Printed Renaissance

The Carracci Admirers

Pietro Aquila  
Italian, c. 1650–1692
After Annibale Carracci
Italian, 1560–1609
Frontispiece to Images of the Farnese Gallery in Rome (Rome: Giovanni Giacomo de’ Rossi, 1674)
Clark Art Institute Library, ND623 C32 G355

In 1595, Annibale Carracci arrived in Rome, where he led a team of fresco painters in decorating a splendid room in the Farnese Palace in Rome called the Farnese Gallery. Carracci died in 1609, shortly after the project’s completion, leaving behind an active group of followers who carried forth his artistic legacy. The Farnese commission, particularly the ceiling, soon came to be perceived as an unrivaled fresco masterpiece. From the 1650s on, enterprising engravers, publishers, and critics in support of Carracci’s art collaborated to produce several editions of print series that visualized the entire Farnese Gallery. These prints were annotated with thematic explanations and brought Carracci’s monumental fresco from a grand private palace within the reach of individuals, who collected and often bound them into books.  This copy from the Clark Library contains twenty-five loose-leaf prints that can be variously collated to show the Farnese Gallery’s walls and vaulted ceiling.