Carracci, Annibale (1560-1609) by Scholes, Robert

Annibale Carracci (1560 – 1609) He was born in Bologna, into a family of painters, working with his brother and cousin in his early years. In the 1580s the Carracci opened an academy, attracting students like . They were careful draftsmen and emphasized accurate drawing from live models. In 1595 Annibale was summoned to Rome to do a ceiling in the Farnese Palace. For this commission he produced a set of scenes from the life of Hercules in one room and a larger series devoted to the loves of the gods for the great gallery of the palace. Guido Reni He was also noted for his genre paintings and caricatures–a form he is often said to have invented. Like his pupil Guido Reni, he was a victim of Ruskin’s merciless criticism in the nineteenth century, but his work has survived that and is now taken seriously once again. Here is a sample of his theory of caricature: Is not the caricaturist’s task exactly the same as the classical artist’s? Both see the lasting truth beneath the surface of mere outward appearance. Both try to help nature accomplish its plan. The one may strive to visualize the perfect form and to realise it in his work, the other to grasp the perfect deformity, and thus reveal the very essence of a personality. A good caricature, like every work of art, is more true to life than reality itself.

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