Escape to Egypt by Annibale Carracci

Escape to Egypt by Annibale Carracci

In 1603, Cardinal Aldobrandini commissioned Annibale Carracci a series of six paintings dedicated to the Life of Our Lady, to decorate the home church in his Roman palace. These paintings were to have a more or less rounded shape, so that they could decorate the church’s lunettes.

As a result, the whole series of paintings was called “lunettes of Aldobrandini”. Himself Annibale Carracci wrote only two lunettes – “Flight into Egypt” and “The Burial of Christ.” Depressed by the way Cardinal Farnese treated him, sick and tired, the artist handed over the remaining four works to his students, who finished them according to the master’s drawings.

At the end of the XVII century, pictures were taken from the lunettes, and the church was destroyed. These works are interesting, in the first place, the landscape background. If in his youth Annibale Carracci built his landscapes in the traditions of the Venetian school, then in his later works, to which the “Escape to Egypt” also refers, we see very different landscapes.

In them, elements of nature are harmoniously combined with human figures. Art historians believe that the “Ledus of Aldobrandini” are the first examples of the so-called “ideal” or “classical” landscape developed in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries into an independent genre of painting.

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