Galleria Borghese logo
Search results for
No results :(

Hints for your search:

  • Search engine results update instantly as soon as you change your search key.
  • If you have entered more than one word, try to simplify the search by writing only one, later you can add other words to filter the results.
  • Omit words with less than 3 characters, as well as common words like "the", "of", "from", as they will not be included in the search.
  • You don't need to enter accents or capitalization.
  • The search for words, even if partially written, will also include the different variants existing in the database.
  • If your search yields no results, try typing just the first few characters of a word to see if it exists in the database.

The Saviour

Workshop of Carracci Annibale

(Bologna 1560 - Rome 1609)

This painting, certainly intended for private devotion, depicts the face of Christ. Because of its layout, critics attributed it to the school of the Carracci, who between the late 16th and early 17th centuries developed this particular iconographic prototype.

Object details

Inizi XVII secolo
oil on canvas
cm 55,5 x 44

Salvator Rosa, 68 x 54.5 x 6 cm.


Rome, Borghese Collection, 1790 (Inv. 1790, room II, no. 7); Inventario Fidecommissario 1833, p. 34; purchased by the Italian State, 1902.

Conservation and Diagnostic
  • 2000 ENEA (diagnostics);
  • 2001 Paola Mastropasqua.


The origins of this small painting are still unknown. Mentioned for the first time as part of the Borghese Collection in 1790, the work was mistakenly ascribed by the compiler to Jacopo Palma il Vecchio, a name that was inexplicably embraced both by the fideicommissum listing of 1833 and by Giovanni Piancastelli in 1891. In 1893, Adolfo Venturi attributed the painting to the school of Giovanni Lanfranco, an opinion that was not shared by Roberto Longhi (1928) or by Paola della Pergola, who in 1955 published this Saviour as the work of a follower of Annibale Carracci, having observed a certain similarity with the features of St John the Evangelist in the Landini altarpiece, painted by the Bolognese artist in 1593 and today preserved at the Pinacoteca of Bologna (see Posner 1971). In fact, according to this scholar, the canvas was produced around the mid 1590s, the work of a follower “who draws inspiration from that period of the master’s activity.” This Saviour does display a certain resemblance to models developed in Annibale’s workshop, especially the faces of some of the apostles depicted in the frescos in the Herrera chapel in Rome, executed by Francesco Albani, one of the master’s faithful pupils. The austere expression further recalls the features of God the Father painted by Albani (Barcelona, Museo de Arte), and those of the apostle James attributed by critics to Annibale (Madrid, Museo del Prado).       

Antonio Iommelli

  • G. Piancastelli, Catalogo dei quadri della Galleria Borghese, in Archivio Galleria Borghese, 1891, p. 27; 
  • A. Venturi, Il Museo e la Galleria Borghese, Roma 1893, p. 120; 
  • R. Longhi, Precisioni nelle Gallerie Italiane, I, La R. Galleria Borghese, Roma 1928, p. 196; 
  • H. Tietze, Annibale Carracci’s Tätigkeit in Rom, in “Jahrbuch der Kunsthistorischen Sammlungen in Wien”, XXVI, 1906-1907, p. 167; 
  • P. della Pergola, La Galleria Borghese. I Dipinti, I, Roma 1955, pp. 22-23, n. 20; 
  • R. Longhi, Saggi e ricerche 1925-28. Precisioni nelle gallerie italiane. La Galleria Borghese, Firenze 1967, p. 343; D. Posner, Annibale Carracci. A Study in the Reform of italian Painting around 1590, II, New York 1971, p. 31, n. 72; figg. 155, 156, 158;
  • 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. 68.