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Madonna and Child with Infant Saint John

Follower of Allegri Antonio called Correggio

(Correggio c. 1489 - 1534)

The work, purchased in 1927, comes from a private collection in Mantua. Initially, critics attributed the painting to Antonio Allegri da Correggio, but the restoration work and diagnostics carried out in the 1950s disproved this authorship, placing the small canvas closer to a more generic follower of the Emilian master.

Object details

Fifth decade of the 16th century
oil on canvas
73x52 cm

Purchased from the Fochessati di Bagno family (Mantua), 1927.

  • 1932, Roma
  • 1935, Parma
  • 1954, Roma
Conservation and Diagnostic
  • 1929, Giorgina Giorgi Lucarini
  • 1953, Istituto Centrale del Restauro
  • 1953, Istituto Centrale del Restauro (diagnostics)


The work was recently acquired by the museum, purchased in Mantua in 1927 for the sum of 300,000 lire. Adolfo Venturi (1921) recognised it as the Madonna previously preserved in the Hofmuseum in Vienna, later owned by van Diemen and then exported to the United States, sold to allow for the purchase of the Hellbrunn Madonna, still in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna today (inv. Gemäldegalerie, 6763).

Corrado Ricci (1929; 1930) believed it to be an original by Allegri, datable to around 1513, probably the prototype for the Austrian work, although it was in a rather poor state of conservation. The authorship was also initially accepted by De Rinaldis (1937). However, as Paola Della Pergola (1955) recalled, he soon had it moved to the storage rooms.

In 1953, thanks to the director at the time, the Central Institute for Restoration carried out diagnostic and restoration work on the small painting. During this campaign, they were able to bring to light the substantial section of landscape in the background, which had been hidden by previous restoration work. This definitively suggested the attribution to a follower very close to Correggio, someone able to re-propose the Emilian master’s solutions, albeit in a less empathetic and more scholastic way.

Lara Scanu

  • A. Venturi, Una Madonna del Correggio nell'Hofmuseum di Vienna, in “L’arte”, XXIV, 1921, pp. 172-173
  • A. Venturi, Storia dell’Arte italiana, VIII, 2, Milano 1926, p. 496
  • C. Ricci, Una Madonna del Correggio nella Galleria Borghese, in “Bollettino d’Arte”, IX, 1929, pp. 193-198
  • A.M. Brizio, Una Madonna del Correggio, in “L’arte”, XXXII, 1930, p. 311
  • C. Ricci, Correggio Valori Plastici, Milano 1930, pp. 28, 136
  • G.E. Mottini, Il Correggio, Bergamo 1935, p. 51
  • A. Venturi, Correggio, Milano 1935, pp. 27-61
  • A. De Rinaldis, La Galleria Borghese in Roma, Roma 1937, p. 44
  • P. Della Pergola, La Galleria Borghese. I Dipinti, I, Roma 1955, p. 25, n. 25