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GIOVANNI FRANCESCO BARBIERI, IL GUERCINO (Cento 1591-1666 Bologna) The Holy Spirit Appearing to St. Gregory.
Red chalk on cream laid paper, late 1640s. 285x200 mm; 11 1/4x7 3/4 inches.
Ex-collection Sir Thomas Lawrence (Lugt 2446, lower right recto).
According to Nicholas Turner, who has seen this drawing in person, there is another drawing by Guercino, a pen and ink study of a Half-length Figure of St. Gregory Seated on a Throne, now in the Eric Rose Collection, that must relate with the current work to the same unfulfilled commission for a painting of St. Gregory. Around 1647, Guercino had completed a large altarpiece for the church of San Paolo, Bologna, with St. Gregory Pointing Out to Christ the Souls Suffering in Purgatory. There is also the earlier oil painting by Guercino of a similarly-posed Saint Gregory the Great with Jesuit Saints, circa 1623, now at the National Gallery of Art, London.