“But when [Roman painters] realized that the Carracci’s way of painting could put them to shame and scorn, they used evil ways and lies in casting the first stone of envy. Full of arrogance and perfidy, they said that the Carracci had no understanding of good design and no talent for color. O God, envy has the sharp teeth of an angry bitch! All this also produced so much controversy and ill feeling among the dilettanti… that the Carracci’s merit was undermined” (Boschini, 1660; Summerscale, 2000).
The relationship between Bologna and Rome in the early baroque art world remains contested. The reluctance to attribute a significant role played by the city and her artists in developments elsewhere and relegation to the periphery is attributable to multiple factors, first among them Vasarian hierarchies. As Elizabeth Cropper noted in her recent translation of Carlo Cesare Malvasia’s (1616-1693) Felsina Pittrice (1678) and his Bolognese biographies, would it not have been for Giorgio Vasari (1511-1574) our understanding of major centers for art production would be radically different. She noted that in World War II, valuing the art produced in Florence, the Allies went to incredible lengths to protect the city from bombing or damage of any kind, whereas Bologna was almost completely destroyed by aerial attacks (Cropper & Pericolo, 2012). By the same token, when considering the nearly six-hundred academies in Italy in the early modern era, and especially those dedicated to the visual arts, the Vasarian Accademia del Disegno (founded 1563) is cited as the preeminent model for and influence on art education and production in subsequent organizations founded in the Late Renaissance, including the Roman Accademia di San Luca (Barzman, 2000; Boschloo, 1989). Shortly after its founding in 1577, Sixtus V (r.1585-1590) revitalized the city’s infrastructure and consolidated ecclesiastical power, making it, ostensibly, the caput mundi for the new counter-reformation orders who located their headquarters there. Whereas the papacy sought to establish and assert its agency around the globe, so too did the Roman Accademia in the capital in pedagogy and production (Magnuson, 1982; Ostrow, 2006; Hager & Scott, 1984).
Yet despite the perception of consistent advancement, recent scholarship has shed new light on the early history of the institution and revealed that growth was slow and sporadic; as well, the founding ideas for the institution and its structure, generally considered to have been modeled on that of Florence, were much less formal in their application (Lukehart, 2009; Lukehart 2014; Pade, 2011). In point of fact, the process of apprenticeship, life-drawing lessons, and the transference of theoretical principles, such as disegno, were all different. This divergence was necessitated by the very transient nature of artists and the art world in Rome, demanding a new, flexible approach to training. Such a model was developed for many of the same reasons in a non-traditional art academy in Bologna, also controlled by the Holy See in the Papal States, the Carracci Academia degli Desiderosi (later renamed “degli Incamminati”) founded around 1582 (Malvasia, 1676; Maylender, 1926-1930). The trend is significant to note for the seemingly stable model provided by Florence was almost immediately challenged by the realities of the art world in areas outside the Duchy of Tuscany. In treatments of the Baroque, Bologna is often presented as on the margins of the art world where artists would receive their initial training, but then move to the head city of the Papal States for more prestigious commissions and to complete their training by studying High Renaissance masters and the antiquities there, as Annibale Carracci (1560-1609) himself had done (Mancini, 1617-1621; Baglione, 1642; Bellori, 1672; Scannelli, 1657; Malvasia, 1676). The ideas and new approaches originating in Bologna, though overlooked as influential for Rome, would anticipate the artistic direction of the next century in many early modern academies. Moreover, given that the most successful baroque artists that we now associate with the dominant style in the seventeenth century were from Bologna, and more specifically from the Carracci Accademia, the relationship and exchanges with its Roman counterpart demand greater scrutiny (Posner, 1965).
One factor relating to the oversight of the role that Bolognese ideas had in filtering through their Roman counterpart derives in no small part from the perceived roles (often self-fashioned) of their leaders. The incompatibility of the so-called “practical” approach of Annibale Carracci and the “theory” of Federico Zuccaro (ca.1542-1609) led Denis Mahon to conclude that: “Zuccaro’s theoretical publications had no perceptible influence among painters just because of their exceptional lack of relationship to the practical business of painting” (Mahon, 1953). The Carracci, on the other hand, would fashion an “eclectic” step-by-step process for art production that was fundamentally concerned with practical application in “an academy for doing”, not speaking (Goldstein, 1988). Though Mahon’s polemical construction has been reconsidered to some extent, remnants of the anti-intellectual classification can still be felt in contemporary scholarship (Goldstein, 1996).
On the other hand, attempts to come to a historiographic consensus of the Carracci Accademia and evaluate its legacy and influence (as benign or potent) have been thwarted by the nature of the documentary evidence. The sources that have survived come from opposing traditions in the struggle for artistic hegemony at the end of the seicento, nearly a century after the founding of both accademie. The antiquarian and biographer Giovan Pietro Bellori (1613-1696), who had strong ties with the Roman Accademia, carefully selected artists for his Vite de’pittori, scultori e architetti moderni of 1672, opening with the Life of Annibale Carracci. In championing Annibale as the savior of art, rescued from the clutches of the maniera, and establishing him as the heir to Raphael (1483-1520), the newly elevated academic model for art production, Bellori effectively revived the reputation of the Carracci and their academy (Bellori, 2005). In the process, he can be seen to rewrite the history of the Accademia in Rome and give Annibale a greater role in its early years. Such importance bestowed on the character of the artist was likewise conferred by Giuseppe Ghezzi (1634-1721), writing on the history of the Roman institution in 1696 where he credited Annibale il gran Caracci as a seminal figure in the development of the Roman school of painting (Ghezzi, 1696).
As a counterpoint to the Romanization of Annibale by Bellori and Ghezzi, the Bolognese patriot Carlo Cesare Malvasia provides us with the structure of the Carracci Accademia, along with its curriculum in his Felsina Pittrice of 1678, most fully elaborated on in the reprinting of the Funeral Oration of Agostino Carracci (Summerscale, 2000). Though indispensable in understanding the inner workings of the institution, Malvasia’s campanilismo has led scholars to rely on his accounts with caution (Perini, 1988). More than alternative perspectives, these sources have led to a kind of critical deadlock and resultant inertia, despite the fact that recent scholarship has repeatedly set forth new evidence that illustrates similarities between the various incarnations of the Roman Accademia and that of the Carracci in Bologna (Lukehart, 2009). Moreover, such concessions to their relationship, and the possible role that the Bolognese academy played as a pedagogical precursor, function more to frame and clarify our understanding of the Roman institution, while doing little to advance our understanding of the Carracci, or discuss specifics of how it might have been influential.
