- Museum number
The Madonna of St Jerome 'Il giorno'; the Virgin and Child with St Jerome and Mary Magdalene. 1586
- Production date
Height: 484 millimetres
Width: 332 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- (Text from Michael Bury, 'The Print in Italy 1550-1620', BM 2001, cat.76)
Correggio's picture of this subject had been painted in the 1520s as the altarpiece of the chapel of S. Girolamo in Sant' Antonio, Parma (Ekserdjian, 1997, pp.193ff.). Agostino's print is the same way round as the painting.
Prints after works of Correggio were few in the sixteenth century. Only a handful seem to have been made, two of them by Agostino. This must be regarded as among his greatest works, and the admiration of contemporaries can be judged by the speed with which copies were made. The two copies exhibited here were both made using impressions of the Carracci original, for they follow the changes that Agostino made to the painting. This is most obvious in the background, where the increase in the density of the foliage constricts the opening up of a deep space behind the figures, and the landscape is redesigned. Agostino in another significant alteration pushed the figures slightly further back, creating an opening between the Magdalene and the edge of the image. He was motivated by a desire to create a successful print: the relative closure of the background and the opening up of the foreground allowed him a monumental concentration on the figures with a feeling of light and air around them.
Agostino's assertion of his responsibility for both the cutting and the printing of this plate fits in with the way he inscribed other engravings that he produced in the years 1586-87 with assertive indications of his control of the plates. It seems possible that at this time he made an attempt to set himself up as a printer and print dealer with a shop in Bologna. The primary reason for announcing his ownership of the plates would have been to indicate to potential clients where impressions could be obtained if wanted.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2001/2 Sep-Jan, BM, P&D, The Print in Italy 1550-1620
2002 Feb-Mar, New York, Miriam & Ira D Wallach AG, The Print in Italy
2002/3 Sep-Jan, Ottawa, NG of Canada, The Print in Italy 1550-1620
2003 Feb-Apr, Edinburgh, NG of Scotland, The Print in Italy 1550-1620
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number