This information is ©
The Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery, University of Glasgow 2018
"Madonna of the Basket"
AFTER CORREGGIO (Antonio Allegri); (Italian; 1489/94-1534) ATTR WERFF, Adriaen van der; (1659-1722)
oil on canvas
37.5 x 28.5
63.3 x 54.5
Correggio was the greatest Renaissance artist of northern Italy, and featured prominently among the artists whose works were most desirable to collectors in the time of the founder, Dr. Hunter. The position of Hunter's colleague, Joshua Reynolds, in his 1771 Discourse was ambivalent, identifying Correggio's style as 'founded upon modern grace and elegance, to which is super-added something of the simplicity of the grand style.'
The ownership of a Correggio was, however, a great coup for a collector. Hunter's friend Sir William Hamilton famously brought back a 'Correggio' of Venus Disarming Cupid from Italy and held out for £3,000 for its sale. Neither Hamilton's Correggio nor Hunter's turned out to be genuine. In Hunter's time, this beautifully painted Madonna of the Basket was the only version of this work in Britain, and it was understandable that Robert Strange, from whom it was bought in 1772, believed it to be the prime version, from the Spanish Royal Collection, which was engraved by Aquila in 1691.
In fact the prime version did arrive in England, in 1825, and was bought for the nation for £3,800 (National Gallery, London). The original was always highly regarded and was therefore much copied. Hunter's painting is of a quality that suggests the study of a painter with a special interest in Correggio's work. Until scientific analysis of the paint and support becomes possible, it is difficult to pronounce on its origin. The best suggestion so far made (by Dr Bob van der Boogert) is that the handling of paint closely resembles the 'ivoried flesh' of the Dutch painter Adriaen van der Werff (1659-1722) whose work was very much influenced by Correggio, and who had opportunities to copy his work.
HUNTER 2007 : VIRGIN MARY : CHRIST CHILD : BIBLE : FIGURE : STRANGE : BIBLE : NEW TESTAMENT : NIRP2005 : NIRP2005 :