While this paper does not seek a reinterpretation of the structure or goals of each, it does propose a reevaluation of their relationship; and attempts to highlight the similarities of the institutions, including the nature of their exchanges and the factors contributing to difficulties in discussing these definitively. For although the perceived pedagogical goals of the Carracci and the most well-known academician associated with the Roman Accademia, Federico Zuccaro, have traditionally been viewed as conflicting, the early history of the Roman Accademia can be seen to parallel the Bolognese. The uncertain and evolving nature of the profession was more prevalent and acknowledged in these cities, as opposed to relative stability of patronage and training in Ducal Florence. This in turn led to a demand for a new type of educational institution to address an existing demand for innovative andragogical training. Finally, the curricula of both academies were designed with counter-reformation goals in mind due to their association with the same ecclesiastical figures.
The legacy of the Carracci can be traced through the progression of their and their pupils’ perceived involvement in the institution in the histories of the organization. Records from the early years of the Roman Accademia (ca.1590-1635)—documents from the Archivio di Stato di Roma and Romano Alberti’s (active 1585-1604) Origine, et progresso dell’Academia del Dissegno, de pittori, scultori, et architetti di Roma (1604)—are noticeably silent on the involvement of the founding members of the Carracci Accademia, Annibale Carracci (1560-1609), Agostino Carracci (1557-1602) and Ludovico Carracci (1555-1619) (Alberti, 1604). Later treatments, however, reveal a marked increase in their reported involvement in each institution. In his Il centesimo dell’anno M. DC. XCV.: celebrato in Roma dall’Accademia del disegno, essendo prencipe il Signor Cavalier Carlo Fontana, architetto of 1696, secretary for the Roman Accademia, Giuseppe Ghezzi (1634-1721) list as members all three, while Melchiore Missirini in 1823 in Memoire per servire alla storia della Romana Accademia di S. Luca fino alla morte di Antonio Canova lists Annibale and Agostino (Missirini, 1823; Ghezzi, 1696). This paper will argue that such inclusion cannot be attributed merely to the Romanization of the Carracci, nor the campanilismo of Roman artists and academicians, such as Bellori. The influence of the Carracci, in fact, reverberated throughout the Roman art world, and the ripples can be seen in the Roman Accademia itself. Their young pupils and members of the Accademia degli Incamminati would thrive in the Roman art world and serve as officers and instructors in her academy—e.g. Domenichino (1581-1641), Francesco Albani (1578-1660), and Giovanni Lanfranco (1582-1647). In addition, the Roman studio of Annibale would find its new capo, the illegitimate son of Agostino and nephew of Annibale, Antonio Carracci (ca.1589-1618), documented as an active member, providing a direct connection between the pedagogical strategies of the Carracci and that of Rome. The cross-currents of reform, sweeping through and between accademie, provided the impetus for such exchanges, investigations into which create a more complete and richer picture of art making in the early modern era, and calls for a reevaluation of center-periphery pedagogy.
This paper will review the available evidence of the nascency of the Roman and Bolognese academies in order to demonstrate their aligned goals and highlight their shared members. Through reconsiderations of artist biographies, histories of the academies, funeral orations, and more, the relationship of these educational institutions will be investigated and put in context with recent scholarship on the subject. First, the context in which the academies were founded will be discussed as responding to the perceived “crisis” in the arts at the end of the cinquecento noted by Armenini. Responding to the situation, and to the nature of the pupils that sought out these institutions, both academies would meet the demands that accompanied the shift away from apprenticeship earlier in the century. Next, a review of the documentary evidence will be presented with histories, biographies, and treatises by Malvasia, Ghezzi, Missirini, and Bellori. The evidence will be placed in the context of the intellectual history of the period to review the early development of both the Roman and Bolognese academies to reveal their relationship.
2. An “Open” Academy: Critical and Artistic Impetus in Bologna and Rome
The establishment of new academies came in the wake of a perceived artistic crisis in the latter half of the cinquecento. Vasari himself, instrumental in the founding of the Accademia del Disegno, had in his 1550 biographies predicted a relapse in art to a pre-renaissance state, fearing art was on the verge of old age since it “has climbed so high that one is inclined to fear a recession rather than hope for further advancement” (Vasari, 1881). In the opening of his treatise De’ veri precetti of 1586, Giovanni Battista Armenini (1530-1609) reiterates the warning of impending decline: “Although in our times this beautiful art of painting has risen to a high and honorable place from the baseness and vileness into which it had fallen in past centuries, I am ever of the opinion that it is neither so stable nor so firmly established that one should not fear that it may slip back again rather than rise higher” (Armenini, 1977). Looking back on the period in the following century, Bellori would lament with confirmation the corruption apparent in the arts when: “artists, abandoning the study of nature, corrupted art with the maniera, by which we mean the fantastic idea, based on artistic practice and not on imitation” (Bellori, 1672).
According to Armenini, the blame for this digression belonged to the pedagogy of the day and of bad masters: the “excellent masters of our time have made it a custom, which I shall call abusive, to shut themselves up and seal every little crack when they are working so that even their assistants can hardly see them; and where they should have continually helped art by their teaching and guidance, they have made it most difficult to learn by guarding their secrets and not allowing themselves to be seen” (Armenini, 1977). Predictably, most pupils of the day will inevitably fail to approach art correctly because they lack someone “to shed light before them”, causing them to wander off the path into innumerable improper styles, lost “in a confusion of pillars, statues, histories, models, and objects of nature” (Armenini, 1977). We are told that the Carracci Academia was founded to thwart these conditions and provide artists an alternative to the so-called “bad masters” of the day (Malvasia, 1676; Bellori, 1672). But the “academy of those that set out on the path of virtue” could not achieve its goals with a traditional educational program for unlike the Florentine Accademia del Disegno, pupils of the Carracci did not arrive as giovani, but as adults, often having trained extensively under other artists. For instance, Lucio Massari (1569-1633) joined the Carracci at age twenty-four, Pietro Faccini (1562-1602) at twenty-six, while Francesco Albani (1578-1660) and Guido Reni (1575-1642) were in their late teens when they defected from the studio of Denys Calvaert (1540-1619) (Malvasia, 1676). These non-traditional students in Bologna were generally in their twenties or older when they came to study instead of establishing their own botteghe or practicing as journeymen. This reflects a general shift away from strict workshop training, where art is viewed merely as a skill to be learned, and towards the university system where education became a “lifelong pursuit”; a development that should come as no surprise in a city with the world’s oldest university, ensuring no dearth of academic models (Lukehart, 2009).
