Landscape with a Boat on a River and Figures on a BankEnlarge image

Landscape with a Boat on a River and Figures on a Bank, c. 1630-1640

Italian, 1591 - 1666
pen and brown ink on cream laid paper
26.4 x 42.4 cm
Purchased 1937
National Gallery of Canada (no. 4359)

Guercino’s landscape drawings generally appear to have been made as exercises in independent draughtsmanship rather than as preparatory for the backgrounds of his commissioned paintings. This sheet shows a shuttle boat carrying passengers across a river possibly situated just outside of Guercino’s native Cento, of which the silhouette appears in the background. The facile precision and elegance of the sketch, in which the artist did not tolerate any obvious corrections, can be contrasted with Annibale Carracci’s more private exercises in landscape drawing.


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