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King David and the Wise Women: Guercino at Waddesdon

King David and the Wise Women: Guercino at Waddesdon


This gem of a catalogue accompanies an exhibition at Waddesdon Manor, Buckinghamshire, on one of the great painters of 17th-century Italy, Giovanni Francesco Barbieri, known as Guercino (1591-1666). It brings together for the first time Waddesdon’s King David with three paintings of sibyls (female prophets from classical antiquity) on loan from the National Gallery and the Royal Collection.


Readers and viewers alike will be immersed in the poetry, colour and majesty of these four works, which were all painted in the year 1651 by the great Italian artist Guercino (‘The Squinter’). They have never before been seen together.

The catalogue will investigate the relationship between David, Jewish patriarch, psalmist and prophet, whom Christians believed prefigured Christ, and the four turbaned, pagan seers, who supposedly foretold Christ’s birth. Guercino’s brilliant depiction of fabrics and materials –silk, flesh and ermine, paper, wood and stone – evokes ideas about inspiration and contemplation, sight and foresight, poetry and prophecy.

  • By Juliet Carey

    ISBN: 978-1-913645-62-5
    Hardcover, 240 x 170 mm
    48 pages, approx. 30 illustrations

  • Exhibition Details

    Waddesdon Manor, Buckinghamshire
    20 March – 27 October 2024

  • About the Author

    Dr. Juliet Carey is Senior Curator at Waddesdon Manor (National Trust/Rothschild Foundation)

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