The situation in Bologna, where new strategies for education needed to be devised to accommodate an increasing population of non-traditional students, also existed in Rome. Armenini had seen this first-hand as a student there in 1550 and articulated the need for new androgogical approaches to training. Recent studies have confirmed the shift in training and apprenticeship in that, unlike artists of the previous generation, those arriving in Rome later in the century, like Armenini and Taddeo Zuccaro (1529-1566), brother of Federico, had yet to become masters themselves (Lukehart, 2009). This was due in part to the fact that artists of the period rarely apprenticed to one master, but instead attended case aperte (“open house” studios) of more established artists in order to learn the profession. These young artists received support from their families, instead of working for one particular master, effectively separating manual labor from their intellectual studies (Cavazzini, 2008). Learning outside of the traditional apprenticeship track and lacking institutional support, these young artists were forced to find their own way—to study unaided or band together with other available students (as Taddeo had upon his arrival) (Baglione, 1642). The unstable educational situation was only exasperated by the unsteady flow of patronage from the papacy and the regional favoritism of each new regime. In writing about his time spent in Rome from 1574-1577, for instance, the Flemish biographer Karel van Mander (1548-1606) bemoaned the situation and how everything changed with each papacy: commissions would grind to a halt after each pope, leaving young artists aimless without workshops or organizations in place to direct their activities (Van Mander, 1999). These jobless periods were often followed in quick succession by building and decoration projects on a scale not witnessed in centuries in Rome. The inconsistency in training for assistants used in these projects led to unsatisfying results, further demonstrating the need for the founding of a new academy.
3. Educatori Riformanda: Muziano and the First Roman Accademia
Van Mander’s indictment of the art market in Rome was based on observations from the years leading up to the founding of a new institution to address them. Such was the situation when the painter Girolamo Muziano (ca.1532-1592) would become the first head of the organization, remaining so until his death. Although almost all treatments of the institution begin with Zuccaro’s principate in 1593, the academy’s initial establishment came with papal brief of Gregory XIII (1572-1585) of 1577. Record of this early phase of the Accademia is derived from Melchiorre Missirini’s (1773-1849) Memoireper servire alla storia della Romana Accademia di S. Luca of 1823, the first comprehensive history of the institution. In it we learn that from 1577 to 1592 Muziano attempted to put into practice his vision for the new academy which included a didactic function, more closely aligned with counter-reformation concerns for religious education of painters than that of aesthetics. This direction ensured that the Roman Accademia would develop along a different route than its Florentine counterpart, though also drawing on the guild and confraternal models known to the professional classes, discussed by Karen-edis Barzman and Sergio Rossi (Rossi, 1984; Barzman, 2000). The brief that outlines the need for such an institution opens with the claim that there has been a decline in the arts: the decline was prompted by financial necessity as young artists took on work before they were well-prepared. In order to “remedy the situation”, the new academy would provide knowledgeable masters and ensure that: “the studious youths [studiosi giovani] were diligently instructed in Christian doctrine and piety in good custom, as well as in the arts, according to the intelligence and capacity of each appropriately exercised, and that by degrees would strive to study and imitate the most excellent, and more rare specimens of the same arts” (Missirini, 1823). The overview by Missirini was gleaned from earlier sources, such as Giuseppe Ghezzi’s celebration of the centennial of the academy in 1595. In his introduction, Ghezzi recounts the history of the founding of the institution by Muziano, who, with the blessing of the Pope, sought to rectify a perceived shortcoming in the arts. Due to the promise of easy gain, teachers were insegnando la colla falsità di uno stilem (Missirini, 1823). The functions of this new institution were to include that of a confraternity; statutes were to be drawn up that would ensure the academicians would prosper and benefit their souls, being mindful of the strictures of the Council of Trent (Lukehart, 2009).
Along with the recent Accademia Seminars, Peter Lukehart recently oversaw the compilation and cataloging of documents relating to the early history of the institution from ca.1590-1635. Several documents are of interest relating to Muziano’s involvement in securing property and financing for the fledgling organization, such as houses left in his will and annuities established (Lukehart, 2009). However, the archives reveal that little extant information exists to elucidate the educational program established by Muziano. For this we must turn to Missirini’s history where we find that Muziano wanted to create a gallery of ancient and modern art to train young artists; casts would be produced from ancient sculptures, while artists would be sent to Lombardy and Venice to study the works of Correggio, Titian, and Veronese. The properties acquired by the first director were allocated for different uses, Missirini elaborates:
[…] in a large room to create art, the principle ancient statues were formed of gypsum and placed in the best light, and then at his own expense sent the most able youth to Venice, and Lombardy to copy the main works by Titian, Correggio, Paolo [Veronese], and other famous [painters], whereas in Rome could be studied the fine works of this school (Missirini, 1823).
Onsite there was to be a studio for drawing after the nude model in the Sala del Facchino, occasional lectures, and a series of competitions. While questions have been raised as to the sources accuracy, this remains the most extensive description of the early educational goals of the institution (Turner, 1976). The role of life drawing cannot be underestimated in this and the Carracci Academy and is attested to again by Bellori as will be discussed.
4. Gli Incamminati: Carracci Reformed Accademia
It is interesting to note that the examples and artists Muziano would have his students illustrate the same interests as the Carracci Accademia in Venetian and Lombard works. The similarities in conception have led scholars to conclude that the earliest incarnation of the Roman Accademia was similar in pedagogy and structure to that established by Annibale Carracci around 1582 upon the return of him and Agostino (1557-1602) from study in Venice and Rome (Lukehart, 2009; Maylender, 1926-1930). In fact, Missirini would later list the brothers as active in the proceedings of the Roman Accademia, attesting to their perceived involvement (Missirini, 1823). Given that the goal of each institution was to affect meaningful change in the visual arts, the appellation of an “academy for doing, not for talking” (accademia di fare non di ragionare) can be applied to both (Goldstein, 1988). But unlike Muziano’s that would remain largely unrealized and on paper, the new academy in Bologna, Malvasia tells us, “drew such a crowd and grew so immediately and greatly that the reputation of every other academy […] was quickly extinguished” (Malvasia, 1676). What was innovative about the structure was that it combined for the first time the activities of a teaching organization and an active bottegha. In the early stages of the academy especially, Robertson notes, it was “unusually unhierarchical” with theoretical concerns never distinguished from practical ones of the workshop (Robertson, 2008). This new “open” atmosphere fostered lively discussion from more than eager youth for the Bolognese academy was attended by a variety of artists, both established and pupils of the Carracci, as well as persone letterate and critics from other institutions in the city. Biographers on both sides agree that a range of personalities would be in attendance on any given night, from aristocratic amateur painters and critics, to distinguished intellectuals and poets. Bellori reported that the “Academy of disegno” founded in Bologna was attended by “many outstanding men of talent in various sciences as well as gentlemen of the city”, while Malvasia records those literati in attendance (Malvasia, 1676). The same variety of participants had been noted by Alberti in his Origine of 1604 when listing the active members of the Roman Accademia; following painters, sculptors, architects, he also includes Orifici, e Intagliatori, Signori, e Gentilhuomini Amatori.
