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Ludovico Carracci

Bologna 1555 - 1619
Price range
250,000 – 3,000,000 USD +
Bolognese artist Ludovico Carracci is one of the most significant figures in the development of the Italian Baroque, promoting the shift away from mannerism towards naturalism.

Like his younger cousin, Annibale Carracci (1560–1609), Ludovico hailed from Bologna where he remained for almost all of his life. His significance is owed to the crucial role he played in taking Bolognese painting away from what was then perceived as the artificiality of Mannerism and, instead, basing his art on a naturalism which was aligned to the cultural agenda laid out by the Council of Trent. This was known as the Carracci reform. In 1582 he founded the Accademia dei Desiderosi, the ‘Carracci Academy’, along with his cousins Annibale and Agostino to instruct artists in their new method. So characteristic was the house style that some of Ludovico’s early paintings are almost indistinguishable from those by his more famous cousin Annibale.

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Selected artworks

Top 3 auction prices

5,227,500 $
6,705,342 $
13,597,695 $


The sales are: Christie’s New York – 27 Jan 2000 lot 74, Christie’s London – 5 Jul 2018 lot 36 (5,071,250 GBP), and Christie’s London – 6 Jul 2006 lot 45 (7,400,000 GBP).
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Books on Ludovico Carracci

Alessandro Brogi, Ludovico Carracci (1555-1619): Addenda, Bologna, 2016.

Alessandro Brogi, Ludovico Carracci (1555-1619), Bologna, 2001.

Gail Feigenbaum and Andrea Emiliani, Ludovico Carracci, exh. cat. Bologna, 1992.

Carlo Cesare Malvasia, Felsina Pittrice: Live of the Bolognese Painters, 1678, trans. ed. Elizabeth Cropper, Washington D.C., 2012.

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