Study of Man's Head Wearing Turban and Profile of a Boy's Head (Front); Four Studies of Hands (Reverse)

WAG 1995.51


Giovanni Francesco Barbieri, usually called Guercino ('the squinter' in Italian, due to a cross-eyed squint that he supposedly acquired after a childhood accident), was one of the leading Italian painters of the seventeenth century and a brilliant and prolific draughtsman, whose drawings were avidly acquired by art collectors. The traditional attribution to Guercino is based on the main study of the man, similar in proportion, style and medium to works by Guercino in the Royal Collection. Guercino was known to use oil charcoal with sparse white heightening although he largely chose this medium for nude sketches. An alternative attribution to the Bolgnese painter Pietro Faccini has been suggested, on the basis that he too favoured this technique.