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History of Art Tripos, 1999: Special subjects

The Faculty Board of Architecture and History of Art give notice that they have amended their list of special subjects for the History of Art Tripos in 1999 (Reporter, 1996-97, p. 817). The subjects for Papers 14 and 15 are now as set out below. The Faculty Board are satisfied that no candidate's preparation for the examination is adversely affected by these changes.

Papers 14 and 15. The Carracci and their followers

Ludovico Carracci (1555-1619), and his cousins, the brothers Annibale (1560-1609) and Agostino (1557-1602), were among the most influential of all Italian artists. Traditionally and rightly regarded as artistic reformers, they synthesized the divergent regional styles of sixteenth-century Italy, renewed the study of the nude and of nature, and imbued Italian painting with a clarity, vigour and life-likeness which left little of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century European painting unaffected. Ludovico worked primarily in Bologna; Agostino - also a prolific engraver - and Annibale at first collaborated with Ludovico in Bologna, and then moved to Rome where the work of Annibale, the most talented of the three, acquired international renown. The Carracci were also teachers of incalculable importance, and their pupils included many major artists of the next generation: Reni, Domenichino, Albani, Lanfranco, Tiarini, and Guercino.

 For two centuries the Carracci were among the most revered of Italian painters, comparable in status with Raphael; it was only in the nineteenth century, with the rise of interest in the Italian primitives, that their reputations and those of their followers plummeted, and that they came to be seen as apostles of eclecticism. In recent years, however, their achievements have been reassessed, and a revival of scholarly and public interest in them and their pupils has been expressed in a series of major exhibitions and monographs, and in a flourishing periodical literature. The rediscovery of paintings and drawings by and associable with the Carraci and their followers continues apace, and the field of study is anything but stable. This course will focus on the nature of the Carraccesque reform of the 1580s in Bologna, will study in depth the Roman career of Annibale, and will follow the currents of 'Baroque Classicism' that find their source in him in the works of his major pupils.

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Cambridge University Reporter, 29th October 1997
Copyright © 1997 The Chancellor, Masters and Scholars of the University of Cambridge.