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A prophet and two angels

copy after Allegri Antonio called Correggio

(Correggio c. 1489 - 1534)

This painting is a high-quality copy of the famous frescoes of the dome of the Parma Cathedral, executed by Correggio beginning in 1522. Of unknown provenance, the work was first mentioned in connection with the Borghese Collection in 1693; today it is generally attributed to Ludovico Carracci.

Object details

fine secolo XVI - inizio secolo XVII
oil on canvas
cm 54 x 43

19th-century frame with four corner palmettes, 71 x 61 x 7.6 cm


Borghese Collection, cited in Inv. 1693, room V, no. 26; Inv. 1790, room IV, no. 66; Inventario Fidecommissario Borghese, 1833, p. 16. Purchased by Italian state, 1902.



This Prophet and Two Angels is a copy of the frescoes of the dome of the Parma Cathedral, which Correggio (Antonio Allegri) painted beginning in 1522.

Of unknown provenance, the work first appears in the inventory of 1693, corresponding to the entry of ‘a painting of roughly two-and-a-half spans with the head of an old man, the head of a young man and another dark head, no. 70, by Correggio, with a gilded frame’. The work is again mentioned in the late 18th-inventory, where it is described as ‘the Prophet, by Correggio’, and again in the 1833 Inventario Fidecommissario, which attributed it to Scipione Pulzone (Della Pergola 1955, p. 27, n. 29); yet in neither of these two cases can we be certain that the work in question is the one alluded to.

Regarding the artist, Venturi (1893, p. 90) was the first scholar to recognise the hand of Ludovico Carracci, an attribution which a number of subsequent critics have accepted (see Herrmann Fiore 2006, p. 41). One exception is Longhi (1928, p. 187), who ascribed the work to Bartolomeo Schedoni. For her part, Della Pergola (1955), proposed an artist connected with the Carracci circle, drawing attention to the fact that Sisto Badalocchio executed an engraving of the frescoes in Parma which is identical to our canvas. While Pirondini (1995, p. 103) agreed with Della Pergola, Berti (2004, p. 186, n. 11) was not persuaded: in the monograph on Badalocchio, he categorised the work among those of dubious or problematic attribution.

Pier Ludovico Puddu

  • G. Piancastelli, Catalogo dei quadri della Galleria Borghese in Archivio Galleria Borghese, 1891, p. 353;
  • A. Venturi, Il Museo e la Galleria Borghese, Roma 1893, p. 90;
  • R. Longhi, Precisioni nelle Gallerie Italiane, I, La R. Galleria Borghese, Roma 1928, p. 187;
  • P. Della Pergola, La Galleria Borghese. I Dipinti, I, Roma 1955, p. 27, n. 29;
  • R. Longhi, Saggi e ricerche 1925-28. Precisioni nelle gallerie italiane. La Galleria Borghese, Firenze 1967, p. 338;
  • M. Pirondini, in La scuola dei Carracci. I seguaci di Annibale e Agostino, Modena 1995, p. 103;
  • G. Berti, in Sisto Badalocchio (1585-1621/22), a cura di M. Pirondini, G. Berti, Manerba del Garda 2004, p. 186, n. 11;
  • K. Herrmann Fiore, Galleria Borghese Roma scopre un tesoro. Dalla pinacoteca ai depositi un museo che non ha più segreti, San Giuliano Milanese 2006, p. 41.