Pomponio Allegri, The Rest on the Flight into Egypt

Photo courtesy of Caroline True (All rights reserved)


Country House
Mells Manor
The Rest on the Flight into Egypt
Medium and support
Oil on wood
Overall height: 37 cm, Overall width: 31 cm
Pomponio Allegri (1521-1593)
Catalogue Number


This small painting is immediately reminiscent of the work of Correggio. The type of the Child, the sweetness of the emotion, the richness of the vegetation and the delicacy of the modelling are all very like those seen in his paintings. However, the level of execution is lower, the command of space less precise and the structuring of the body of the Child is coarser than his. And the head of the Virgin is unlike those of Correggio. In short, the painting is by an artist who was close to Correggio but considerably weaker formally and much less subtle emotionally.

Among the various possible artists active in Parma during in the period from about 1520 to 1560, none of the major figures can plausibly be connected with this picture: Parmigianino, Anselmi, Bedoli, Gandini and Rondani all have different characteristics and add their own personalities to what they take from Correggio. The most probable candidate is Correggio’s son, Pomponio, whose earlier work, insofar as his chronology can be established, depends closely from that of his father. Pomponio had a long career and his surviving work is consistently mediocre. This picture was probably painted quite early, maybe about 1540, when he was still adhering closely to Correggio’s idiom.

The present writer’s tentative suggestion of Pomponio was approved by Professor Mary Vaccaro, who pointed to certain similarities with a secure work by Pomponio, the Virgin and Child with St John and two Angels, in the Galleria Nazionale in Parma.1

by Paul Joannides


  1. Professor Mary Vaccaro, private communication, 2020; Cristina Quagliotti, in Lucia Fornari Schianchi, ed., Catalogo delle opere del Cinquecento e iconografia farnesiana, Milan: Franco Maria Ricci, cat. no. 157, p. 35.


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