Viewpoint Lecture with David M. Stone

Viewpoint Lecture with David M. Stone

Talks & Lectures
Ticket Required
Student Discount
Member Discount
October 13, 2023
Historic Asolo Theater
$10 / $5 for Members and Students

Two Artists in Dialogue: Guercino’s Portrait of Bisi in Context

Presented by David M. Stone, Professor Emeritus, University of Delaware, and co-curator of the exhibition Guercino’s Friar with a Gold Earring: Fra Bonaventura Bisi, Painter and Art Dealer. The exhibition will be on view Oct 14, 2023-Jan 7, 2024

In 2015, The Ringling acquired a rare portrait by the celebrated Bolognese baroque painter Giovanni Francesco Barbieri, called Il Guercino (Cento 1591–1666 Bologna). The painting, which was unknown in the literature before 1992, depicts a little-studied but significant figure in the history of seventeenth-century Italian art, Fra Bonaventura Bisi (1601–1659), a Franciscan Minor Conventual friar at the Church of San Francesco at Bologna. This lecture by Professor Stone, an international authority on Guercino, reveals the fascinating life of Fra Bisi, a passionate collector and dealer of Italian drawings who served important clients such as Duke Francesco I d’Este and his son Alfonso IV of Modena, as well as Leopoldo de’ Medici of Florence. Guercino’s enigmatic portrait, which features Bisi’s odd gold hoop earring side by side with a bookshelf full of erudite theological texts, will also be explored in the context of Bisi’s other passion: the creation of miniature paintings reproducing works by Raphael, Parmigianino, Guido Reni, and other great masters. This talk asks new questions about the portrait, the relationship between Guercino and Bisi, and the early history of the collecting of old master drawings.

Following this lecture, all ticket holders are invited to join the Member’s Exhibition Preview to celebrate the exhibitions Guercino’s Friar with a Gold Earring: Fra Bonaventura Bisi, Painter and Art Dealer and 500 Years of Italian Drawings from the Princeton University Art Museum with a cash bar, light bites, and stimulating art.