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Carracci(kärät`chē), family of Italian painters of the Bolognese school, founders of an important academy of painting. Lodovico Carracci, 1555–1619, a pupil of Tintoretto in Venice, was influenced by Correggio and Titian. He also studied in Bologna, Padua, and Parma. With his cousins, Agostino and Annibale, and with Anthony de la Tour, he established in Bologna an academy of painting that sought to unite in one system the preeminent characteristics of each of the great masters. The school rapidly became one of the outstanding schools in Italy, and Lodovico remained its head until his death. Its noted pupils include Guido Reni, Francesco Albani, and Domenichino. Excelling as a teacher, Lodovico was also a painter of talent and energy. Excellent examples of his art abound in the churches of Bologna and elsewhere in Italy. Among the best are Sermon of John the Baptist (Pinacoteca, Bologna) and Vision of St. Hyacinth (Louvre). His cousin Agostino Carracci, 1557–1602, left the goldsmith's trade and studied painting with Prospero Fontana. He excelled in engraving and devoted most of his time to it until he joined his cousin and his brother in the founding of their academy and in the execution of numerous joint painting commissions. In 1597 he went to Rome and collaborated with Annibale in the decorating of the Farnese Palace gallery; he executed the admirable frescoes Triumph of Galatea and Rape of Cephalus (cartoons in the National Gall., London). He died in Parma just after completing his great work, Celestial, Terrestrial, and Venal Love, in the Casino. Other notable examples of his art are The Last Communion of St. Jerome (Pinacoteca, Bologna), Adulteress before Christ, and the masterly engraving of Tintoretto's Crucifixion. His brother Annibale Carracci, 1560–1609, a pupil of Lodovico Carracci, was a painter of unusual skill and versatility. He spent seven years studying the works of the masters, particularly those of Correggio and Parmigianino, in Venice and Parma. Returning to Bologna, he aided in the conducting of the academy school until 1595, when he went to Rome to assist in the Farnese gallery. The ceiling, for which he made thousands of preliminary drawings according to an elaborate structural system, was rich in illusionistic elements. It included feigned architectural and sculptural forms, which had great impact on later painters. Well known among his numerous works are Christ and the Woman of Samaria (Brera, Milan); Flight into Egypt (Doria Gall., Rome); The Dead Christ (Louvre); and The Temptation of St. Anthony (National Gall., London).
See study by D. Posner (2 vol. 1971); National Gallery of Art, The Age of Correggio and the Carracci (1987).
a family of Italian artists of the Bolognese school, representatives of academism. Lodovico Carracci (baptized Apr.21, 1555, in Bologna; died there Nov. 13, 1619) and his cousins Agostino Carracci (born Aug. 15, 1557, in Bologna; died Mar. 22, 1602, in Parma) and Annibale Carracci (born Nov. 3, 1560, in Bologna; died July 15, 1609, in Rome) received their artistic training in Bologna. Their early works show the influences of Correggio, Michelangelo, and Tintoretto. Eclectically combining the devices of these masters, the Carraccis created their own style, which was a reaction against mannerism. They founded the Accademia degli Incamminate (Academy of Those Who Have Entered Upon the Correct Path) in Bologna circa 1585, which played an important role in the development of the principles of academic art. The academy’s methodology included painting from life. At the same time, following the formal traditions of the masters of the High Renaissance, the academy stressed the idealization of reality.
The Carraccis created a new type of altar painting, characterized by monumental compositions, bright colors, and effective foreshortening and representation of gestures. Their altarpieces include the Madonna of Bargellini (Lodovico Carracci, 1588), The Last Communion of St. Jerome (Agostino Carracci, 1591–93)—both are in the National Picture Gallery in Bologna—and the Assumption of the Virgin (Annibale Carracci, 1592) in the Church of Santa Maria del Popólo in Rome. The Carraccis collaborated in the painting of frescoes in several Bolognese palaces, including the Palazzo Fava (1580–85) and the Palazzo Magnani (1588–90).
Annibale Carracci was more talented than Agostino and Lodovico. He worked in Bologna, Parma, Venice, and Rome. Annibale’s genre paintings and portraits are noted for their keen and spontaneous observations (Self-portrait, 1590’s, the Hermitage, Leningrad). His landscape paintings, which are imbued with a sense of the grandeur and harmony of nature, played an important role in the development of the ideal landscape. The frescoes by Annibale and Agostino in the Palazzo Farnese in Rome (1597–1604) anticipated the decorative artistic complexes of the baroque period. In many ways, the two major schools of 17th-century European art—baroque and classical—were based on various elements in the art of the Carraccis.
REFERENCESCatalogo critico del la mostra dei Carracci. Bologna, 1956.
Posner, D. Annibale Carracci. London, 1971.
V. E. MARKOVA