In this parable, Jesus speaks of the mercy of God towards repentant sinners. The younger of two sons has squandered his share of his father’s inheritance. Poor and miserable, he finally decides to return to his father, who lovingly receives him and gives him new clothes. Guercino’s early pictures, characteristically, have an asymmetrical composition, overlapping figures in intense motion, uneven lighting that fragments the forms, and very dark coloration.
Overall: 107 cm × 143,5 cm
Framed: 129 cm × 166 cm × 11 cm
Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Gemäldegalerie
1619 for cardinal Jacopo Serra (1570-1623); 1720 documented in the gallery
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