The Choice of Hercules Annibale Carracci Buy Art Prints Now
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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
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This colourful painting from 1596 can now be found in the Capodimonte Gallery of Naples, Italy.

The Choice of Hercules features the main figure centrally in the composition, with two women placed either side. In the background is a small amount of shrubbery and a landscape scene but it is mainly covered by the figures in the foreground. The colour scheme and lighting balance is again in line with Annibale Carracci's other paintings and the use of mythological themes within his work was also not new.

The blue and red tones remind many of the finest Venetian artists of the Renaissance period and the style of Carracci was not disimilar to that movement, despite him being within the newer Baroque period. This connection to the Venetians ensures that followers of his work should also enjoy paintings by the likes of Titian, Giorgione and Tintoretto. There were even some artists who followed on afterwards that continued the style of Carracci and their ilk into future generations.

Religious themes would always be prominent during the Renaissance and Baroque periods due to the nature of where most commissions came from during this time. Key Christian institutions across the autonomous regions of the Italian republic held great sway across society at this time, both in terms of financial power and also political strength. They would employ the finest artists in order to flourish their buildings with related themes. This helped to build their claims of speaking on behalf of God himself.