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Key facts
Full title Group of Heads
Artist After Correggio
Artist dates active 1494; died 1534
Date made before 1587
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 137.2 x 106 cm
Acquisition credit Bought, 1824
Inventory number NG37
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
Previous owners
Group of Heads
After Correggio

This painting on canvas, together with another Group of Heads, is a copy of part of Correggio’s destroyed fresco, The Coronation of the Virgin, which was painted in the apse of S. Giovanni Evangelista in Parma. A number of fragments of Correggio’s original fresco are also in the National Gallery’s collection.

This picture is a copy of the figures on the right of the fresco behind the figure of Saint John the Baptist. His lamb (representing Christ, who will be sacrificed for humanity) is held by the infant angel in the copy, although John the Baptist himself is not included.

When it was in the Farnese Collection in Rome this copy was believed to be by Annibale Carracci. However, we do not know who painted it. It is likely to be an early copy made before Correggio’s original fresco was detached from the apse of S. Giovanni Evangelista in the 1580s.

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