Home Online catalogues Studi & Schizzi 44. Giovanni Francesco Barbieri, called Guercino Cento 1591 – 1666 Bologna The Risen Christ and the Virgin Mary, circa 1628 – 1630 This is a primo pensiero, an initial compositional sketch for The Risen Christ Appearing to the Virgin Mary (1628-30, Pinacoteca Civica, Cento), one of Guercino’s finest paintings. Here the artist has drawn the figures half-length, omitting the ample drapery that plays such a strong visual role in the painting, and which was studied separately in red chalk (Staatsgalerie, Stuttgart). In our drawing, Guercino concentrates on the relationship between Christ and the Virgin, who kisses her son’s hand as he embraces her. This closeness and emotionality are modified in the final painting. Relocated to one side, Mary places a tentative hand on Christ’s wound, who’s body is ￼￼￼￼portrayed in full light. Guercino’s painting thus gained the clarity that characterises his classic style.