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Ludovico Carracci

Cousin of Annibale

Madonna, Child and Saints, by Ludovico Carracci

The older cousin of Annibale and Agostino, Ludovico Carracci (1555–1619) was a more personal, expressive and uneven artist, whose work varies from the bland to the startling. He was an apprentice under Prosper Fontana, father of the better known Lavinia, and he later travelled to Florence, Venice, Mantua and Parma to study the art there.

Critics believe Caravaggio in his travels must have studied one of Ludovico's great early works, the Lamentation of Christ (c. 1582), with its striking sense of immediacy and use of live models.

After painting the frescoes in the Palazzo Fava and Palazzo Magnani with his cousins, Ludovico stayed in Bologna as head of the Carracci Academia. His later works are among his most expressive; Bologna has a large collection in the Pinacoteca. Also see San Michele in Bosco, San Paolo Maggiore and the Madonna and Child with Saints Joseph, Francis, and a Donor, a work that Guercino said was one of his biggest influences, in the Pinacoteca Civica in Cento.

Text © Dana Facaros and Michael Pauls

Images by: PD Art