The inclusion of various representatives from a variety of literary and artistic disciplines was central to the Carracci approach to training. In one of the earliest and most comprehensive overviews of Italian accademie, Maylender confirmed the innovative goals of the academy when he noted that practical instruction was not the sole concern of the Carracci. Reiterating Malvasia’s account, he states that students were given instruction not only in practical matters, but also in letters: “but these exercises were not only in painting by these academicians, among which were many writers, but they were amused in long sessions over sacred and profane stories, fables, ideas and pictorial inventions, and they recited erudite speeches on the beautiful letters, in which Agostino Carracci was most versed” (Maylender, 1926-1930). Though superficially drawn from the Florentine curriculum, this interdisciplinary aspect of the Carracci sets them apart: Raphaelesque eclecticism was built into the program of study and seen in the careers of the Carracci themselves. As mentioned, the Carracci would be related by Bellori to Raphael, not only in their role in resuscitating art after its near disastrous brush with the maniera, but also in their pedagogical practices and theories. Around the time of their founding, Armenini had offered Raphael’s method of working as a model, which he knew from Vasari’s assertion of how the artist improved his style (Vasari, 1881). Elaborating on Raphael’s instructive process, Armenini claimed the artist insisted that his pupils study a variety of sources, both the modern and ancient as the Carracci would shortly (Armenini, 1977). Indeed the association of the Carracci and their working method with that of Raphael and Zeuxis goes beyond Bellori’s rhetorical construct. The funeral oration for Agostino Carracci by Lucio Faberio (1550s-1610), recorded by Malvasia, also confirms the eclectic model espoused in the institution and practiced by Agostino, for:
[…] he entertained the bold aim of adding to the most famous styles of all the past masters anything further that might be desired as the ultimate perfection of the miracles they had already achieved—that is, to add the lovely color of Correggio to the perfect measure and proportion of Raphael, and the great draftsmanship of Raphael to the lovely color of Correggio, to add the tenderness of Titian to the well-founded mastery of Michelangelo, and the deep knowledge of Michelangelo to the tenderness of Titian—in short by mixing all the particular gifts of these and every other great painter to re-create and form out of them all taken together the Helen of his deeply considered idea (Summerscale, 2000).
Bellori noted that after absorbing a variety of these sources recorded by Malvasia, Agostino and Annibale returned to Bologna with an “excellent style […] like the Golden Fleece to their native land” to instruct giovani in a new institution (Bellori, 1672). After his death, recorded in a letter from Agucchi published by Malvasia in his Life of the Carracci, his nephew Antonio made arrangements for the burial, ensuring a lasting connection to Raphael: “his nephew Antonio, the son of Messer Agostino, who is here, will take good care of everything, and will have him buried in the Rotonda next to the tomb of Raphael d’Urbino, where a memorial tablet with an epitaph worthy of his valor will be placed” (Summerscale, 2000).
The fact that both Bellori and Malvasia relate the working method to that of the Carracci undermines the claim that the Romanization of Annibale was the sole motivation for the Raphaelesque framing. By the same token, the perceived polemical opposition between the Carracci and Zuccari is also called into question when considering that Taddeo Zuccaro—brother of Federico Zuccaro, first principe of the Roman Academy—was seen to be a precursor of Annibale himself, and that both were seen to pursue a return to the values of the High Renaissance (Brooks, 2007). In fact, each would be compared to Raphael, the preferred academic artist to model both theory and practice on in the seicento by Bellori and Armenini. Like the Carracci, Taddeo traveled to Rome in 1543 and purposefully sought to revive a style based in nature, returning to the styles of Raphael and Correggio. As Frantz related, Taddeo attempted to follow the example of Raphael in adopting: “a system of studying and copying a series of past achievements should increase the prospect of merit in one’s own work” (Frantz, 1965). The process is elaborated on in an anecdote recorded by his brother Federico. Upon his return to Sant’ Agnolo after his infamous period of hardship in Rome, Taddeo:
Tired from his walk and befogged by fever he stopped by the bank of a river, also in the hope that someone would pass him on horseback. While he rested, he fell asleep and when he awoke he was completely wrung out by his illness. Staring at the riverbank, he seemed to see the stones there turn into paintings and stories like the facades and works of Polidoro which he had seen in Rome and which had afforded him the keenest pleasure. Thus, his brain persuaded by his imagination into believing they were what they seemed, he set about gathering together the stones that appeared best and most beautiful. Putting this load into a satchel in which he was carrying his few little things and drawings, he returned to Sant’Agnolo with it to recommend the stones more than himself to his mother; nor did he discover his error until he was well (Vasari, 1881).
The process of selecting ideal models to emulate sounds remarkably like the prescriptions of Bellori, which were in turn based on the ideas of Nicolas Poussin (1594-1665). The art of the Zuccari, however, seems irreconcilable with that championed by Bellori, associated with the maniera as it was later in the century. Yet the arch-classicist does not direct his condemnations of the style that deviated from the clarity and rationalism of classical art at either of the Zuccari, for their values and working methods (at least from a literary standpoint) mirrored those of the Carracci (Bellori, 1672).
Bellori records that “the principal focus of study [in the Carracci Academy] was on drawing human bodies; symmetry, perspective, with the principles of light and shadow, anatomy, and architecture were taught; and there were lectures on histories and fables, and on inventions for depicting these and the good manner of painting them” (Bellori, 1672). The curriculum was thus a progressive sequence of study, beginning with foundation sciences and exercises, and then advancing to related disciplines and activities. What distinguished the Carracci Academy from others, however, was the unprecedented emphasis on drawing and on acquiring skills of invenzione through drawing, especially from life; a firm foundation in life drawing would permeate a student’s studies, following a rigorous introduction to the underlying mathematical principles and geometry in systems such as perspective (Bohn, 2004). Finally, once the student had mastered the underlying mathematical principles necessary for figure studies, he would continue on with the “histories and fables” that would dictate how to compose a particular istoria (Maylender, 1926-1930). Hence, though the appearance of their works differs greatly, there did not seem to exist a conscious antipathy between the Carraccesque academic approach and the Zuccaresque or Muzianesque. Charles Dempsey observed, in fact, that: “it does not follow that in opposing [Zuccaro’s style], they [the Carracci] were therefore opposing the idea of academic training and methods, any more than were the artists of the Florentine reform, who were themselves the first products of the Accademia del Disegno” (Dempsey, 1980).
