Butcher shop

(c. 1582; Oxford, Christ Church Picture Gallery)
   Painted by Annibale Carracci, the Butcher Shop belongs to his early career. There already was an established tradition in Bologna for these types of genre scenes, but these were usually comical renditions by Mannerist artists, such as Bartolomeo Passerotti, Agostino Carracci's teacher. Annibale instead rendered the scene with the utmost dignity. It has been suggested that the figures in the painting are the portraits of Ludovico, Agostino, and Annibale Carracci and that it speaks of their artistic philosophy. Ludovico, who was the son of a butcher, is the one standing behind the counter, Agostino is to the left weighing meat, and Annibale is the man who slaughters the lamb in the foreground. The contorted, overdressed figure on the extreme left is thought to symbolize the excesses of Mannerism. The Carracci described their style of painting as da viva carne or of living flesh. The meat hanging in the shop no doubt refers to this premise. By using Michelangelo's Sacrifice of Noah on the Sistine ceiling, Vatican (1508-1512), as the prototype for the slaughtering of the lamb in the foreground, Annibale could allude to the Carracci as the reformers who rescued the art of painting from the artificiality of Mannerism and restored it to the classicism of the Renaissance.

Historical dictionary of Renaissance art. . 2008.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Butcher's Shop (Annibale Carracci) — Infobox Painting| title=The Butcher s Shop artist=Annibale Carracci year=1580 1590 type=Oil on canvas height=185 width=266 city=Ofxord museum=Christ Church Picture GalleryThe Butcher s Shop is a painting by the Italian Baroque painter Annibale… …   Wikipedia

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