List of Artworks

Research Notes: Part 1, no. 42, Folio 5 recto

After Correggio, Young Man Fleeing from the Arrest of Christ (ca. 1522)
Fig. I, 42, a
After Correggio (Italian, ca. 1489–1534)
Title: Young Man Fleeing from the Arrest of Christ, Un giovane ignudo scappa durante la cattura di Cristo, Il giovane che fugge dalla cattura di Cristo
Date: ca. 1522
Medium: Oil on canvas
Dimensions: 67 x 54 cm (26 3/8 x 21 1/4 in.)
Current location: Parma, Italy, Galleria nazionale di Parma, inv. no. 524
Image Source:
Lucia Fornari Schianchi, Correggio: ideazione, progetto e coordinamento (Milan: Skira, 2008), 302, 322–23. See cat. no. III.36.

The precise description in the 1680 Mellini inventory enables us to infer a relationship between the work in the Mellini collection at that time and the painting currently in the Galleria nazionale di Parma,1which is considered to be a copy of an original by Correggio, now lost. The painting in Parma has roughly the same dimensions as the work described in our two documents. This is consistent with the fact that there were several versions of this painting circulating in Rome at the time, one of which must have belonged to the Mellini family.

The subject of the painting was incorrectly described in both the 1681 poem and the 1680 Mellini inventory. Pietro Mellini misidentified the narrative as a love story. If we consider the copy now in Parma, this is somewhat understandable, as the gender of the nude figure, whose genitals are hidden by the red cloak, is quite ambiguous (fig. I, 42, a). However, the subject is in fact one of the apostles fleeing from the soldiers during the Taking of Christ.

In the 1738 inventory of Mario Mellini IV is a painting described as “Altro di mezza testa grande per alto rapp[resentante] una femmina che fugge e soldati che la seguono” (“Another half a head high, depicting a woman fleeing and soldiers following her”); here again, the iconographic theme was misinterpreted.2

Footnotes

  • 1. Lucia Schianchi, Correggio: [mostra, Parma, Galleria nazionale, Camera di San Paolo, Cattedrale, Chiesa di San Giovanni Evangelista, 20 settembre 2008–25 gennaio 2009] : [ideazione, progetto e coordinamento] a cura di Lucia Fornari Schianchi (Milan: Skira, 2008), 302, 322–23. See cat. no. III.36.
  • 2. Archivio Serlupi Crescenzi, Rome, Inventario dei mobili di Mon Mario Mellini, vol. 84, 1738, fol. 42.