Oil on canvas
Framed: 138 x 114 x 10 cm (54 5/16 x 44 7/8 x 3 15/16 in.); Unframed: 103 x 81.5 cm (40 9/16 x 32 1/16 in.)
Holden Collection 1916.966
This painting depicts two playful putti, or cherub figures. One blows his horn into the other's ears; the other covers his ears to protect them. Now obscured by discolored varnish, the painting once had a greenish-blue background, now a mossy green. The pink flesh tones have turned bronze and the gray horn is now a brassy color. In 1519, Correggio painted playful putti in 16 oval ceiling frescoes in the Camera di San Paolo in Parma, Italy. These frescoes were commissioned by the Abbess Gioanna da Piacenza, as the room was her private quarters in the Benedictine nunnery of San Paolo. After the abbess's death, the house was strictly closed to the public for nearly two centuries. Thus Two Putti may be modeled after sketches of the frescoes made during the Abbess's lifetime, or, after the house reopened to the public, the artist may have admired the frescoes directly and modeled these putti after Correggio's originals.
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