Il ritorno a Cento

His fame came to England, where some people would have liked to host him ’by offering a yearly generous pension and pay him the works at what price he intended", but Guercino was not one to “resolve to abandon the home and family and in the best way possibile resolve commitment” and sent to London the Semiramis receiving the news of the revolt of Babylon, - now in Boston – a typical example of a living room painting, loved by its patrons.

His early paintings of this new period were the Assumption painted for Count Alessandro Tanari of Bologna - now in the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg - the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple in London, where to the strong color contrasts of the paintings of the first manner succeed now illumination and a rigor in the composition of the Roman Raphaelism style of Domenichino, and the Crucifixion of the Madonna della Ghiara in Reggio Emilia, approaching the classically composed style of Guido Reni.

Called on 12 May 1626 by the Bishop of Piacenza to keep the frescoes in the dome which were interrupted by the death of Morazzone, he completed the work in 1627: in the basin of the dome, divided into eight sectors, he added to the two of the Morazzone other six Prophets, decorating the underlying lunettes sails with scenes from the New Testament and under these, a frieze of putti: the technical difficulties of having to paint quickly a fresco and strong glimpse of him were overcome by using numerous and meticulous designs, earning the praise of the historian Lanzi while also the Marangoni, detected as " Guercino can not forget Rome," admits that "anyway it’s quite ok", although he claims that represent "the last flashes a flame that will shut down soon."

Back in Cento, he painted there starting from 1628 for the Oratory of the Name of God that Christ appearing to the Virgin, now in the Pinacoteca Civica, which was highly praised by critics of that time: Algarotti said he had never seen two figures staying better in a picture, or "the light tight and Guercino spot" fit here better than in his other paintings, while Calvi said there is "a something more accurate in design, certain best choice of drapery and arias expressive and beautiful heads, very harness led with love, beyond the usual height and gentleness of colors and the high relief of the figures."

But others see in that harness, drapery and relief, just the limit that stiffens and weighs down the otherwise happy choice of the pyramidal construction of the two figures. Opened in the painting is the reference to the use of color and the classicism of Reni: “Guercino drapery style and the behavior of its figures compete with harmonious choreography, almost like a ballet, which are located in the Reni paintings [...] The abstract motifs of the drapery and the insistent geometry of the composition [...] signal the end of the transition period of Guercino and the beginning of a genuine and innovative Baroque classicism.”

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