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Giovanni  Francesco  Barbieri,  called  Guercino  (1591-­‐1666)     and  his  workshop,   Bologna,  ante  1652   Silvio  Finding  Dorinda  Wounded,  oil  on  canvas,  240  x  292  cm,   and   Erminia  Finding  Tancredi  Wounded,  oil  on  canvas,  240  x  292  cm     Giuseppe  Antonio  Guattani  mentioned  as  first  our  two  paintings  in  1806  in  the  "  Memorie   Enciclopediche  Romane"  saying  that  Pietro  Bonato  engraved  plates  by  copying  two  original   works  by  Guercino,  who  were  in  the  building  of  a  family  of  Bologna,  the  heirs  Zagnoni.     Pietro  Bonato  (1765-­‐1820)  was  an  artist  friend  of  Canova,  that  in  1805-­‐1806  made  the   mentioned  engravings  on  copper  (etching  and  engraving)  of  our  two  paintings  with  the   legend  "  FRANCESCO  BARBIERI  DETTO  IL  GUERCINO  DIPINSE  /  DOMENICO  DEL  FRATE   DISEGNÒ  /  PIETRO  BONATO  VENETO  BASSANESE  INCISE  ROMA  /...  “       Sir  Denis  Mahon  wrote  on  24  January  2003  about  our  paintings:  “The  two  copies  must  have   been  seen  in  Guercino’s  workshop  by  someone  who  realised  that  the  two  “pastoral”  would  make   an  excellent  pair  for  the  iconographical  point  of  view,  and  bought  then  both.  They  remained   together  ever  since.  They  were  engraved  together    as  originals    by  Pietro  Bonati  in  1805  and   1806.  I  myself  saw  both  pictures  for  the  first  time  in  the  possession  of  Barone  Zezza  in  Rome  in   1949.“       Most  probably  a  cultivated  visitor  who  saw  in  Guercino’s  Bottega  the  first  two  versions  of   Erminia  Finding  Tancredi  Wounded  (1)    and  Silvio  Finding  Dorinda  Wounded  (2)  destined,  as   we  know,  to  two  different  patrons,  was  not  simply  astonished  by  the  surprise  of  the  tragic   representation,  the  effect  of  the  “meraviglia”,  but  discovered  on  the  mean  time  at  first  the   fascinating  baroque  link  connecting  them  and  wanted  both  of  them.  So  he  had  to  commission   the  two  impressive  paintings  by  Guercino,  before  the  models  left  the  workshop.  Doing  that,  he   joined  them  until  nowadays.     Sir   Denis   Mahon   examined   the   photographic   documentation   of   the   restorations   for   the   first   time   on   Wednesday,   27   September   2000   in   London.   He   congratulated   on   the   painstaking   restoration   work,   that   has   restored   the   paintings   light   and   volume.   In   this   occasion   he   was   glad   to   recognise   Guercino's   direct   interventions   in   particular   in   Silvio's   face,   but   also   in                                                                                                                   1 244 x 287 cm; “This day, the 6th of May 1652 her Serene Highness the Archduchess of Mantova paid by means of Mister Quaranta Sampi of Bologna, the painting representing Erminia and Tancredi that had been ordered by his Eminence Savelli, and there were Ungari n.o 300. That makes Scudi 375 (Account Book of Guercino, 454) - Howard ex Castle, today at the National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh. 2 224 x 291 cm; 16th January 1647, finally paid on July 3, 1647 by the Sig. Count Alfonso di Novellara Lire 617 = scudi 154; today at the Staatliche Gemäldegalerie, Dresden, Katalog der ausgestellten Werke Nr. 367.


various   other   parts   of   his   works.   These   were   only   conjecturable   before   because   they   were   unrecognisable   under   the   thick   coat   of   yellowish   paint   covering   and   flattening   the   two   paintings.   The   appearance   of   bright   and   vivid   colours,   which   could   not   even   be   guessed   before,   the   landscape   details   reappeared   from   century-­‐old   darkness,   the   despair   expression   on   Silvio's   face,  who  could  not  believe  the  tragedy,  or  Erminia's  tears,  can  be  documented  with  photos,   but  only  direct  view  of  the  works  can  confirm  the  impression  of  strength  and  character  that   are   evidence   of   a   remarkable   autography   by   Guercino   in   terms   of   significant   and   marked   direct  interventions  in  both  paintings,  but  above  all  in  Silvio  and  Dorinda  and  less  extended  in   Erminia  and  Tancredi.   Maurizio  Marini  checked  the  two  works  on  the  occasion  of  the  Exhibition  COLLECTIO  at  the   Aion  Art  Center  in  Ascona  in  the  summer  of  2008  and  wrote  extensively,  calling  them  both   autographed  by  Guercino,  painted  under  his  personal  direction,  in  his  bottega,  with  important   direct  interventions,  in  the  highest  quality,  using  the  same  pigments  and  technique  as  for  the   first  versions.     About  the  high  quality  technical  execution,  with  the  characteristic  use  of  the  most  precious   pigments  such  as  lapis  lazuli,  used  pure,  see  in  this  regard  the  analysis  and  technical  reports   by:   -­‐  Swiss  Institute  for  Art  Research,  Institut  für  Schweizerische  Kunstwissenschaft,  SIK,  Zürich,   analysis  conducted  under  the  direction  of  Dr.  Christoph  Herm,  Leiter  und   Kunsttechnologieforschung  Labor,  Reports  of  the  0021st-­‐b  09/12/2000;   -­‐  Monumental  Art  International  Pancella,  Grand  Rue  20,  CH-­‐1820  Montreux,  analysis   conducted  under  the  direction  of  chemical  ITIS  /  UTS,  director  Renato  Pancella,  Rapport   08/2000/MAIP  of  20.09.2000;   -­‐  Pedrocchi,  Sabrina,  Report  of  restoration,  Losone,  February  2001;     I  also  remember  that  the  two  works  left  Italy  legally  as  not  notified  by  the  Italian  Government   and  that  an  investigation  commissioned  by  the  ART  Loss  Register  in  London  on  March,  2th,   1998,  confirmed  that  the  two  works  are  not  hung  claims  whatsoever.     For  more  details,  I  make  reference  to  my  attached  reports.     Claudio  Metzger  


Relazione - Claudio Metzger 2008  

Relazione - Claudio Metzger 2008

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