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.
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.