Annibale Carracci rarely painted portraits to order, not intending to, apparently, achieve the glory of the portraitist. Most of his portraits were created in a free manner. It is quite obvious that the artist worked on them for his own pleasure, and not for profit. Note that almost all of them relate to the early period of Carracci’s creativity and are similar to his own genre scenes.
Especially revealing in this sense is the “Portrait of a Laughing Young Man.” Solved in a realistic, laid-back key, he anticipates the portraits of Rembrandt. Also interesting are the self-portraits of Carracci. The most unusual of them is a portrait of the year 1590. The sad atmosphere of the picture is emphasized by the presence of a small dog, anxiously peeking out from behind the easel.