Catherine R. Puglisi: Francesco Albani

Yale University Press, 1999     Amazon.com

Book Description:

Francesco AlbaniAdmired for his landscapes, respected for his artistic theories, and beloved as a teacher, Italian artist Francesco Albani (1578-1660) was acclaimed as a leading painter of his time. This book is the first full-scale study of Albani, his long and successful career, and the key contribution he made to the seventeenth-century Bolognese school of painting. The book includes the artist’s illustrated catalogue raisonne introducing newly discovered paintings, documents, and preparatory drawings, and complete information on each of Albani’s 157 works. Lost pictures, rejected attributions, and a checklist of drawings are also included.

Catherine R. Puglisi begins with an account of Albani’s life and artistic development in the milieus of Bologna and Rome. She next focuses attention on Albani’s entirely personal landscapes – paintings of graceful nymphs and dancing putti in wooded glades, beyond which sunny meadows, lakes, and distant hills glow under limpid skies. His serene panoramas with poetic themes initiated the highly influential tradition of idyllic classicism. Puglisi assesses Albani’s later career and his crucial role as teacher and transmitter of the Carracci reform of painting, as well as the theoretical writings in which he presents both traditional attitudes and original insights. In the final chapter, she offers a penetrating analysis of Albani’s fluctuating critical reputation through the centuries as reflected in written commentaries and shifting patterns of collecting.

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