5. Zuccaro: Restructuring the Roman Accademia
The innovative educational strategy adopted by the Carracci reflects that of Muziano in Rome, where an inadvertent eclecticism was already being practiced among the ever-shifting artistic population. Had the Roman reformer’s plans been executed as envisioned, the institutions may have been aligned even more closely, but the extent to which these were enacted are unclear (Pevsner, 1940). In the overview provided by Ghezzi, the motivations behind the new direction in leadership is discussed as Zuccaro is eletto per Capo, e principal Direttore recorded in the inaugural address on November 14, 1593 (Ghezzi, 1696). The historical tradition had been established by Alberti, who provided the first account of the early history of the Accademia, where in his Origine of 1604 we find the artistic initiative embodied in the figure of Federico Zuccaro and the ecclesiastical aegis of Cardinal Federico Borromeo (1564-1631). Dedicated to their Cardinal Protector Borromeo, Alberti records the first inaugural year of the Academy, documenting specifically the teaching and lecture programs designed by Zuccaro. Reiterating the laments of Armenini, Zuccaro points to the need for an organization to teach “studious young boys” as there has occurred a decline in the “excellence and dignity” of the profession (Alberti, 1604). Like the Bolognese, the Roman Accademia was attended by a variety of artists, literati, and critics from other organizations in the city; the attendance of non-specialists sought to ennoble the arts and in turn bestow an air of virtuosity on the participants. In fact, Roccasecca reiterates the same goals as Muziano and the Carracci in that: “They plainly envisioned an ‘open’ institution, a meeting place for academicians and aspiring academicians that was furnished with teaching materials and books on basic and specialized topics” (Lukehart, 2009). Thus the pedagogical program was instituted to elevate the status of the arts, and aimed at amatori and artists alike, and was laid out in Alberti’s report and later academic statutes. The statutes were drafted in 1607 setting out teaching and auxiliary roles where scolari della professione were to be instructed in disegno, painting, sculpture, architecture, perspective, anatomy, and “every other thing required of the profession”, covering both practical and theoretical application (Lukehart, 2009). Tracing the classes offered from their inception to the formalized architectural lessons of the 1630s, Roccasecca notes that the institution was, above all, founded by painters with lessons divided into studio exercises and lectures primarily benefitting that medium (Lukehart, 2009). The Studio, Alberti reports, was quite successful in its goal of educating young artists (Alberti, 1604). With a supposed monopoly over life-drawing classes in the city, students would receive extensive training, as well as being encouraged to copy works in local collections. As with the Carracci before him, Zuccaro instituted a system of awards in order to encourage students to excel: every two weeks after lectures, the principe would examine drawings of students and decided which were best; awards would take monetary and academic endowment forms where students could be singled out for their performance and given a greater sense of responsibility (Alberti, 1604). These students were “always acknowledged by some special marks of favor, and grace, and for that week [he] was considered superior to the others and [served as] lieutenant, [and was] obeyed and respected by the assistenti” (Lukehart, 2009).
Similarities in the pedagogical strategies of the Carracci with their pupils were clearly seen by later academicians to have been adopted in Rome. Several sources corroborate the drawing contests carried out by the Carracci pupils that directors like Zuccaro would emulate. Like Bellori, Giambattista Passeri (1610-1679) was associated with the Roman Accademia, becoming principe, and wrote a series of biographies on those active in the organization who died a generation after the Carracci (Passeri, 1772). However, Passeri does not organize his more expanded series around theoretical precepts, and instead offers an apparently more objective account of the daily activities in botteghe. In the Life of Guido Reni, these competitive exercises of the Carracci are discussed as laying the foundation for the artist to capture the belle idée dell’aria delle teste:
The Carracci had already used them to instruct primarily the youth in the accurate exercise of disegno, to do that with competitive emulation between their pupils so that they would be able to render more actions and more spirit. With these competitions, Guido [Reni], Domenichino, [Francesco] Albani, [Giovanni] Lanfranco, Sisto Batalocco, Guercino, and others of that school, were all able to acquire the knowledge and credit, laboring greatly in gatherings, which were proposed in the Academy by men of letters under the directions of the Carracci, by proposing to execute some particular subject of any history. Everyone labored to become better and to gain, beyond the promised prize, the favour of great esteem, and this served to stimulate all towards greater advancement (Passeri, 1772).
The inclusion of persone letterate and those of various backgrounds in the proceedings and daily operation of the institution fostered intellectual flexibility when applying the practical lessons of drawing. Communal competition, Passeri assures his readers, led to innovative solutions when approaching different istorie, and was influential for those held in Rome, which he himself had witnessed and continued as director: “This good exercise was also practiced during my own time, continuing under the direction of Pietro da Cortona in the Academy of Painters, Sculptors, and Architects in the Church of S. Luca of Rome, and the esteemed Cardinal Francesco Barberini, nephew of Pope Urban VIII, then regnant, with much love and zeal, his Eminence Protector of the Academy, wanted to continue this good work [...]” (Passeri, 1772).
Excellence was likewise fostered sequentially in the curriculum established by Zuccaro in 1593 under his principate where he set up a system with four levels, or capate, for students and academicians, with the skills to be mastered at each. The youngest artists or beginners were expected to copy: “examples of eyes, mouths, noses, heads, feet, and hands, and similar things for them to copy” (Alberti, 1604). At the next stage in the artists’ education, they would move beyond copying individual body parts to copying cartoons where they had to: “practice for one hour portraying cartoons, and reliefs, of which there was already a goodly collection” (Alberti, 1604). This would be followed in the next stage by copying the whole figure, though, “not skilled at making inventions and human figures out of their heads”, they would copy them “from the works of talented men” (Alberti, 1604). This would allow them to acquire the skills necessary for becoming an accademico desiderosi. Finally, students would be given: “the task of making drawings and their own inventions; taking a common theme, each was to make a drawing as best as he knew how” (Alberti, 1604). The point of the final exercise was to demonstrate the ability to create original designs without copying from a model, either live or of another master, at which point they would be granted status as an accademici studiosi.
Though Faberio, Malvasia, and Bellori are not as clear regarding the curriculum of the Carracci, the progressive sequence established by Zuccaro is consistent, as well as the emphasis placed on moving beyond mere mastery of manual dexterity with theoretical discussions. In the case of the Roman Accademia, theoretical excurses in the form of lectures augmented the drawing lessons, though admittantly these were less successful. The lectures were intended, Alberti tells us, to explore the role of Zuccaro’s conception of disegno interno, his central notion of artistic conceptualization and intellection augmenting disegno esterno taught in the drawing classes (Barzman, 2000). Such emphasis placed on so-called theoretical speculation has led to a perceived divergence in approach between Zuccaro and the Carracci. Alberti records, however, that the lectures were not well-received and even those who were assigned to lecture on the subject were often hostile to the notion and refused (Alberti, 1604). Regardless, the purpose of the lectures has been misunderstood, for Zuccaro was, arguably, more concerned with the role of painting for didactic or moralizing functions than theory, strictly speaking.
