The Baroque Painter

The Baroque period is the era of artistic style that used to amplify on motion to create tension, drama in sculpture painting and was especially popularized by the Roman Catholics. The Baroque period lasted between 1600 and 1750. Annibale Carracci was a painter admired and an important force during the Baroque era. He set out to alter painting in Italy. The paper discusses Annibale Carracci, an Italian painter of the Baroque period, and how his style and subject matter reflected the time they were made in. 

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Annibale Carracci was born in Italy in 1560 and died in 1609. He is generally regarded as the most stylistic painter in Italy during the Baroque period and the most gifted member of the Carracci family. According to press, Annibale was first recognized in his native hometown of Bologna and later in Rome (73) in the movement against mannerism. Mannerism was a post-renaissance period that emerged in early 1520s in the town of Florence and later flourished internationally till late 17th century. In 1950s, Annibale advocated for artistic reforms in Italy by drawing from life. The drawings were made from live models and meant raw upon life as a viable subject for art. It was during this time that the Carracci’s were painting innovative and the most radical pictures in Italy and, indeed, the whole of Europe. Annibale’s pictures were especially drawn from nature and the effects of light. Carl (32) says that Annibale later founded an influential school of painters towards the end of the 16th century.

In most of his paintings, some of which are held in museums and other private collections all over the world, Annibale had a preference for facial features usually exaggerating them to create humor (Press 74). Bolton (222) affirms this by saying that some of the baroque techniques involved show concern between the image and the viewer. An example here is The Age of Correggio and the Carracci. In Rome, the paintings by Annibale were transformed through first-hand encounter while individual frameworks of ancient mythology were shown surrounded by elaborate illusion statues which are seen with muscular nude figures. 

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Annibale’s Famous Paintings of the Baroque Era 

During the Baroque period, Annibale is credited with creating such paintings like Domine, Quo Vadis?, Pietà, Assumption of the Virgin Mary, Lamentation, and The Flight into Egypt as well as some self portraits that indicate some sense of humor. 

The Lamentation of Christ (shown in figure 1 below)is a painting in which God’s mother is mourning the dead of her son. The painting is a classic example of the Baroque period and, according to Zamora and Kaup, “the mourning figures seem already to revel in their own sorrow, a new decisive factor in the Baroque psychology” (459). It seems that Annibale realized his full potential and identity in horror and grief experiences. The Baroque era involved experiences of distress and agony. The painting is a religious type that was created in 1606. Its technique is that of oil on canvas measuring 92.8 by 103.2 cm.

Combat of Perseus and Phineas was another painting done in 1604 (Carrier 221 - 222) which showcases a classical status of the Renaissance. The photo shows Persus holding off his attackers using Gorgon’s head transforming them into stone figures. This Renaissance picture affirms the Baroque verticality involves a change in the “physic address of the image” (225). The change in orientation came as a result of the baroque plan that organized extensions in relation to foci representing a termination of the horizontal movement. This paining is shown in Figure 2 below.

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(In the next session, we will discuss more of Annibale’s paintings during the Baroque period).

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