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After Correggio, 'Group of Heads', before 1587

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 × 107.3 cm
Acquisition credit Bought, 1824
Inventory number NG7
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 depicting the heads of infant angels are also in the National Gallery’s collection.

This painting is a copy of the figures behind John the Evangelist on the left of Correggio’s fresco. The central infant angel is a copy of the one of the fresco fragments in the National Gallery.

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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