The Counter-Reformation confronted painters with a demand for new kinds of religious propaganda, and so they set out to find fresh ways of rendering familiar subjects. One such Baroque re-interpretation is this Virgin and Child by Guercino, Guercino, painted at the beginning of his stay in Rome (1621-23). The dramatic chiaroscuro, the intimate close-up view, and the simplicity of costume and action alike all contribute to the immediacy of the work’s impact on the viewer.
Barbara and Eduard Beaucamp discovered the 'Virgin with Child' in a Frankfurt art shop in 1981 and purchased it at well below its real value, since the work was believed to be a nineteenth-century copy. Eduard Beaucamp was a long-standing editor at the 'Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung'; the trained eye of the art critic - and that of his wife, Barbara, also a PhD art historian and a porcelain expert - recognised the outstanding quality of the painting. In 2010 they donated this precious work to the Städel Museum.
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