CARRACCI, Lodovico
(b. 1555, Bologna, d. 1619, Bologna)

The Stories of Jason (detail)

Palazzo Fava, Bologna

The three Carracci cousins were always proud of the fact that the fascinating frieze that surrounds the Sala Giasone (Jason Room) in Palazzo Fava was a team effort. They refused to identify which part each one had painted. Recent critical attempts have tried to distinguish Lodovico's contributions from those of his younger cousins Agostino and Annibale. At the same time these studies have emphasized the value of the way the three artists collaborated on this work. The Carracci cousins' idea of an Academy should not be seen as a reactionary move or merely the wish to perpetuate rigid classical models. It should rather be viewed as a cultured and dynamic relationship with tradition. With this in mind, it is much easier to appreciate the variety of quotations and the richness of motifs found in Palazzo Fava. Above all, however, we perceive a sense of hidden, wintry melancholy, a feeling almost of crepuscular poetry that can most probably be attributed to Lodovico's own sensibility.

The picture represents the scene of "Transporting the Ship across the Desert" from the cycle of The Stories of Jason.