ART 4 2-DAY 03 November v.9.a0
BAPTISM: 1560 A. CARRACCI
Died on 03 November 1954:
Henri Matisse, French painter born on 31
(1947, 42x26cm) _ This bold and playful image is one of twenty plates
Matisse created to illustrate his groundbreaking book Jazz. The
illustrations derive from maquettes of cut and pasted colored papers,
which were then printed using a stencil technique known as "pochoir."
Here, the mythological figure Icarus is presented in a simplified form
floating against a royal blue nighttime sky. Matisse's flat, abstracted
forms and large areas of pure color marked an important change in the
direction of his later work and ultimately influenced "hard-edge" artists
of the 1960s like Ellsworth
Kelly and Al
(*) Soror Mariana Alcoforado (1640-1723) nasceu e faleceu em Beja. Era uma religiosa que professou no Convento da Conceição em Beja, tendo sido escrivã e vigária do mesmo convento. Foi-lhe atribuída a autoria das Lettres Portugaises, publicadas em Paris em 1669 por Claude Barbin. No mesmo ano são publicadas em Colónia com o título Lettres d'amour d'une religieuse portugaise. Nesta última edição, uma nota informa que as cartas foram dirigidas ao cavaleiro de Chamilly e tinham sido traduzidas para francês por Guilleragues. Boissonade faz saber em 1810 que encontrou um manuscrito das cartas que indica que a autora das mesmas se chamava «Mariana Alcaforada, religiosa em Beja». Os investigadores actuais duvidam, no entanto, da atribuição desta autoria. As cartas tiveram várias traduções para português
Les Lettres portugaises traduites en français ont paru, sans nom d'auteur, le 04 janvier 1669, chez le libraire Claude Barbin, "au Palais, sur le second perron de la Sainte-Chapelle". L'auteur en serait un certain chevalier de Guilleragues, dont on ne connaît que ce seul texte.
Died on 03 November 1619: Lodovico
Carracci, Bolognese painter and printmaker baptized as an
infant on 21 April 1555. — Cousin of the brothers Agostino
Carracci [16 Aug 1557 bapt. – 23 Feb 1602] and Annibale
Carracci [03 Nov 1560 – 15 Jul 1609],
with whom he effected an artistic reform that overthrew Mannerist aesthetics
and initiated the Baroque. Brother of Paolo Carracci [1568-1625].
— His father, Vincenzo Carracci, was a butcher, whose profession may be alluded to in Ludovico’s nickname ‘il Bue’, though this might also be a reference to the artist’s own slowness. Ludovico’s style was less classical than that of his younger cousins Agostino and Annibale, perhaps because of a mystical turn of mind that gave his figures a sense of other-worldliness. Like his cousins, he espoused the direct study of nature, especially through figure drawing, and was inspired by the paintings of Correggio and the Venetians.
However, there survives in his work, more than in that of his cousins, a residue of the Mannerist style that had dominated Bolognese painting for most of the mid-16th century. Ludovico maintained a balance between this Mannerist matrix, his innate religious piety and the naturalism of the work of his cousins. With the exception of some travels during his training and a brief visit to Rome in 1602, Ludovico’s career was spent almost entirely in Bologna.
In the first two decades of the 17th century he lost touch with the activities of his more up-to-date Bolognese compatriots – contemporaries and students alike – who were then active in Rome, including his cousin Annibale. Ludovico’s later work became overblown and eccentric. This curious ‘gigantism’ was first evidenced in paintings of the late 1590s, but the tendency seems to have been reinforced by the monumental classicism of Annibale’s ceiling of the Galleria Farnese in the Palazzo Farnese, Rome, which Ludovico saw on his visit in 1602. In spite of his isolation in Bologna, Ludovico strongly influenced the subsequent development of painting in his native city and elsewhere, especially through his students, who, besides his cousin Annibale, included Giacomo Cavedone [1577-1660] who also became Lodovico's assistant, Domenichino [1581-1641], Alessandro Algardi [1598-1654], Guido Reni [1575-1642], Gianfrancesco Grimaldi [1606-1680], Francesco Albani [1578-1660], Remigio Cantagallina [1582-1656], Pietro Faccini [1575-1602], and Alessandro Tiarini [1577-1668]. Francesco Brizio was another assistant of Lodovico Carracci.
— The brothers Agostino and Annibale Carracci and their cousin Lodovico Carracci worked together early in their careers, and it is not easy to distinguish their shares in, for example, the cycle of frescos in the Palazzo Fava in Bologna (1584).
Lodovico was by temperament a fairly shy person who never found real success, unlike his cousin Annibale. Apart from traveling when young in the course of his studies and a brief and rather unpleasant stay in Rome, he spent all his life in the cosy atmosphere of Bologna, where most of his work still remains. He nevertheless has to be recognized as the first painter systematically to abandon the late Mannerist style in favor of a new kind of moral and devotional style of painting. By interpreting the suggestions made by Cardinal Paleotti, who had a special interest in the reform of religious art, Lodovico Carracci took an early lead in its renewal. This was arrived at by reassessing nature exactly as it is, even when it appears plain or uninteresting, but without ever resorting to the cerebral ploys used by the last of the Mannerists. To achieve his aim, as well as painting, Lodovico placed great emphasis on teaching. In the 1580s, he and his two cousins Annibale and Agostino opened their "Accademia dei Desiderosi" (The Academy of those who wish to make Progress). This was later renamed "Academia degli Incamminati" (The Academy of those who are making Progress) but later still was known simply as the Carracci Academy. This was responsible for shaping a whole generation of Emilian painters.
Proof of how united the group was came when the three Carracci cousins together painted the frescos in Palazzo Fava. The simplicity of their compositions recalls the style of Federico Barocci [1526-1612] style while the sweetness of their expression is reminiscent of Correggio [1490 – 05 Mar 1534].
