Annibale Carracci was one of the most gifted and influential Bolognese artists of late sixteenth century. His work occupies a pivotal position in the history of Italian art, merging both classicism and naturalism, and rejecting the sterility of the dominant Mannerist aesthetic. He absorbed the influence of the great masters such as Correggio and Raphael, but also believed that lowly scenes were a worthy subject for high art. In Rome, Annibale worked for many prestigious patrons, but was never at ease with courtly pretension which may account for the lack of formal portraiture within his oeuvre. Throughout his career he worked in a vast array of genres, from rugged lowly scenes of butchers shops and peasants, to the great mythological frescoes in the Palazzo Farnese, Rome.