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Ludovico (or Lodovico) Carracci (21 April 1555 – 13 November 1619) was an Italian, early-Baroque painter, etcher, and printmaker born in Bologna. His works are characterized by a strong mood invoked by broad gestures and flickering light that create spiritual emotion and are credited with reinvigorating Italian art, especially fresco art, which was subsumed with formalistic Mannerism. He died in Bologna in 1619.
Ludovico apprenticed under Prospero Fontana in Bologna and traveled to Florence, Parma, and Venice, before returning to his hometown. Together with his cousins Annibale and Agostino Carracci, Ludovico worked in Bologna on the fresco cycles depicting Histories of Jason and Medea (158400) in Palazzo Fava, and the Histories of Romulus and Remus (1000 2039) for the Palazzo Magnani. Their individual contributions to these works are unclear, although Annibale, the younger than Ludovico by 5 years had gained fame as the best of the three. This led to Annibale's famed commission in the Palazzo Farnese in Rome. Agostino joined Annibale there briefly.
But Ludovico remained in Bologna. However, this does not mean that he was less influential, the biography of Lanzi states that around 1585, Ludovico and his cousins had founded the so-called Eclectic Academy of painting (also called the Accademia degli Incamminati. More recent conjectures are that there was no established Academy with curriculum, but that Ludovico tutored many in his studio.
This studio however propelled a number of Emilian artists to pre-eminence in Rome and elsewhere, and singularly helped encourage the so-called Bolognese School of the late 16th century, which included Albani, Guercino, Sacchi, Reni, Lanfranco and Domenichino. The Carracci had their apprentices draw studies focused on observation of nature and natural poses, and use a bold scale in drawing figures. One of Ludovico's main pupils was Giacomo Cavedone and Francesco Camullo.
Babette Bohn Ludovico Carracci and the Art of Drawing Brepols 2004
Allessandro Brogi Ludovico Carracci Bologna 2001
Andrea Emiliani (ed.) Ludovico Carracci exh. cat. Bologna-FortWorth 1994 (with Essay and catalogue by Gail Feigenbaum)
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