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Painting of man in grey robe, holding painting of women in right hand, on cover of 'Guercino's Friar with a Gold Earring, Fra Bonaventura Bisi, Painter and Art Dealer', by Scala Arts.

Guercino's Friar with a Gold Earring

Fra Bonaventura Bisi, Painter and Art Dealer

By (author) David M. Stone
Contributions by Sarah Cartwright


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  • First full investigation into Guercino’s intriguing portrait and its sitter
  • Offers new scholarship based on extensive archival research and supporting illustrations
  • Investigates how drawings were appreciated and collected in the 17th century
  • Provides an up-to-date overview of 17th-century Italian miniature painting
  • Accompanies the exhibition of the same title at The Ringling, Sarasota FL, from 14 October 2023-21 January 2024
Full Description

Who is the intriguing man wearing a religious habit and a gold hoop earring in this portrait by Italian Baroque master Il Guercino? And why does he point to a stack of drawings? This fascinating book investigates The Ringling’s portrait of Fra Bonaventura Bisi, a Franciscan Minor Conventual friar whose work as an art dealer, printmaker, and celebrated painter of miniatures made him a major figure in the artistic culture of 17th-century Bologna. Beautifully illustrated, this volume offers new scholarship on both Guercino’s portrait and Fra Bisi’s life, including his extraordinary miniatures, his dogged pursuit of artworks for high-ranking collectors, his passionate efforts to promote the appreciation and collecting of drawings, and – not least – his incongruous gold hoop earring.

Published to accompany an important exhibition of the same name at The Ringling (14 October 2023-07 January 2024), this book, based on years of research, provides a captivating glimpse into art making and art collecting in Baroque Italy.

About the Author

David M. Stone is Professor Emeritus at the University of Delaware and a specialist in 17th-century Italian art. Sarah Cartwright is Ulla R. Searing Curator of Collections at The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art.

Scala Arts & Heritage Publishers
13th Oct 2023
Paperback / softback
279 mm x 241 mm
144 Pages
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