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Guercino (Cento 1591-Bologna 1666)

The Libyan Sibyl 1651

Oil on canvas | 116.3 x 96.5 cm (support, canvas/panel/str external) | RCIN 405340

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The Libyan Sibyl was one of the twelve prophetesses from the classical world who foretold the coming of Christ. The design is pleasingly harmonious: the Sibyl’s rounded features and pose synchronise with the swirling rhythm of her drapery. The combination of orange and pink with blue, opposites on the colour wheel, further strengthens the balance and vibrancy of the composition.

First recorded at Buckingham House c.1790