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Rome Reports

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Guido Reni's St. Andrew Corsini comes to Rome for first time

Guido Reni is one of the most-recognized classical painters. He was born in 1575 in Bologna and among his best known works is this one: St. Andrew Corsini.

Stefano Pierguidi is curator of the exhibition and also a professor of Art History. He says bringing all these works together in the Eternal City is a great event.

Curator of the Exhibition
“This one you can see behind me, on the right, comes from the Uffizi Museum in Florence. It represents St. Andrew Corsini. It was painted by Guido Reni at the request of the Corsini family in 1630 to celebrate Pope Urban VIII's canonization.”

The National Gallery of Ancient Art of Rome has managed to display 15 of Guido Reni's masterpieces. There are also some replicas that his disciples have produced. These help people to understand better the history and evolution of the Bologna painter.

Curator of the Exhibition
“The idea for this exhibition came from a desire to combine this work with its replicas, which were made almost a century later in 1732. This was when Pope Corsini, Clement XII, occupied St. Peter's chair. He wanted to build a new family chapel in St. John Lateran and adorn it with a mosaic on the altar with an extremely precious material. This was to imitate the invention of Guido Reni.”

Guido Reni not only had a great capacity for painting, he also had a gift for mosaics. So much so that it is impossible to distinguish the mosaic from a normal painting from a distance.

Another curious work by Reni is this fresco of an angel made in 1629. It was directly applied to a wall that was eventually torn out and framed. 

It has been 400 years since this artist's talent became known; and yet for art lovers it remains a point of reference to be seen up close in Rome until Feb. 17.