Head of Christ

Object Details

Title:

Head of Christ

Artist/Maker(s):

Correggio (Antonio Allegri) (Italian, about 1489 - 1534)

Culture:

Italian

Date:

about 1525 - 1530

Medium:

Oil on panel

Dimensions:

28.6 x 23.5 cm (11 1/4 x 9 1/4 in.)

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As Christ stumbled under the weight of the cross he bore on the way to his crucifixion, Saint Veronica comforted him and wiped his face with her veil. According to legend, Christ's features were miraculously imprinted on the fabric. In this haunting depiction, Correggio painted Veronica's veil as the white cloth in the background. Christ faces the viewer and parts his lips as if to speak.

Through the use of strong light and shadow as seen in the defined cheekbones, line of the nose, and hollow of the neck, Correggio gave his forms a sense of volume. He further used light to emphasize the image's poignancy, placing the left half of Christ's face in shadow while the right side receives light. The subject matter and small size of the Head of Christprobably indicate that it was made for private devotional use.

Provenance

Private Collection (Rome, Italy), sold to Leonor Goyon de Matignon.

Henry Rainald Gage, sixth viscount Gage, 1895 - 1982, by inheritance to George John St. Clere.

- 1680

Leonor Goyon de Matignon, 1604 - 1680, possibly by inheritance to Henri Goyon de Matignon.

- possibly 1682

Henri Goyon de Matignon, 1633 - 1682, by inheritance to Jacques de Goyon.

- 1725

Jacques de Goyon, 1644 - 1725 (Paris, France), by inheritance to Jacques-François-Leonor de Goyon, 1725.

1725 - 1751

Jacques-François-Leonor de Goyon, duc de Valentinois, 1689 - 1751 (Paris, France), by inheritance to Honoré-Camille-Léonor Grimaldi, 1751.

1751 - 1795

Prince Honoré-Camille-Léonor Grimaldi of Monaco, 1720 - 1795 (Paris, France), by inheritance to Marie-Jérôme-Joseph-Honoré, Camille de la Vincelle and Honoré-Anne-Charles-Maurice Grinaldi Monaco, 1795.

1795 - about 1803

Marie-Jérôme-Joseph-Honoré Grimaldi Monaco, 1763 - 1816 (Paris, France)

1795 - about 1803

and Camille de la Vincelle, 1784 - 1879 (Paris, France)

1795 - about 1803

and Honoré-Anne-Charles-Maurice Grimaldi Monaco, 1758 - 1819 (Paris, France), possibly by inheritance to Charles Jacques Chapelain de Séréville, about 1803.

about 1803 - 1812

Charles Jacques Chapelain de Séréville, 1747 - 1826 [sold, Séréville sale, Olivier, Paris. January 22, 1812, lot 1, to Jean-Baptiste-Pierre Lebrun.]

1812 - 1813

Jean-Baptiste-Pierre Lebrun, 1748 - 1813 (Paris, France) [unsold, February 2, 1813, lot 32.], upon his death, held in trust by the estate.

1813 - 1814

Estate of Jean-Baptiste-Pierre Lebrun, 1748 - 1813 [unsold, Lebrun sale, Chariot, Paris; Lebrun sale, Chariot, Paris, May 23, 1814, lot 21.]

1814 -

Nicolas Lerouge (Paris, France)

- 1831

Prince Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord de Bénévent, 1754 - 1838, sold to George Augustus Frederick Cowper through John Smith, 1831.

- 1856

George Augustus Frederick Cowper, sixth earl Cowper, 1806 - 1856 (Panshanger, Hertford, England), by inheritance to his son, Francis Thomas De Grey, 1856.

1856 - 1905

Francis Thomas de Grey Cowper, seventh earl Cowper, 1834 - 1905 (Panshanger, Hertford, England; Wrest Park, Bedford, England), by inheritance to his wife, Katrine Cecilia Compton Cowper, 1905.

1905 - 1913

Katrine Cecilia Compton Cowper, countess Cowper, 1845 - 1913 (Panshanger, Hertfordshire, England), by inheritance to Ethel Anne Priscilla Fane Grenfell Desborough, 1913.

1913 - 1952

Lady Ethel Anne Priscilla Fane Grenfell Desborough, 1867 - 1952 (Panshanger, Hertfordshire, England)

- 1994

George John St. Clere Gage, seventh viscount Gage, 1932 - 1993, sold through Simon Dickinson Ltd. (London, England) to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1994.

Exhibitions
The Earl and Countess of Arundel: Renaissance Collectors (May 2, 1995 to October 1, 1995)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum, (Malibu), May 2 to October 1, 1995, (Cat. 140)
Correggio e l'antico (May 20 to September 14, 2008)
  • Museo e Galleria Borghese, (Rome), May 20 to September 14, 2008, (Cat. 17)
Correggio (September 20, 2008 to January 25, 2009)
  • Galleria Nazionale (Parma), September 20, 2008 to January 25, 2009, (Cat. III.5)
Bibliography

Waagen, Gustav Friedrich. Galleries and Cabinets of Art in Great Britain: Being an Account of More than Forty Collections of Paintings, Drawings, Sculptures, Mss. Visited in 1854 and 1856, and Now for the First Time Described (London: John Murray, 1857), p. 345.

Jaffé, David. Summary Catalogue of European Paintings in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997), p. 28, ill.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 6th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2001), p. 100, ill.

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