An extraordinary exhibition at the Louvre will run until 16 January. It presents drawings by artists born in Bologna or who made the city their home, active before the arrival of the Carracci family. The exhibition will feature as many as 44 works by lesser-known but highly talented artists.

Sixteenth-century Bolognese drawings in the Louvre collection

One of the most interesting highlights of the exhibition are the works by Bartolomeo Passerotti, an artist who greatly influenced Annibale Carracci (1560-1609), one of the main representatives of the Bolognese school. In addition, the works of the following artists are worth noting: Innocenzo da Imola, Bagnacavallo. They were active between 1515 and 1550 and contributed to the creation of a new style, characterized by the handling of ''dramatic'' chiaroscuro. The viewer, on the other hand, will see a refined and elegant manner of drawing in the works of Francesco Francia or Peregrino da Cesena. The exhibition is accompanied by the publication of the 12th volume of the "Inventaire Général des Dessins Italiens".

Bologna School of Painting

The Bolognese school of painting, which flourished in the 16th and 17th centuries, competed with Florence and Rome to become the centre of painting in Italy. Among its most important representatives are the Carracci family, including Ludovico Carracci (1555-1619) and his two cousins, the brothers Agostino (1557-1602) and Annibale Carracci. Among the most prominent artists of this school working in the 17th century were Guido Reni and Guercino (Giovanni Francesco Barbieri, 1591-1666).

Bartolomeo Passarotti, the ''sparrow'' of Bologna

Bartolomeo Passarotti was a unique painter; on the one hand, he maintained his links with Rome as a portraitist of popes and cardinals; on the other, he was an excellent observer of the local population of Bologna. He created humorous yet poignant paintings, set, for example, in shops, where he showed an aptitude for caricature. He signed his compositions with the image of a sparrow (Italian: passerotto - sparrow). After spending much of his early career in Rome (c. 1551-1565), he settled in his native Bologna, where he set up a large studio; it became central to the city's artistic life.

Added 2022-10-03 in by Alicja Graczyk

Related departments