Annibale Carracci was known as eclectic because he selected the things he most admired from the great artists before him and fused them into his own work. He was a fine artist in his own right and original enough to do this successfully. His many followers of lesser talent leaned so heavily upon their predecessors that the art of such eclectic painters fell into disrepute and eclecticism became a term of disgrace.
Annibale was the youngest of three brothers who ran an academy of painters. Sons of a Bologna butcher, Ludovico (1555-1619) was the eldest and founder of the Academy. By preference he specialized in religious subjects. Agostino (1557-1602), trained first as a goldsmith, was witty, handsome and eru
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