Giovanni GUERRA - 1544 - 1618
Two Angels Appearing to Saint Francis who is Seated in the Thorns
and from his Blood spring forth Roses
Modenese School

Pen and brown ink, brown wash, over black chalk

16.5 x 27.0 cm

Watermark :

Euro :

Three Mounts in a Circle with a Star Above
Briquet 11932 dated to Rome between 1578 and 1590



Giovanni Guerra, born in Modena in 1544, went at an early age to Rome where he is mentioned by Giorgio Vasari as “Giovanni Modenese”, one of the twelve artists who worked in the Sala Regia. His earliest Roman works are found in the gateway of Castel San Angelo and on some pilasters in the Loggia of Gregory XIII. He became a member of the Accadèmia di San Luca in 1575 and the secretary from 1580 to 1595 and from 1603 to 1616. He often collaborated with Cesare Nebbia, as on the Cappella Gregoriana in St. Peter’s from 1580 to 1585 and in Villa Montalto, Lateran Palace, the Vatican Library Scala Santa and Palazzo di Montecavallo for Pope Sixtus V. From 1589 to 1590 he worked in S. Girolamo degli Schiavoni and from 1591 to 1593 together with Giovanni Battista Ricci in Palazzo di Montecavallo. Back in Modena he decorated Santa Maria della Trinità and Santa Maria del Paradiso. His works display the influence of the Zuccarri in Rome. Giovanni Guerra died in Rome in 1618.

The present drawing is part of a series of drawings that depict the life and miracles of Saint Francis of Assisi. All of the drawings are about the same size and some have watermarks that can be found in Briquet under number 11932 dated to Rome between 1578 and 1590. This dating is also confirmed by the style of the drawing which must correspond to the time period when Giovanni Guerra worked under the influence of the Zuccari.
Several sketchbooks exist by Giovanni Guerra which, according to Baglione, were made by the artist for other etchers. Greuter made a series of etchings of female heads and another series depicting the Cavalcade of the Pope from Vatican to Lateran. Another series of drawings representing the legendary Kings of Rome are in the Louvre (inv.nos.20773-20868) and in Copenhagen there is a series of thirty-two drawings inspired by the reliefs of Trajan’s column. Another album of drawings is in the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris showing the Acts of the Apostles and one in the Hermitage in Leningrad showing scenes from the Life of Christ.

The attribution was made by Mr. Mario Di Giampaolo, Florence, in a letter dated April 28th, 2001.


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