List of Artworks

The works Mellini described in his poem are presented here in a table. Compare the descriptions of the works in Mellini's poem with their description in an earlier, conventional inventory from 1680 by clicking to open the “Compare to 1680 Inventory” window.

The images shown here are intended to give the users of this digital publication an idea of the kinds of pictorial works that were in the collection of the Mellini family during the late seventeenth century. They are an indication of taste, fashion, and social status as reflected in the reception rooms of the family’s palazzo. Read about the research team’s work to identify the images presented here.

Key
Identified: There is a high probability that the work named here was in the Mellini collection in 1681.
Possibly Identified: The work was possibly in the Mellini collection in 1681.
Related: The work was not in the Mellini collection but is somehow related to the work described in the inventories (i.e., it is a copy, an alternate version, or a preliminary drawing).
Example: The work was not in the Mellini collection but is representative of a work described in the inventories (i.e., in theme and/or visual composition).
No artwork identified: Most of the works described by Mellini in his poem have not been identified.
Item No. Folio Subjects Artist Identification Status
Part 1, no. 8 2 verso Allegory
> 'Caritas romana'
Caravaggio, Michelangelo Merisi da
Giovanni Antonio Galli, Roman Charity (1620-52)
  • Roman Charity, 1620–52 , oil on canvas

Comparison to 1680 inventory
1681 Rhyming verse inventory 1680 Conventional inventory
Item No. Part 1, no. 8
[1c.33]
Transcription
S'offre dipinta in stil perfetto, e buono
Del Caravaggio una Pietà Romana,
Che di sua fama agguaglia il chiaro suono,

Donna, che allatta un uechio incatenato, che appoggiano le mani sopra una base di marmo, figurata per la Carità Romana, doue si uede a una ferrata un uiso di persona uile

Physical description of artwork

Fig.e al naturale sino al ginochio in tela di p.i 5½ di larg.a e 4½ di alt.a

Stà in tela di palmi cinque, e m[ez]zo di larghezza, e quattro d'altezza. Orig[ina]le del Carauaggio, In cornice tutta dorata, e intagliata

Location of artwork

Nella facciata in faccia alla porta nell'entrare nella stanza

Iconclass
Categorization

Pero suckling Cimon ('Caritas romana')

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Comments by authors

Although many of the attributions in the two inventories can be considered reliable, in this case there is no known painting by Caravaggio that corresponds to the description in the 1680 inventory; the description in the 1681 poem is quite generic. Although the image of a woman breastfeeding an old man is included in Caravaggio’s famous Seven Works of Mercy of 1607, we know of no painting by Caravaggio that depicts this particular subject as a single iconographic theme. The painting shown—Roman Charity by Spadarino, now in the Doria Pamphilj Gallery in Rome—gives an indication of how the followers of Caravaggio painted this subject. —Francesca Cappelletti