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Giovanni Pietro Possenti

1618–1659, Bologna

The identity of the monogrammist GP was long a source of confusion, which in the past led to different attributions. Bartsch was aware of a total of seven etchings, which he ascribed to an anonymous pupil of Guido Reni. Later on, Nagler associated the minor oeuvre with the Augsburg-born painter and etcher Georg Pecham. It was not until 1994 that Nadine M. Orenstein came up with convincing proof that the ten etchings known to date stem from the painter and printmaker Giovanni Pietro Possenti, who was active in Bologna, Padua and Venice (see Nadine M. Orenstein, “Possenti and Hercules”, Print Quarterly, XI, No. 1 March 1994, pp. 20–25). All these prints show the same artistic idiosyncrasy and a dynamic, highly suggestive style of etching. On the subject of Possenti’s etching technique Bartsch spoke of hatchings “faites d’une manière confuse et tournées en différents sens”.