Date of birth: 1591 — Date of death: 1666

Painter. Self-taught, Guercino was inspired by the work of Lodovico Carracci and Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio. Guercino grew up in Cento, Italy but was called to Rome in 1621 by Pope Gregory XV. Here he produced his most famous work, including Aurora (1621-23) and his altarpiece The Burial of St Petronilla (c.1623) for St Peter's Basilica in Rome. Guercino's departure from Rome back to Cento in 1623 is often associated with a change in style, particularly his use of light.