Giulio Cesare Procaccini

Dates(Bolognese), 1574 - 1625

Giulio Cesare Procaccini's father, Ercole the Elder, a former student of Annibale Carracci, moved the family from Bologna to Milan in about 1590. There he founded a school of painting called the Academy of the Procaccini, which trained many Milanese painters, including Ercole's three sons. Giulio Cesare, however, began his career as a sculptor. His painting style was an amalgam of influences that included little of his father's Carracci pedigree. He spent much of his career in Milan, which was itself a city where influences from the south, east, and north intersected. While Procaccini probably gave up sculpting around 1600, for the next two decades the sculptural quality of his paintings betrayed his origins.

From 1613 to 1616 he worked in Modena, where he was profoundly influenced by the softness and extreme sfumato of Correggio and his followers. Working in Genoa in 1618, he studied Peter Paul Rubens's expressive, colorful paintings. Procaccini's style fluctuated throughout his career. He employed the acid colors and tense, sophisticated draftsmanship typical of Mannerism as well as the theatrical effects, movement, and deep feeling that anticipate the Baroque. With Procaccini's death, his nephew Ercole Procaccini the Younger became the director of the Procaccini Academy.