Annibale Carracci

Italian , 1560 - 1609

Annibale was the most famous of the three Carracci family members known for perpetuating the dominant artistic style in 17th-century painting and printmaking in which nature and the human form were shown perfected and idealized. This style was contemporary with the more realistic and unidealizing style of Caravaggio and often the two schools are compared to one another to show the competing modes of expression that characterize the European Baroque. The three men started an Academy of painting in their hometown of Bologna to instruct emerging artists in this classicizing style. In 1595 Annibale traveled to Rome where he experienced a great deal of artistic fame. Amongst his many artistic achievements is the illusionistic ceiling of the Palazzo Farnese. His preparatory drawings and prints have been studied extensively and reveal a great deal about his methods of creation and his preoccupation with form and composition. Later in his life he fell into a deep depression and made fewer and fewer paintings, and eventually died reclusive and fearful of people.

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