Friday, December 12, 2014
Agostino Carracci, his brother Annibale and their cousin Lodovico founded the Accademia degli Incamminati (Academy of the Progressives) in Bologna in 1582. A large number of Agostino's drawings survive, many of them originally preserved in the Accademia for teaching.
The group seen here – all from the Royal Collection – carry firm attributions to Agostino as an individual. His brother Annibale left an even larger number, cousin Lodovico not so many. Yet all three must have contributed to the largest group of all, attributable on the existing evidence only to the shadowy collective where their identities merged.
George III, sending agents to Italy in the 18th century, was able to buy up thousands of top-quality drawings by 'old masters' active in the glory days of the 16th and 17th centuries.