6. Educatori Riformanda: Counter-Reformation Goals
It should be remembered that when the Accademia opened in 1594, hymns and a religious service accompanied the ceremonies with clergy present (Gerards-Nelissen, 1983). In fact, when the members met to lay out their founding principles with a notary in 1593, the founding officers cited as their impetus the glory of God above all else; they also emphasized their ties to the Church and reiterated that the function of art was to exalt God—a point necessary to remember when investigating the pedagogical motivations of principi like Zuccaro (Lukehart, 2009). Moreover, this counter-reformation focus was not new to the organization: the original papal brief, under Gregory XIII relates that Muziano, the original founder, had moral objectives for the institution; he sought an academy that would support academics and artists professionally, but also to help save their souls and follow Tridentine decrees (Missirini, 1823). In fact, Nikolaus Pevsner notes that the decadent state of art in Rome, according to the pope, was due in no small part to Roman artists’ lack of “the best knowledge of Christian charity” (Pevsner, 1940). The aim of the new Accademia would be to educate students in “Christian piety and good works extremely well, and imbue them with the same skills and knowledge, and the capacity of each individual to exercise them” (Pevsner, 1940). Should we find the rhetoric perfunctory for the Vicar of Christ, the connection to counter-reformation goals is stated explicitly, as the Pope reminds that these are to be aligned with the “sacred canons and decrees of the Council of Trent” (sacris canonibus decretisque Concilii Tridentini).
Even if we are to admit that these decrees remained largely on paper, the sentiment would be carried on in 1593 by the original, “founding” cardinal protector of the Accademia, Federico Borromeo, Alberti records (Alberti, 1604). Though called back to Milan from Rome, the counter-reformation interests of the cardinal were carried on by his supposed successors Gabriele Paleotti (1522-1597) and Francesco Maria del Monte (1549-1627). Alberti relates that the two were, in fact, appointed by Clement VIII to ensure the enactment of reformation policies in academic curricula as educator[i] della riformanda (Alberti, 1604 ). The Pope’s goals, Alberti suggests, were meant to observe and articulate post-Tridentine artistic reforms, while the reformers themselves had preexisting ties as both Borromeo and Paleotti had studied in Bologna. Alberti claims that while Borromeo was absent from Rome, Paleotti served as protector of the institution from 1595 until his death in 1597 (Alberti, 1604). Thus the goals of the academy were both artistic and spiritual from the outset.
Followers of the original founder of the Accademia under Gregory XIII in 1577, Girolamo Muziano, would attest to the intended reformation tenor that guided the instruction of “studious youths in the practice of the arts” (Vagnetti, 1943). One such follower, Cesare Nebbia (1536-1614), provides us with an extant poem, entitled “Visione”, illustrating his thoughts on the institution’s direction. The poem was found among correspondence to Borromeo in Milan and details a vision where the deceased master of Nebbia appears to him and expounds on the function of art and artists (Satolli, 1980). Written in 1594, the poem is dedicated to both the artist’s recently deceased mentor, Muziano, and to Cardinal Borromeo. In the poem Muziano guides Nebbia through the “vision” and explains the role of artists in creating sacred pictures. The sources called on to illustrate his point, Lukehart notes, include Paleotti and Romano Alberti. These authors were each dedicated to promoting the goals of the Counter Reformation, which in turn factored prominently in Nebbia’s perceived goal for art. The examples of which are all religious and detail the Tridentine goals of persuasion, conversion and devotion, echoed in Paleotti’s rhetorical strategies—docere, delectare, and movere—laid out in his Discorso intorno alle imagini sacre e profane of 1582 (Paleotti, 1582). Importantly Borromeo is alluded to twice: first, as the cardinal protector of the organization in the dedication; and, second, as his alter ego as the “guardian angel” for the institution as a “guide” and “protector” against slander (Lukehart, 2009).
7. Due come uno: Consolidating the Academies
The association that the Carracci had with Tridentine figures has been accepted since Boschloo’s investigation (Boschloo, 1974). The connection with Borromeo, however, can be confirmed not only through their mutual connections in Bologna as the cardinal himself had written to Ludovico Carracci for advice on setting up his own academy. In February 1613, Galeazzo Paleotti wrote to Borromeo who was currently in Milan responding to a request for materials that would be useful in establishing a painting academy at Ambrosiana. Specifically, the cardinal sought information on how to set up drawing competitions, like those held by the Carracci, without offending participants. In the letter accompanying that of Ludovico, Paleotti details: “Herewith are attached the writings you desired from the Compagnia de’Pittori together with a letter by the excellent painter [Ludovico] Carracci, in which he writes a few particulars concerning this subject […] I draw your attention to the fact that there is also an Academy of Painters and Sculptors in Rome and that the statutes for this organization were printed in 1605 by the stampatori cameral” (Nicodemi, 1957). Paleotti here does not distinguish from the Compagni in Bologna in conception or organization, a noteworthy point when considering that three years earlier the two institutions were very nearly merged (Boschloo, 1974).
The motive behind such a radical consolidation came from the first great challenge of the Carracci Academy when in 1595 Annibale decided to leave permanently for Rome to work for the Farnese, where he would be followed by Agostino in 1597 (Dempsey, 1981). As the only member left in Bologna, Ludovico attempted to find a permanent home for the fledgling art academy by joining it with the guild of painters, as had the Florentine and Roman Academies (Summerscale, 2000). The problem Ludovico encountered, was the need to reform the Compagnia de’Pittori first, which had been joined to another guild since the 1560s: “After the profession of painting had gained its independence from the three guilds with which it had once been associated, Ludovico was not satisfied that it remained tied to yet another guild” (Summerscale, 2000). The creation of an academy had always required the separation of an organization from its respective guild in order to make way for its reincorporation as an officially sanctioned academy. Malvasia relates that Ludovico “went to great lengths to change its title and give it the name of Academy, so that it would be adorned with all the prestige and special prerogatives similar to those enjoyed by the Accademia di San Luca in Rome […]” (Summerscale, 2000). The eldest Carracci would be successful in separating the Compagnia de’Pittori from the guild and in 1602 the Papal Vice-Legate and the Senate of Bologna approved the incorporating statues of the new Compagnia (Valeri, 1897). Malvasia then informs us that Ludovico and Annibale would travel to Rome together in order to “relieve them of the name of Company, to change it to that of Academy, and to make it an affiliate of the Academy of St. Luke” (Boschloo, 1974). Though not listed by Alberti as a participating member, contemporaneous documents confirm that while in Rome Annibale did contribute to the Accademia in 1604, serving once as an appraiser; Ludovico would also enroll among the aggregate, no doubt to establish the requisite connections and attempt to model the Carracci Accademia on that of the Roman (Bertolotti, 1886). Malvasia reiterates in a number of his biographies (Lorenzo Garbieri, the Carracci, Sabatini, Cesi, and Brizio) that Ludovico desired to change the title of the Compagnia to that of an Academy on the model of the Roman Accademia and adopt more formal titles, such as principe (Malvasia, 1676; Boschloo, 1974). Such appellations would bolster the reputation of the Bolognese Accademia and ensure the permanent home that Ludovico sought for it with the Accademia di San Luca. Bologna being a city under the direct control of the Holy See in the Papal States would naturally have connections with Rome, through not only religious organizations but secular, as well. With the connections, Ludovico would have found the Accademia in Rome an obvious choice to join his fledging, reformed organization. Dempsey has noted that it is also logical that he seek the support of the Farnese family, for whom Annibale and Agostino both worked in Rome (Boschloo, 1974). Agostino entered the service of the brother of the Cardinal, Ranuccio I (1569-1622), Duke of Parma, in 1600, while Annibale lived in the Palazzo Farnese from 1595-1605 while working on two fresco cycles for the family. The significance of the frescos in the Farnese Palazzo would be felt early in the century and would lead Ghezzi in his history of the Accademia to cite it among the great works by earlier members of the organization, attesting to the great works scattered about the city (Ghezzi, 1696). The support acquired from the patron of these works, Cardinal Odoardo Farnese (1573-1626), could have extended to support for the Carracci Accademia in this time of crisis. The cardinal had already provided for the funeral of Agostino (Boschloo, 1974). The successful union would have been achieved, Malvasia tells us, “if he had lived longer, as can be seen in his letters, which I will not bore the reader by transcribing here [...]” (Summerscale, 2000).
