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Annibale Carracci

1560 - 1609

Annibale Carracci was the greatest of the Carracci family of painters, which included his elder brother Agostino and his cousin Ludovico.

The Carracci founded an Academy in Bologna. Reni and Domenichino were among their pupils. After his move to Rome, Annibale came to be seen as rescuing Italian art from the excesses of Mannerism and the overstated realism of Caravaggio.

Ludovico Carracci was partly responsible for the training of Annibale, who travelled extensively in northern Italy in the 1580s, studying the work of Correggio in Parma and the work of the great Venetian painters, especially Veronese.

By 1595 he was in Rome working in the Palazzo Farnese, where he decorated a gallery ceiling with frescoes of mythological subjects; this was completed in 1603/4.

The Collection contains two of the cartoons for the ceiling attributed to Agostino Carracci. Annibale's early work included naturalistic genre paintings, like the 'Bean Eaters'. Later he executed landscapes, important precursors of the classical landscapes of Domenichino, Claude and Poussin.