Clare Robertson: Annibale Carracci and his late Roman Patrons

Evening lecture

Annibale Carrracci's late years, following the unveiling of the Farnese Gallery, were difficult in many respects, and remain highly problematic. While continuing to work for Odoardo Farnese, who evidently regarded him as his own painter, Annibale was in considerable demand from other patrons in Rome, such as Cardinals Antonio Maria Salviati and Pietro Aldobrandini. He was, however, increasingly debilitated by illness.

This paper seeks to look at some of the strategies he adopted, as an artist who was particularly reluctant to deal with patrons at all, to cope with the pressure of work. In particular, it will consider the different ways in which he used his pupils, Albani and Domenichino, in a variety of commissions, including the Aldobrandini lunettes and the Herrera Chapel.

Clare Robertson is Reader in the History of Art at Reading University, where she teaches in Italian Renaissance and Baroque art, with a particular emphasis on painting, drawing and patronage. Her research is concerned with patronage in sixteenth and seventeenth century Rome and she has also worked on Renaissance iconography and the reception of antiquity, publishing in, amongst others, the Römisches Jahrbuch der Bibliotheca Hertziana, the Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, Mélanges de l'École française de Rome, The Burlington Magazine and Master Drawings, She has also contributed numerous essays to published collections and to exhibition catalogues such as The Genius of Rome, 1592-1623 of 2001. She was co-curator, with Catherine Whistler of the exhibition, Drawings by the Carracci from British Collections, held at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, in 1996. Her book, Alessandro Farnese, Patron of the Arts, published by Yale University Press in 1992, won the 1993 Eric Mitchell Prize. She has also completed a forthcoming book on Annibale Carracci, with particular emphasis on his drawings, which will be published by the Bibliotheca Hertziana later this year. She has held a Fellowship and a Visiting Professorship at Villa I Tatti. She is also a Research Fellow of the British School at Rome, where her current project, which was supported by a Leverhulme Fellowship from 2003-6, is a study on the city of Rome in 1600.

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