8. Discussion: The Carracci Succession
In a sense Ludovico’s efforts at securing a legacy for the Carracci Accademia in Bologna failed. Though the lively and innovative organization reportedly thrived from its foundation in 1582 to the death of Agostino Carracci in 1602, the second phase saw a decline until the virtual extinguishment of the Compagnia in 1613 due to mismanagement of funds by the painter Giovanni Battista Cremonini (ca.1550-1610), elected despositario perpetuo of the institution (Malvasia, 1676). Malvasia reported: “The total ruination and downfall of the Compagnia, which down to the present day finds itself without a room or place for assembly, unless one is provided by someone friendly to it, without a membership or someone to look after its affairs or enforce its decisions, something that is not fitting and not a small scandal” (Malvasia, 1676). With this the sources fall silent on the Accademia degli’ Incamminati and, seemingly, confirm its demise; nevertheless, the future of the pedagogical innovations of the Carracci would live on in the kindred Roman Accademia. With the original purposes for foundation of the two organizations so closely aligned; with the uniform governance of each city in the region and religious figures dominating life both in Bologna, home to Paleotti, and Borromeo involved in each institution, the ideas of the Carracci would inevitably find their way to Rome. Dempsey noted that: “the Carracci attempt to join with the Accademia di San Luca would show [that] they perceived their academic purposes as aligned” (Dempsey, 1980).
Despite critical consensus that the two institutions had much in common, the extant sources continue to thwart efforts at arriving at an accord. Gail Feigenbaum has aptly stated: “how one is disposed to conceptualize the [Carracci] academy seems to determine how one interprets all the evidence that pertains to it” (Lukehart, 1993). Such positivist estimations have ground to a halt attempts to reconcile the goals of the academies in that there is a curious lack of significant documented participation on the part of the Carracci in the Roman Accademia during their time in Rome from 1595 to the death of Agostino in 1602. In his record of those active during his publication of the Origine in 1604, Alberti neglects to mention the Carracci, which is understandable given their engagement on the Farnese cycles from 1595-97/1595-1600, the death of Agostino, and then Annibale’s breakdown in 1605 (Alberti, 1604 ). But were they simply too preoccupied to contribute to the fragmented proceedings, or would an outsider from Bologna be seen as a challenge to local authority in the seat of the Papal States? Malvasia suggests this was the case and cites “malicious things” said about Annibale in Rome in his work for the Farnese; he also quotes Marco Boschini’s (1613-1678) LaCarta de navegar pitoresco (1660) where he notes that when Roman painters realized “the Carracci’s way of painting could put them to shame and scorn, they used evil ways and lies in casting the first stone of envy”. In such fashion “the Carracci’s merit was undermined” (Summerscale, 2000). While it is certainly possible that the Bolognese style practiced by the Carracci upon their arrival in Rome may not have found an enthusiastic reception on the part of local artists, the extent to which the brothers were undermined professionally is most likely an exaggeration on the part of Malvasia. In fact, the Roman Accademia was open and accepting of foreign-born artists, even in leadership roles, as evidenced by the election to principe of the French painter Simon Vouet (1590-1649) in 1624 (Lukehart, 2009). Moreover, those that came from the Carracci studios in Bologna and Rome joined the organization.
Though scholars have been reluctant to admit the involvement of the original founders of the academy in Bologna in that in Rome, there is no doubt of the participation of their pupils. And this is where the true legacy of the Carracci lies: the exportation of their pedagogical and art making strategies to the Eternal City. It is important to note that it was not uncommon for artists to belong to multiple accademie of varying interests at the same time. This is made clear in the funeral oration for Agostino Carracci by Lucio Faberio, where we find the members of the Carracci Accademia recorded (Summerscale, 2000). Not only did Faberio indicate his own membership with the Carracci and the Accademia dei Gelati, a review of participants reveals that few belonged to only one institution. Many, like Agostino and Faberio, belonged to organizations with different interests for intellectual reasons, such as an art academy and a literary academy; others, traveling between cities for commissions, like Agostino, Annibale, Ludovico, and Antonio Carracci, joined different art academies for professional reasons. Several of the next generation belonged to multiple academies as well, cross-pollinating and exchanging ideas. Francesco Albani, Alessandro Algardi, belonged to the Accademia degli Indifferenti, Incamminati and San Luca; Lionello Spada and Giovanni Valesio to degli Incamminati and dei Selvaggi, as well as degli Umoristi in Rome for Valesio; Alessandro Tiarino, along with Francesco Albani and Ludovico Carracci, to degli Incamminati and degli Indifferenti; even the artist who has become most closely associated with the early academy, Federico Zuccaro, belonged to the Accademia di San Luca and degli Insensati in Perugia (Lukehart, 2009).
Perhaps it is not unexpected then when reviewing the records of participants in different academies to find variations over the course of their histories. The case of the Carracci is no exception. All four Carracci can be found in various sources to have been involved in multiple organizations, including the Roman Accademia. As mentioned, records from the early years of the Roman Accademia are noticeably silent on the involvement of the founding Carracci members (Alberti, 1604). Later treatments, however, reveal a marked increase in their reported involvement in each institution. In his Il centesimo dell’anno M. DC. XCV. of 1696, Ghezzi list as members all three, while Missirini in 1823 in Memoire lists Annibale and Agostino (Ghezzi, 1696). Confusion over who was directly involved in the proceedings in Rome has led to the assumption that no such involvement existed, and later authors rewrote history in accordance with current trends and to fall in line with the artistic milieu of the day. But there was a direct kin connection that is verified by sources consistently for two centuries, and often led to confusion over which Carracci was being cited.
