CARRACCI, Annibale
(b. 1560, Bologna, d. 1609, Roma)

Sleeping Venus

c. 1602
Oil on canvas, 190 x 328 cm
Musée Condé, Chantilly

Shortly after the completion of the ceiling in the Galleria of the Palazzo Farnese, Annibale and his pupils, who included Domenichino and Giovanni Lanfranco, were asked to provide decorations for a palazzetto behind Palazzo Farnese, across the Via Giulia. The first room was dominated by Annibale's Sleeping Venus, in which Annibale once again combines his mastery of the ideal style, quoting antique sculpture, with a witty penchant for echoing Michelangelo. The choice of subject was inspired by the arrival in Rome of Titian's bacchanals, Bacchus and Ariadne, and The Andrians and The Worship of Venus. These works entered the collection of Cardinal Pietro Aldobrandini in 1598, and offered Roman artists a rich first-hand experience of Venetian colour.