vrijdag, januari 22, 2016

Annibale Carracci

Annibale Carracci: Autoritratto sul cavalletto nello studio, 1604. (collectie: Uffizi)

Annibale Carracci: Studi per l'autoritratto sul cavalletto, ca. 1603-04. (collectie: Royal Library)

A second example of the mirror in self-portrait is provided by the Bolognese painter Annibale Carracci who played with the vocabulary of the self-portrait by showing himself as a self-portrait in his own studio in a painting of 1604. Perched on an easel, Annibale’s framed self-image regards the spectator with his trade mark melancholia, while his palette hangs forlornly from his easel. A shadowy figure lurks by the window and a little dog stands nearby. The animal quotient was cut down in the final version; the sketch for it has a cat under the easel and a pack of dogs annibale 3 Annibale’s drawing is a highly complex meditation on the relationship between the self-portrait and the studio, underscored by the relationship between reality and illusion. In the top rectangle, a quick sketch for a conventional self-portrait is drawn, and in that an image is an oval mirror; this could be the artist’s own as he would have faced the mirror with his right shoulder towards it resulting in a reversed image as he worked. In the bottom rectangle, the self-portrait is placed within Annibale’s studio. This has a beamed ceiling, three dogs, one of which is barking at his master’s canvas- this is a witty way of suggesting the dog thinks it’s the real person, an update of Zeuxis fooling the animals in classical Greece. A cat cuddled up under the easel lends a note of domesticity and informality- no studio should be without one! The mysterious figure framed at the window may be the artist himself, peering into his studio, and in the process emphasising the dynamic between the real world and the realm of the studio, reality and artifice respectively. Finally, the bearded man to the right might relate to the clothes in the original self-portrait, which have been changed in the final version to convey less grandeur and more humility, not to say sadness, Annibale’s customary expression, according to his biographers.
...." (bron: Art History Today)

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