Annibale Carracci would always combine light and colour with great precision in order to lead the viewer's eyes towards the key areas of his paintings. Others have been much more aggressive with their approaches, such as Rembrandt and Caravaggio but Annibale tried to be more subtle. This did not prevent his paintings from also providing powerful impacts on each viewer.

Religious themes continued to dominate through the 17th century, with Carracci dominant during the earlier part of this century. Most artists were still at the mercy of their donors and would need to produce whatever content requested. Typically it would be religious institutions who would have the most finance available to make use of their services, often with installed pieces which were intended for public or private devotion.

The pain and suffering of Jesus Christ is an important cornerstone of the Christian religion, with the intention of its followers remembering to be grateful for his sacrifices and also to live moral lives themselves. Art was used as an extra method for strengthening these messages and that is why hiring the greatest names in art became so important during this time.