Baroque and Rococo


Baroque and Rococo Art Map


Guido Reni


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.



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


Susanna and the Elders

c. 1620
Oil on canvas, 113 x 118 cm
City Art Gallery, Auckland


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


Cleopatra with the Asp

c. 1630
Oil on canvas, 113,7 x 94,9 cm
Royal Collection, Windsor



Oil on canvas, 122 x 96 cm
Galleria Palatina (Palazzo Pitti), Florence


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



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