Two Children Teasing a Cat

Artist: Annibale Carracci (Italian, Bologna 1560–1609 Rome)

Medium: Oil on canvas

Dimensions: 26 x 35 in. (66 x 88.9 cm)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: Purchase, Gwynne Andrews Fund, and Bequests of Collis P. Huntington and Ogden Mills, by exchange, 1994

Accession Number: 1994.142


Painted with a directness and spontaneity that looks forward to nineteenth-century art, this picture is among the earliest Italian genre paintings. In its handling of light it recalls the work of Venetian artists. The painting may illustrate a saying, similar to local proverbs that appear in a 1618 compilation, such as "Let sleeping dogs lie" and "Don’t go poking around vipers." The picture belonged to the Ranuzzi family. Subsequently it was owned by Cardinal Tommaso Ruffo (1663–1753), who also owned Velázquez’s Juan de Pareja.