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The Baroque

This vivid head is precisely the type of study from everyday life practised so passionately by the three Carracci in drawings and paintings in their early years in Bologna. A similar directness and looseness of handling is seen in Annibale's early portrai

Head of a Man in Profile ©

The Baroque is a term used loosely to describe the arts in Italy in the seventeenth century. In painting, it is characterised by dramatic subjects, compositions and lighting, intended to provoke an emotional response.

The reinvigoration of art in Rome was due primarily to two influential artists, Annibale Carracci and Caravaggio. Both based their practice on study from life. Annibale admired the artists of the Renaissance, particularly Raphael, Correggio and Titian, while Caravaggio broke from the past with his starkly lit realism.

In this section are also two magnificent examples of Venetian Mannerist painting by Tintoretto of the late sixteenth century. Most of the paintings in this section were acquired by Charles I , some by artists he persuaded to work in England, such as Orazio Gentileschi and his daughter, Artemisia, who may have presented her Self-portrait  to the King.

Annibale Carracci (Bologna 1560-Rome 1609)

An Allegory of Truth and Time

Annibale Carracci (Bologna 1560-Rome 1609)

Head of a Man in Profile

Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (Milan 1571-Port' Ercole 1610)

Boy Peeling Fruit

Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (Milan 1571-Port' Ercole 1610)

The Calling of Saints Peter and Andrew

Cristofano Allori (1577-1621)

Judith with the Head of Holofernes

Giovanni Battista Caracciolo (Naples 1578-Naples 1635)

Cupid Sleeping

Anastasio Fontebuoni (1571-1626)

Madonna di Pistoia

Domenichino (Bologna 1581-Naples 1641)

Saint Agnes

Guido Reni (Bologna 1575-Bologna 1642)

Cleopatra with the Asp

Domenico Fetti (Rome c. 1588-Venice 1623)

David with the Head of Goliath

Domenico Fetti (Rome c. 1588-Venice 1623)

Vincenzo Avogadro

Domenico Fetti (Rome c. 1588-Venice 1623)

The Sacrifice of Elijah Before the Priests of Baal

Bernardo Strozzi (Genoa 1581-Venice 1644)

The Concert

Orazio Gentileschi (Pisa 1563-London 1639)

A Sibyl

Orazio Gentileschi (Pisa 1563-London 1639)

Joseph and Potiphar's wife

Artemisia Gentileschi (Rome 1593-Naples 1652)

Self-portrait as the Allegory of Painting (La Pittura)

Guido Cagnacci (Santarcangelo di Romagna 1601-Vienna 1663)

Jacob Peeling the Rods

Giovanni Francesco Barbieri known as Guercino (Cento 1591-Bologna 1666)

The Libyan Sibyl

Carlo Dolci (Florence 1616-86)

Salome with the Head of John the Baptist