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Giovanni Francesco Barbieri, called Guercino
Cento, Ferrara, 1591-Bologna, 1666
Landscape with Tobias and the Angel, ca. 1616
Oil on copper.
Coming to the Tigris River, the angel Raphael commanded the young Tobias to seize a great fish and to save its entrails, which would cure both the madness of his wife-to-be, Sarah, and the blindness of his father, Tobit. Gercino translated this tale of faith, revelation, and reward from the Old Testament Apocrypha, into a scene of mysterious nature, breaking day, and exultant beauty. The complete fusion of these elements into a conception of unprecedented sensory appeal, practically submerging itself, is Guercino’s own great invention, which others would develop into High Baroque style.