Guercino, Diana the Huntress, 1658. Photo: Courtesy Fondazione Sorgente Gr

FERRARA, ITALY.- The Pinacoteca di Cento Museum is exhibiting for the first time an important painting by Guercino, who was born in Cento, a very small town of the Emilia Romagna region. The painting known as "Diana the Huntress" portrays the delicate sensuality of a goddess coupled with her tender humanity. The painting is also known for its enlivening depiction of a greyhound twisting its neck. Diana the Huntress, a piece belonging to the Fondazione Sorgente Group, is on display from June 3rd to July 10th, as part of the series "Ospiti graditi n.7" (Welcome Guests n. 7) promoted by the Municipality of Cento (Cultural Activities Services department). This initiative aims to increase public awareness of paintings and findings related to Guercino.

The exhibit is dedicated to the great British expert of Guercino, Denis Mahon, who died at the age of 100 years on April 27th 2011.

This project was created plan as a result of the collaboration between the Municipality of Cento and Fondazione Sorgente Group, Istitutuzione per l’Arte e la Cultura, founded thanks to the financial support of the Sorgente Group. A Foundation that has always had a strong interest in the Bolognese School of the Seventeenth Century and in particular for Guercino.

Diana the Huntress measures 121 x 97 cm, originally part of a pair of paintings, it depicts the goddess interrupting her hunt in the woods after seeing shepherd Endymion lying asleep, represented as a handsome shepherd on the second canvas, now lost. A studio copy of the second canvas is exhibited within the Versari Corridor of the Pitti Palace, Florence.

Guercino created this painting in 1658 on commission for the Roman Count Fabio Carandini. The Commissioner of Modenese origins moved to Rome in 1608. As such, the painting was consigned to The Eternal City where it remained until the first half of 1900s. It was subsequently bought by the Milanese architect Lino Invernizzi, later becoming part of a collection in Puglia. This is an unrepeatable opportunity, after more than three centuries since the creation of the painting, to put side by side Diana the Huntress and its Commissioner. Accordingly, a seventeenth-century Roman School portrait of Count Fabio Carandini is exhibited as well. The painting comes from the collection of the Banca Popolare di Verona - San Geminiano and San Prospero. In 2009, the Foundation Sorgente Group acquired the Diana the Huntress painting at auction.