Gods and Goddesses: Annibale Carracci and the Renaissance Reborn

Image: Claude Lefèbvre after Carracci. Aurora and Cephalus from the Farnese Gallery, 17th century. Engraving on paper. Promised gift to the IU Art Museum.

Indiana University Art Museum
Judi and Milt Stewart Hexagon Gallery, Special Exhibitions Gallery, first floor
September 25-December 20, 2015

Opening Reception
Friday, September 25, 6:308:00 p.m.
IU Art Museum, Thomas T. Solley Atrium, first floor

Although not a household name like his Italian predecessors Michelangelo and Raphael, Annibale Carracci (Italian, 1560-1609) was far and away the most influential Italian artist of the seventeenth century. Along with his brother Agostino and cousin Ludovico, he established an academy in Bologna that trained a whole generation of internationally prominent artists. His legacy was the establishment of a classical manner of painting that dominated Europe for at least a century. IU Art Museum's fall special exhibition, Gods and Goddesses: Annibale Carracci and the Renaissance Reborn, brings renewed attention to this important artist and his masterpiece The Loves of the Gods in the Farnese Gallery.

Despite the importance of the frescoes, they have always been difficult to see, housed as they were in a private aristocratic residence. Even today, they are accessible only by appointment, since the Palazzo Farnese in Rome now serves as home to the French Embassy. In order to spread their imagery to artists and collectors far and wide, professional printmakers immediately began to replicate Annibale's designs through reproductive engravings (seen in reverse of the original paintings).

This exhibition focuses on a series produced in France by the seventeenth-century engraver Claude Lefèbvre's prints—dedicated to Charles LeBrun, the artist largely responsible for the program of decoration at Louis XIV's palace of Versailles and one of the founders of the Académie Royale—promoted the ideal forms and the legacy of antiquity central to the Carracci school. This exhibition includes sixteen prints; fourteen after Annibale's designs that are promised gifts to the Indiana University Art Museum, as well as two comparative examples of Michelangelo and Raphael from the IU Art Museum's collection. 

Related Programs

Special Lecture and Reception: Annibale or Agostino Carracci—Who Did What When?
Friday, October 2, 6:00-7:00 p.m.
lecture: Radio and TV Building, room 251
reception: IU Art Museum, Thomas T. Solley atrium, first floor

Diane De Grazia, independent scholar and expert on the Carracci dynasty, will compare the work and personalities of Annibale Carracci and his brother Agostino through their designs for the Farnese Gallery and other works. 

This talk is co-sponsored by the College of Arts and Humanities Institute (CAHI), the Department of Art History's Robert E. and Avis Tarrant Burke Fund, Renaissance Studies, Wilma E. Kelley Museum Endowment, and the IU Art Museum's Arc Fund. 

A light reception with Italian-inspired desserts will follow the lecutre in the IU Art Museum's atrium. 

Special Installation: Erotic Prints by Agostino Carracci
October 13, 2015-May 8, 2016
Gallery of the Art of the Western World, first floor

The older brother of Annibale, Agostino Carracci was also a skilled artist, best known for his engravings. This installation features six prints from a series after his own designs, known as the Lascivie

Arts Connection: Music Fit for a Palace
Sunday, November 8, 2:00-3:30 p.m. 
Thomas T. Solley Atrium, second floor

Immerse yourself in the sights and sounds befitting an Italian palace. Enjoy a free sixty-minute concert in the sun-drenched atrium, while Les Muses De Dauphin preform compositions by contemporaries of Carracci. After the concert, join us in the first floor Judi and Milt Stewart Hexagon Gallery for a short gallery talk by Giles Knox, guest curator of the special exhibition Gods and Goddesses: Annibale Carracci and the Renaissance Reborn, about the cultural life during Carracci's time. 

Noon Talk: The Metamorphoses of Annibale
Wednesday, November 11, 12:15-1:00 p.m. 
Judi and Milt Stewart Hexagon Gallery, first floor

Zoe Van Dyke and Carlotta Paltrinieri, graduate students in the History of Art and French and Italian departments and guest curators for the special exhibition Gods and Goddesses: Annibale Carracci and the Renaissance Reborn, will discuss the role of metamorphoses in the work of Annibale Carracci as it connects to Ovid's Metamorphoses and to his stylistic transformation in the Farnese Gallery. 

Art and a Movie

Michelangelo in Focus
Sunday December 6, 2:00-2:30 p.m. 
Judi and Milt Stewart Hexagon Gallery, first floor

Giles Knox, associate professor in the history of art department and guest curator of the special exhibition Gods and Goddesses: Annibale Carracci and the Renaissance Reborn, will discuss the influence of Michelangelo on Carracci's Farnese Gallery, the design challenges of large ceiling decoration, and the relationship of artists and patrons in the sixteenth century. 

The Agony and the Ectasy (1965), Directed by Carol Reed
Sunday December 6, 3:00-5:30 p.m.
IU Cinema

Based on a best-selling novel by Irving Stone, this classic biopic tells the story of the conflicts between Michelangelo and Pope Julius II over the decoration of the Sistine Chapel. Starring Charlton Heston as the Renaissance artist and Rex Harrison as his patron, Reed's big budget blockbuster was nominated for five Academy Awards (Best Art Direction, Best Costume Design, Best Score, Best Sound, and Best Cinematography). (HD, 138min., Not Rated).