Following the epithets written on the occasion of Annibale’s funeral, Bellori includes an epilogue Of the Pupils of Annibale Carracci where he again relates the artist with Raphael: “Only two masters in modern times have left schools of painting, Raphael of Urbino and Annibale Carracci […]. But Annibale, apart from having taught his brothers, fostered the greatest geniuses, Francesco Albani, Guido Reni, Domenico Zampieri, Giovanni Lanfranco, and Antonio Carracci…” (Bellori, 1672). Though his works are consistently mistaken for those of his uncle Annibale, Antonio Carracci (ca.1589-1618), the illegitimate son of Agostino, bridged the Bolognese and Roman academies. Although treatments often cite more prominent Carracci pupils as succeeding the original three members, Sutherland Harris points to the resiliency in Annibale’s Roman style in the cases of lesser-known artists (Lukehart, 2009). While Domenichino and Albani launched their careers in the Roman studio of Annibale, other artists assisted him on his last commissions before his breakdown in 1604, including Innocenzo Tacconi (1575-after 1623), Lucio Massari (1569-1633), and Antonio Carracci. These artists had direct access to Annibale’s preparatory drawings and to his final paintings in various stages of completion (Alberti, 1604). The role played by the younger Carracci is attested to in several contemporary sources. He had studied with his father until his death in 1602 at which time he traveled to Rome and entered the workshop of his uncle. Malvasia corroborates their relationship: “Other pupils of his, before they too followed the two cousins to Rome, were […] the young son of Agostino […]” (Summerscale, 2000). He also included sections quoted from Scannelli, who always favored those most loyal to the Bolognese tradition. Scannelli outlines that “And although there were five, even six members of the same family who took up the profession of painting, all of them doing so at the same time, there were four of them who were recognized as truly excellent” (i.e. Annibale, Ludovico, Agostino, and Antonio) (Summerscale, 2000).
Baglione confirms that Annibale was responsible for training the artist, not yet a master himself, in drawing and letters suoi fondamenti è bene stabilita (Baglione, 1642). A letter from Agucchi printed by Malvasia informs us that Antonio traveled to Bologna in 1609 to join the workshop of Ludovico (Summerscale, 2000). In 1610 he returned to Rome and assisted Reni with the decorations for the Pauline Chapel in the Palazzo del Quirinale; Mancini relates that, in addition to assisting with the completion of Annibale’s outstanding commissions, he also took over his uncle’s studio after his death (Mancini, 1617-1621). It was during this period, bringing to completion the posthumous works of his uncle, that we have confirmation of his involvement with the Roman academy. On April 6, 1614, Antonio Carracci is included among the academy members who contributed to the building of the Chiesa di S. Luca in a document in the Archivio di Stato di Roma; the same year Mancini records he also became a member of the Accademia di San Luca (Mancini, 1617-1621; Baglione, 1642; Bellori, 1672). This is confirmed in the Life of Antonio Carracci by Baglione where writes that: “After the untimely death of his uncle, Annibale, with whom he expected to study longer, and not to being of advanced age, [Antonio] was drawing the beautiful works of Rome, and in the Academies, which is wont to do in this city […] he acquired a very good taste” (Baglione, 1642).
The direct involvement of the artist who continued the Carraccesque tradition on in the city is thus agreed upon by later authors touting the supremacy of the Roman tradition (Bellori and Baglione), Bolognese (Malvasia), and Lombard (Scannelli). Even after Antonio, Carracci pupils would continue to exert considerable influence in the Rome, serving as officers and instructors in that academy, and perpetuating the counter-reformation styles in the commissions that they would come to dominate. In a wide range of styles from the classical Domenichino (1581-1641) to the baroque flare of Giovanni Lanfranco (1582-1647), Carracci eclecticism would continue to thrive; while in art theory the early trattato co-authored by Domenichino would record their innovative combination of art, rhetoric and poetic theory. Their artistic progeny can be traced to the end of the century and the principate of Carlo Maratta (1625-1713), pupil of Andrea Sacchi (1599-1621). Reviving the Carracci at the end of the century, Bellori would ensure that their ideas were influential beyond even Italy with his ties to the French Academy, and ensure that their legacy would help shape the curriculum of the last great academic institution.
With this in mind, the fact that later historians of the Roman Accademia, such as Ghezzi and Missirini, included the Carracci as members is not anomalous, nor an attempt on the part of authors to rewrite history. Given the information available to them and the stylistic directions traced from the birth of the baroque style at the outset of the seicento, it is difficult to conceive of how these later historians and biographers could not assume a connection between the Carracci and the Roman Accademia; the alignment of pedagogical strategies, counter-reformatory goals, and the artistic strategies carried out by those who were involved in both ensured it. The pervasive belief in the involvement of the Carracci, specifically Annibale, is attested to in the halls of the institution itself. In the Roman Accademia, past professori were honored for their involvement with portraits in cartouches with their names written along the base of the bust. Along with the original founder Muziano, later academicians and artists would find Annibale himself looking down on them from the collection of past masters painted by an anonymous seicento artist modeled on his own Self-Portrait. The legacy of the Carracci involvement in the institution has been secured, despite the critical inertia that exists today. New treatments are called for in order to recognize the nature of this inherited history. Further investigation into the relationship between these institutions and their members will also clarify our understanding of education and professional affiliation for artists in these two great art centers.
Research into the relationship between these institutions has been hampered by the hegemonic construct of early modern scholarship in general. With the centrality of the Tuscan tradition established since Vasari’s biographies in 1550, the contributions of other regions have been slow to recognize. Even with the begrudging inclusion of the Venetians in the updated 1568 edition, the clear superiority of artists like Michelangelo overshadowed the accomplishments and contributions of artists elsewhere, such as the Emilia-Romagna. The structure of arts education made possible in Ducal Florence also ensured that the mechanisms by which to achieve perfection in the arts would be compared to the Accademia del Disegno. As argued here, academies like those of the Carracci would be central to art production in the capital of Rome and the Accademia di San Luca. While the documentary evidence supporting such a relationship derive from later sources, they support the visual evidence and careers of those who came from the Carracci Academy and dominated commissions during the high point of patronage in the Catholic Reformation at the turn of the seicento. Further investigations into this area will provide even more clarity on the shape of the field for early modern studies and spread of the new baroque style created in Bologna and adopted in the capital.
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