The Noble Art of the Carracci and their School: A Selection of Drawings and Prints
31 May 2013 - 01 Jan 2014
The work of the illustrious Carracci family — brothers Annibale and Agostino and their cousin Ludovico — represents the finest achievement of Bolognese art. They rose to artistic prominence in the last quarter of the 16th century, and their joint search for a nobler form of painting led to an artistic reform that overthrew the prevailing Mannerist idealism, thereby practically initiating the Baroque. Their historical importance resides not only in their own pioneering work and ground-breaking aesthetic standpoint, but also in their lofty commitment to teaching and to elevating art. The significance of the Accademia degli Incamminati (“academy of those who are making progress”), which they founded, is illustrated in this installation in the work of their leading pupils, among whom Guercino and Guido Reni are the most prominent. Though religious and mythological representations were central to their production, other genres such as landscape and caricature are also in evidence in this selection of twenty works on paper.
Ludovico Carracci, The Virgin and Child (detail), c. 1580-1595, red chalk heightened with white chalk on faded blue laid paper, 28.2 x 24.5 cm, Purchased 1975. National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa Photo © NGC