Oil on canvas, 111.5cm x 93.5cm.
The artist was cross-eyed and early in life acquired the nickname Guercino, meaning ‘squinter’ in Italian. He was largely self-taught, but joined the workshop of Benedetto Gennari of the Bolognese School, at the age of 16. He worked at tremendous speed and became prolific as both a painter and a draughtsman. His later works were close in style to that of his contemporary, Guido Reni, and after the latter’s death, Guercino moved his busy workshop to Bologna, where he became the city’s leading painter.