Annibale Carracci (Italian, Bolognese, 15601609)
Etching and engraving, third state of four; Sheet: 9 3/4 x 7 9/16 in. (24.8 x 19.2 cm)
Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1926 (18.104.22.168)
Annibale Carracci was one of the most important artists of his time. Together with his cousin Ludovico and his brother Agostino, he played a critical role in what has been termed "the reform of painting" in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. While the corpus of Annibale's prints is small (twenty-two known designs can be securely attributed to him), his etchings were influential and illustrate, in part, one of the aesthetic aims of the Carracci reform: to combine northern Italian naturalism with central Italian principles of design (known as disegno). Trained to use the burin by his brother Agostino, a professional engraver, Annibale soon turned to etching, a technique that allowed him to emulate the quick, fluid pen strokes of his drawings. Here the immediacy of the medium contributes to the expressive intensity of this depiction of Saint Jerome, who, in the midst of his self-mortification, experiences a divine vision.