Lodovico left Bologna only for brief periods and directed the Carracci academy by himself after his cousins had gone to Rome. His work is uneven and highly personal. Painterly and expressive considerations always outweigh those of stability and calm Classicism in his work, and at its best there is a passionate and poetic quality indicative of his preference for Tintoretto [1518 – 31 May 1594] and Jacopo Bassano [1515 – 13 Feb 1592]. His most fruitful period was 1585-1595, but near the end of his career he still produced remarkable paintings of an almost Expressionist force, such as the Christ Crucified above Figures in Limbo (1614). Lodovico's own sensitivity derived from his deep knowledge of Venetian painting. His style was composed of delicate gestures, bashful looks, and a good deal of narrative drama. Especially in his medium to small pictures this readily became lyrical poetry. Among his most important works we should mention his youthful Annunciation and his noble Madonna dei Bargellini. Later on he painted the frescos in the cloisters of S. Michele in Bosco, near Bologna (1604). After his cousins' deaths he produced some large and rather sad compositions, such as The Funeral of the Madonna and the fresco of the Annunciation, finished the year he died.
— Christ's Agony in the Garden of Gethsemane (600x681pix _ ZOOM to 1400x1590pix _ ZOOM+ to 2221x2522pix; 902kb)
Bargellini Madonna (1588, 282x188cm) _ Lodovico Carracci derived his Baroque type of composition from certain pictures by Titian, adding to these a celestial plane, by which the upper part of the picture is filled with great beauty. The Renaissance 'Sacra conversazione', in which all the people were motionless, has become a living conversation, in which men and saints are admitted in familiar terms into the presence of the sacred figures.
The Dream of Saint Catherine of Alexandria (1593) _ We recognize this sleeping figure as Saint Catherine by the fragment of spiked wheel in the lower left corner, which was the instrument of an attempted martyrdom. Here Lodovico Carracci represented her legendary dream in which Mary and the infant Christ, accompanied by angels, appeared to her. Plighting his troth, Christ placed a ring on Catherine's finger, and through this mystic marriage she became his bride. To cast the event as a dream, rather than having Saint Catherine receive the ring while awake, is Lodovico's innovation. Two angels at the left look on with protective tenderness, while others barely emerge amid the vaporous bronze radiance at the right -- spirit becoming matter. The figures, solid and robust, bask in an indeterminate setting. A languorous warmth pervades the scene and slows the composition. At the same time, the quirky folds and pleats cascading down Catherine's garments impart a vertiginous sensation -- the dizziness of sleep. Lodovico was the eldest of the three Carracci, the family of Bolognese artists who inaugurated the age of the baroque. His depictions of saints in states of visionary ecstasy were highly prized in an age when the purpose of religious art was to arouse intensely pious emotions in the spectator. _ detail
— The Martyrdom of Saint Margaret (1616) _ The perfect way in which all the formal components of this altarpiece are balanced shows how deeply Lodovico Carracci reformed religious painting. He used both intelligence and sensitivity in the way he implemented the Counter-Reformation dictates laid down by the Council of Trent. Lodovico tried to stick to simplicity and persuasion.The saint baring her neck for the executioner is a model of Christian virtues. These are exalted through her luminous beauty which contrasts with the brutality of the soldier to the left and the executioner himself (two figures which contain references to Titian, something so often found in Lodovico's work). The faithful looking at this picture are able to identify with the spectators below· the scaffold and thus feel they are present at the scene rather than outsiders to it.
— The Stories of Jason (detail) (1584) _ The three Carracci cousins were always proud of the fact that the fascinating frieze that surrounds this room in Palazzo Fava was a team effort. They refused to identify which part each one had painted. Recent critical attempts have tried to distinguish Lodovico's contributions from those of his younger cousins Agostino and Annibale. At the same time these studies have emphasized the value of the way the three artists collaborated on this work. The Carracci cousins' idea of an Academy should not be seen as a reactionary move or merely the wish to perpetuate rigid classical models. It should rather be viewed as a cultured and dynamic relationship with tradition. With this in mind, it is much easier to appreciate the variety of quotations and the richness of motifs found in Palazzo Fava. Above all, however, we perceive a sense of hidden, wintry melancholy, a feeling almost of crepuscular poetry that can most probably be attributed to Lodovico's own sensibility.
The Virgin Appearing to Saint Hyacinth (1594, 375x223cm) _ The painting is from the church of San Domenico, Bologna.
— Saint Sebastian Thrown into the Cloaca Maxima (1612, 167x231cm) _ Although Saint Sebastian is usually depicted bound to a tree or pillar and pierced by arrows, that attempt by the Romans to take his life was unsuccessful. Ludovico Carracci chose to represent the moment after the subsequent deadly beating, when Roman soldiers dumped Sebastian’s limp and lifeless body into a sewer.
Against the dark of night, brutish soldiers lift and tug the dead saint’s body. Ludovico contrasted the tensile strength of their straining bodies with the slackness of the saint’s limbs, head, and facial muscles as he falls into the sewer’s depths. The night atmosphere is dark and thick: figures seem to emerge from the blackness. Light glints dully off helmets and armor, but the soldiers’ faces are unreadable. A bright light suffuses the body of Saint Sebastian, making him the focal point of the composition.
In 1612 Cardinal Maffeo Barberini commissioned this painting from Ludovico for his family’s chapel in the Church of San Andrea della Valle in Rome. The chapel commemorated the site where Saint Sebastian’s body was recovered from the sewer, called the Cloaca Maxima. Barberini decided to keep the painting in his private collection, believing that an image of the recovery of Sebastian’s body by Christians was more appropriate for the church.