Prints and Drawings
Artist: Guercino (Giovanni Francesco Barbieri), Italian, Bologna, 1591–1666

Caricature of a Man Wearing a Large Hat

ca. 1630–40

Pen and brown ink

sheet: 30.4 × 23 cm (11 15/16 × 9 1/16 in.)
Gift of Edmund P. Pillsbury, B.A. 1965
The genre of caricature developed in the early seventeenth century, particularly under the influence of the Carracci family, whose Academy was one of the primary training grounds for what came to be known as Baroque art. Naturalistic studies like the life drawing by Domenichino in the Yale University Art Gallery’s collection (2003.103) were the most obvious aspect of the Carracci reform of painting, but a caricature’s distortion or overemphasis of a particular feature of a person required equally careful study of the subject’s appearance. The idea of truth revealed through distortion was a fascinating conceit to Baroque artists and patrons. Guercino became one of the foremost caricaturists of his time, and this sheet is one of the largest and most humorous of his drawings in the genre.
17th century
Works on Paper - Drawings and Watercolors

Partly illegible collector's stamp lower left, recto, probably L.106, Alfonso IV d'Este (1634-62); Sotheby's, London, 20 May 1985, #484 (as Bolognese 17th century); Mia Weiner sale cat., Nov. 1985 (as Guercino); Edmund P. Pillsbury, Fort Worth, Texas, acquired 1985, by whom given


Suzanne Boorsch and John J. Marciari, Master Drawings from the Yale University Art Gallery, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2006), 27, 140–41, no. 43, ill.

Richard Brettell et al., From the Private Collections of Texas: European Art, Ancient to Modern, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 2009), 77-78, fig. 71.

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.