A recently rediscovered early masterpiece by the renowned Bolognese painter Giovanni Francesco Barbieri (1591-1666), known as Guercino, will go on public display for the first time ever, as part of a historic exhibition at Waddesdon Manor this spring.

The newly discovered representation of the Old Testament figure of Moses will be unveiled alongside four other large pictures, that are themselves being brought together for the first time since leaving the artist’s studio in 1651.

Until its discovery in France in 2022, the painting was known only through 17th-century painted copies, a drawing and engravings, all of which demonstrate the work’s fame well beyond the confines of the Duchy of Modena.

The exhibition, Guercino at Waddesdon: King David and the Wise Women will open on 20th March and run until October.

The recent discovery of Guercino’s Moses constitutes one of the most important additions to his œuvre in recent years and adds to our understanding of his early maturity, a period considered by many to be his greatest for the dynamism, vigour and spontaneity of his painting.

Another historic aspect to this display is the bringing together of King David (1651) from Waddesdon’s collection and Guercino’s depiction of three sibyls – female prophets from classical antiquity – on loan from the National Gallery, London and His Majesty The King from the Royal Collection.

Visiting Waddesdon Manor

Entry to the gardens is free for members of the National Trust, RHS, Historic Houses, or Art Fund. For everyone else, entry to the gardens only for adults is £12 and for children is £6.

For everyone, it’s £12.50/£6.25 to go into the House.

Tickets need to be booked in advance from here.

Getting to Waddesdon Manor

If driving, there’s a free car park at the bottom of the hill and you can either walk up the hill (not advised on a hot day) or take the free Shuttle Bus if you’ve pre-booked tickets.

If coming by train, then the easiest way on the Chiltern Railways line to Aylesbury Vale Parkway station, then there’s a dedicated “greenway” walk to the Manor.


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