An Italian journey – as a blockbuster Donatello show arrives in Florence, this week’s Apollo Art Diary highlights exhibition around the world that trace the story of art in Italy.
All of the surviving fragments of Annibale Carracci’s (1560–1609) masterful frescoes for the Herrera Chapel in Rome have been reunited for this display at the Prado in Madrid (8 March–12 June). The Bologna-born baroque painter, whose reputation as the leading proponent of a new, dynamic strand of classicism brought him into rivalry with Caravaggio in Rome, was commissioned in 1604 to create a lavish mural for the family chapel of the Spanish noble Henríquez de Herrera, at the church of Santiago of the Spanish in Rome. He fell ill while working on the project, suffering paralysis of his arm, and died shortly afterwards in 1609; the frescoes, which depict biblical subjects as well as scenes from the lives of Spanish saints, were completed by collaborators including Giovanni Lanfranco, Sisto Badalocchio and Francesco Albani. When the church was sold in the 19th century, the frescoes were removed; now divided between the Prado and the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya in Barcelona, they are reunited here (after recent restoration) for the first time since 1833, alongside preparatory drawings and other materials that give insight into Carracci’s final project. Find out more from the Prado’s website.
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