The Return of the Prodigal Son - Giovanni Francesco Barbieri (Guercino). 125x163
The baroque master Gverchino (1591-1666) repeatedly addressed the gospel parable of the prodigal son, interpreting it with all the passion inherent in the painters of this artistic direction. In this picture, he depicted a scene where a father, rejoicing at the return of a departed from the house and wasting his part of the inheritance to his son, orders to bring him good clothes. The young man puts on a shirt of thin cloth, and his father points to him to the servant who holds the outfits. The dog, standing on its hind legs, faithfully looks into the eyes of the newfound owner.
The author conveys the parable with all the clarity that Baroque art was capable of: his masters sought in a vivid form to convey to the believers the foundations of the Christian religion. With his work, Gverchino sought to have a strong emotional impact on the worshipers, therefore, the painting of the canvas is highly material: the details are written out, the bodies are full-blooded, the draperies lying in dense folds are tangible. But the idealization with which the characters are depicted, and the divine light pouring into the space of work, give it an elevated mood.