A Annibale Carracci we know him as the great painter of the Baroque who knew how to paint beauty, light and elegance against the most realistic, dark and stark current that represented the art of Caravaggio.
Carracci's Butcher Shop in Oxford
That is, Carracci is famous for the famous mythological paintings of him and the great mural cycles of him like the Farnese Gallery. However, before these big commissions came to him he painted works like these two, both titledThe Carnage. Some paintings dated between 1582 and 1583, and that are nothing more than paintings inspired by the family business located in Bologna. Without a doubt, neither Carracci nor anyone else in his time could have imagined that those paintings would end up in Oxford museums in England and Fort Worth in the United States.
Undoubtedly they are paintings of youth, but the mastery of Carracci for the art of painting is evident, and despite the fact that the subject matter and even the business were considered bad taste, he manages to create some scenes that show all the pride of the butchers.
On the canvas held in the Christ Church Picture Gallery in Oxford, we see in great detail the work that was carried out in these establishments. In the foreground and center there is a butcher who is ready to behead a lamb. Next to him, another companion tries to hang another animal from ahook, for which he does not hesitate to twist the animal.
We also see a counter, where another butcher has cut the beef fillets and puts them on display. At the same time that the oldest of all is weighing the meat and a client is looking for the money to pay for it.
It's a costumbrist genre scene, for example, they were done a lot in Dutch painting in northern Europe. However, in these types of paintings when they were made in Holland and those countries, there always used to be some kind of message, and sometimes a cartoonish tone.
Carracci's Butcher Shop in Fort Worth
Something that does not appear here in any way. And also in the Nordic painting of this genre, the painters take care to represent countless pieces, a whole sample of products. However, as we can see from the canvas on display at the Kimbell Museum in the city of Forth Worth in Texas, here Carracci prefers quality, clarity and order expose endless cuts, animals and pieces.
In short, this is a work by Carracci before he was the great Carracci, which is why he is already very interested in learning about its evolution