Annibale Carracci

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Annibale Carracci
Eroded River Bank with Trees and Exposed Roots
ca. 1590-1592
Pen and brown ink on paper. Lined and mounted on closely trimmed Mariette mount.
15 7/8 x 11 1/16 inches (402 x 280 mm)

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Inscribed in pen and brown ink at lower center, "Anibbale Caracci."

Pierre-Jean Mariette (1694-1774), Paris (Lugt 1852); his sale, Paris, F. Basan, 15 November 1775, lot 308, as Annibale Carracci "Autre Etude de plusieurs Troncs d'arbres, avec une riviere dans le fond, ou se voit un homme dans un bateau; l'Estampe en hauteur, gravée par M. de Caylus, en est connue"; Count Moritz von Fries (1777-1826), Vienna (Lugt 2903); Sir Thomas Lawrence (1769-1830), London (Lugt 2445); Samuel Woodburn (1786-1853), London; from whom purchased in 1837 by Francis Egerton, first Earl of Ellesmere (1800-1857), Bridgewater House, London (Lugt 2710b); by descent to John Egerton, sixth Duke of Sutherland (1915-2000); acquired at Ellesmere sale, London, Sotheby's, 11 July 1972, lot 54, repr.

Although landscape never assumed a central role in his art, Annibale Carracci's innovations in the genre played a pivotal role in the development of the seventeenth-century landscape. This rare plein-air study shows the artist concentrating on detail, rather than on the more common broadly conceived view. Probably begun from life and finished in the studio, this sensitive rendering of vegetation along a riverbank likely dates to the artist's late Bolognese period of around 1590–92, before his departure for Rome in 1595.


Jacob Bean, Drawings and Prints by the Caracci,, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1973, no. 25, repr.
The Pierpont Morgan Library, New York, European Drawings 1375-1825, catalogue by Cara D. Denison and Helen B. Mules, with Jane V. Shoaf; 1981, pp. 64-65, no. 38, repr.
National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Bolognese Drawings in North American Collections, 1500-1800, catalogue by Mimi Cazort and Catherine Johnston, 1982, pp. 70-71, no. 29, repr.
From Leonardo to Pollock: Master drawings from the Morgan Library. The Morgan Library and Museum, New York, 2006, no. 20, pp. 46-47, repr.
100 Master drawings from the Morgan Library & Museum. Munich, 2008, no. 20, repr.
Staatliche Graphische Sammlung Munich, "100 Master drawings from the Morgan Library & Museum," 2008, pp. 58-59, no. 20, repr.


Watermark: none visible through lining.

Associated names: 

Mariette, Pierre Jean, 1694-1774, former owner.
Lawrence, Thomas, Sir, 1769-1830, former owner.
Ellesmere, Francis Egerton, Earl of, 1800-1857, former owner.

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