Reference Entry

Reni, Guido

Richard E. Spear

in Oxford Art Online

ISBN: 9780198662037
Published online January 2003 | e-ISBN: 9781884446054 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/gao/9781884446054.article.T071466
Reni, Guido

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(b Bologna, Nov 4, 1575; d Bologna, Aug 18, 1642).

Italian painter, draughtsman and etcher. He was one of the greatest and most influential of the 17th-century Italian painters, whose sophisticated and complex art dominated the Bolognese school. A classicizing artist, deeply influenced by Greco-Roman art and by Raphael but also by the mannered elegance of Parmigianino’s paintings, he sought an ideal beauty; his work was especially celebrated for its compositional and figural grace. In his religious art he was concerned with the expression of intense emotion, often charged with pathos; according to his biographer Malvasia, he boasted that he ‘could paint heads with their eyes uplifted a hundred different ways’ to give form to a state of ecstasy or divine inspiration. He was a subtle yet bold colourist, moving from the brilliant colour of his early paintings to the light tonalities and cool, silvery palette of his later work.

Guido was the only child of Daniele Reni (d...

Reference Entry.  7452 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Painting ; Prints and Printmaking ; Renaissance Art

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