"Carracci, Annibale (1560-1609)" submitted by RomeTour Editorial Team and last updated on Wednesday 27th April 2011
Annibale Carracci, Italian painter, was born in Bologna in 1560 and died in Rome in 1609. He was a brother of Agostino and a cousin of Ludovico Carracci, and was the most brilliant personality of all this artistic group from Bologna, which proposed a fundamental line of innovation in painting. In 1582 the Carracci founded an Academy of Desirous, which in 1590 took the name of Academy of Beginners. The first works of Annibale were frescoes on mythological and literal themes in different palaces of Bologna: Palazzo Fava (1583-1584); Palazzo Magnani-Salem (1588-1592).
Further works of the master were: Bottega del macellaio (1582-1583, Oxford, Christ Church); Mangiafagioli (1583-1584, Rome, Gall.Colonna); Crocifisso (1583, for S.Nicolo' in Bologna, now in S.Maria della Carita'). Carracci traveled a lot through Tuscany, Parma, Venice in 1583-1586, where his cultural formation was amplified and his artistic orientation was specified: Battesimo di Cristo (1585, Bologna San Gregorio); Assunzione della Vergine (1592, Bologna, Pin.Naz.); Venere con un satiro e due cupidi (circa 1588, Florence, Uffizi).
The full maturity was reached by the artist after he left his native city and moved to Rome. He was invited in 1595 by Odoardo Farnese to decorate Palazzo Farnese with the mythological subjects (1595-1602) (executed in collaboration with the brother Agostino and Domenichino), where Carracci put together the different models of Michelangelo's ceiling in the Sistine Chapel and Raphael's Loggia di Psiche in Farnesina. The same methods were used for the lunettes of the Cappella in Palazzo Aldobrandini (executed in collaboration with the pupils in 1603-1604). His role of innovator and founder of the orientations for the following generations was confirmed in the work of last years of artist's life, in particular in the works bearing name of Pieta' (as one in Nat.Gall. of London).