toward a classical harmony in which reality is presented in idealized proportions. The mood of his paintings is calm and serene, as are the studied softness of colour and form. His religious compositions made him one of the most famous painters of his day in Europe, and a model for other Italian Baroque artists.

Encyclopædia Britannica

St Cecilia
Oil on canvas, 94 x 75 cm
Norton Simon Museum of Art, Pasadena

Baptism of Christ
c. 1623
Oil on canvas, 263,5 x 186,5 cm
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

The Boy Bacchus
Oil on canvas, 87 x 70 cm
Galleria Palatina (Palazzo Pitti), Florence

David with the Head of Goliath
Oil on canvas, 220 x 145 cm
Musee du Louvre, Paris

Girl with a Rose
Oil on canvas, 81 x 62 cm
Museo del Prado, Madrid

Massacre of the Innocents
Oil on canvas, 268 x 170 cm
Pinacoteca Nazionale, Bologna

The Gathering of the Manna
Oil on canvas, 280 x 170 cm
Cathedral, Ravenna

Oil on canvas
Galleria Borghese, Rome


The Rape of Dejanira
Oil on canvas, 259 x 193 cm
Musee du Louvre, Paris

The Triumph of Samson
Oil on canvas
Pinacoteca Nazionale, Bologna

Portrait of an Old Woman
Oil on canvas, 34,5 x 28 cm
Pinacoteca Nazionale, Bologna

Angel of the Annunciation
Oil on canvas, 58,5 x 46,5 cm
Landesmuseum, Oldenburg

Virgin of the Annunciation
Oil on canvas, 58,5 x 46,5 cm
Landesmuseum, Oldenburg

St Joseph
Oil on canvas
Basilica dei Santi Giovanni e Paolo, Venice

St Joseph with the Infant Jesus
c. 1635
Oil on canvas, 126 x 101 cm
The Hermitage, St. Petersburg


The Coronation of the Virgin
oil on brass
Musee Bonnat, Bayonne, France

St Matthew and the Angel
Oil on canvas, 85 x 68 cm
Pinacoteca, Vatican


Marienkronung mit Hl. Katharina von Alexandrien, Hl. Johannes Evangelist,
Hl. Johannes der Taufer, Hl. Romuald von Camaldoli


Hl. Johannes der Taufer


Hl. Sebastian



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