Follower of Antonio Allegri, called Correggio
- Antonio Allegri, called Correggio
- La Zingarella
- oil on panel, the reverse bearing James Irvine's wax seal with a bearded head in profile wearing a crown
- 47.5 x 37.6 cm.; 18 3/4 x 14 7/8 in.
Acquired from the above by James Irvine on behalf of Sir William Forbes, 7th Bt. of Pitsligo (1773–1828), 18 July 1827, in Milan, for 135 Louis ('Zingarella after Correggio').
James Irvine himself saw Correggio's original painting in Naples some time before 1797, and 'above thirty years' later described the present painting to Sir William as: '[...] beautiful and nearer the manner of Correggio than perhaps any copy I ever saw.'2 He came across the painting in Milan when taken by Giuseppe Molteni, a picture restorer, to see pictures belonging to 'a person who seems to have laid out more money than he could afford and now wishes to get some of it back. Among them I found the following, viz: The Zingarella or Mada del coniglio of Correggio, a very fine old copy - 200 Louis.'3 By the time Irvine wrote to Sir William only three weeks later he had evidently negotiated a discount, buying the picture for 135 Louis.
1. D. Ekserdjian, Correggio, New Haven and London 1997, p. 61, reproduced pre-restoration p. 62, fig. 59, and post restoration p. 62, fig. 58.
2. Letter from James Irvine to Sir William Forbes, Milan, 10 July 1827.
3. Letter from James Irvine to Sir William Forbes, Milan, 27 June 1827; he also bought Ludovico Mazzolino's Adoration of the Shepherds (sold in these rooms, 7 December 2016, lot 8, £200,000) from this collection through Molteni.