date of birth: 1575
place of birth: Calvenzano o. Bologna
date of death: 1642
Guido Renis outstanding position in the history of art can be explained by his role as the main representative of the 17th century Bolognese painting. As such, he was able to unite in an unparalleled way religious, emotional themes with strict timelessness, and thus receive international recognition in his lifetime.
Reni was born in Calvenzano in 1575. His talent became evident unusually early on, and it had not gone unnoticed by the Flemish painter Denys Calvaert, who was also based in Bologna, and invited Reni in 1584 to his first training in his workshop. After several years in Calvaerts workshop, Reni decides to stop his training there and join the famous "Accademia" of the Caracci family in 1595. Here he produces works, whose loose brushstrokes will remain characteristic from then on for his style and lead him to the pastose style painting of the incarnate, the so-called "viva carne" (living flesh).
Reni moved to Rome in 1600, but returned back to Bologna in 1614, where he led a highly-regarded workshop, which was highly influential for the Bolognese art scene. His paintings received great admiration for their emotional representation of religious themes. In particular, it is Renis delicate, graceful representations that stand out from other paintings through their intimate connection between mother and child. Guido Reni died in Bologna in 1642.