This is likely to be a copy after an as yet unidentified prototype from an artist in the circle of the Carracci Family. Ludovico Carracci and his cousins Agostino Carracci, and Annibale Carracci, rose to artistic prominence in the last quarter of the 16th century. The Carracci family are justly renown for the extraordinarily far-reaching influence their new style bore; the artistic reform that the Carraccis initiated was founded in a desperation to escape the sterility of the prevailing Mannerist style and a commitment to north Italian naturalism and 'colore'. This 'Saint Francis' shares the Carraccis' interest in a realistic and natural setting, and an honest depiction of the weathered and bare-foot saint.
Among their many pupils were three younger members of the Carracci family: Agostino’s natural son Antonio Carracci, Ludovico’s younger brother Paolo Carracci, and Francesco Carracci, the son of Agostino’s and Annibale’s brother Giovanni Antonio Carracci.
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