Guido Reni (1575–1642) was one of the foremost artists in Europe in his day, whose fame was on a par with that of Rubens, Caravaggio, and Bernini. From his native Bologna, his pictures not only circulated throughout much of Italy but also found their way into some of the main capitals of the continent such as Paris, London, and Madrid. Indeed, Spain was well aware of the interest aroused by the Bolognese master’s paintings, which were collected by the Crown and several prominent aristocrats, and in some cases ended up in the Museo del Prado’s holdings. In addition, on viewing his works, certain Spanish artists decided to draw on Reni’s ideas to enrich their own language, among them several particularly important painters such as Murillo.
The Museo del Prado has joined in this series of initiatives by staging the exhibition – the first to be devoted to the painter in Spain – that this catalogue accompanies. Featuring nearly eighty paintings and drawings by the master and more than twenty works by other artists, it fully reconstructs Reni’s personality, showing the relevance of his legacy today.