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Life of Guido Reni

Carlo Cesare Malvasia’s Felsina Pitrrice or Lives of the Bolognese Painters (1678) is one of the most important early modern sources on Italian art. Professor Lorenzo Pericolo (University of Warwick) is the project coordinator and critical editor of the Malvasia Project, which aims to provide the first critical edition and annotated translation of the Felsina pittrice, produced under the auspices of CASVA (Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, National Gallery of Art, Washington). This critical edition also offers the first integral transcription of Malvasia's preparatory notes (the Scritti originali). Detailed historical notes in English, keyed to both the Italian and English parallel text, establish Malvasia's many sources and document the history of artists and works of art mentioned. The translation of Malvasia’s Felsina pittrice gives an accessible translation of this primary source to the public.

In 2019, Professor Pericolo produced the critical edition, translation, and essay for the the two volumes on the Life of Guido Reni (Volume Nine of the series). The release of these volumes prompted a study day at at the Accademia di San Luca, Rome, as well as an academic presentation at the Pinacoteca Nazionale, Bologna.

In preparation and as a result of his research, Professor Pericolo had the opportunity to study several works by Reni in public and private collections. Pericolo was responsible for the cleaning and reassessment of Reni’s Toilet of Venus in the National Gallery, London, and the cleaning and technical analysis of Reni’s Venus and Cupid at the Toledo Museum of Art, OH. Pericolo also prompted the technical analysis of a Lucretia attributed to Reni at the Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle, which was followed by an exhibition: The Power And The Virtue: Guido Reni's Death of Lucretia, Oct 2019 - Jan 2020.

As a result of Pericolo’s research, many other paintings by Reni in public and private hands have been analyzed, studied, cleaned, and reattributed.

Guido Reni, Charity, Oil on Canvas, Met Museum, New York.

Find out more about the Malvasia project here.