River Landscape 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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Annibale Carracci was highly skilled in depicting landscape scenes but very rarely would make them the main focus of any of his paintings. This River Landscape work is therefore highly unusual in that regard.

You will see many examples within our paintings section of different landscape scenes, generally as a supporting background to something more significant in the foreground. This would often be religious scenes of various active figures. It was particularly rare to see landscape paintings without other details during the Renaissance and Baroque periods. It was only many centuries later that artists who specialised entirely in this genre would receive critical acclaim, such as JMW Turner and John Constable from the UK.

The scene itself features two very dominant trees in the foreground which mask much that lies behind them. Perhaps the truly great landscape artists would not have created the same layout as this one but Carracci's contribution to this genre is still particularly important. Italian art during the Renaissance and Baroque periods would heavily influence the rest of the continent, perhaps only matched by their Flemish counterparts such as Bosch, Bruegel and Rogier van der Weyden. To see landscape painting emerging in Italy would therefore encourage others to follow this path.

Annibale Carracci should be respected for his contribution to artistic development within the sphere of landscape art but this was only one aspect of his overall career. He was supremely skilled as a portrait painter, too, and this would be essential for building a solid reputation during this period.