This fragile pair of paintings depicts St. Joseph on the left and the artwork’s devout patron on the right. Joseph is barefoot. He carries a walking stick and a water canteen (his attributes) and is dressed in classical red and orange drapery. The plain-dressed man on the right has removed his hat and is painted at the moment when he is about to kneel before the saint.

The man on the right is likely count Guido da Correggio, of whom another portrait exists at the Courtauld Institute in London. The painting is dated 6 July 1529. The count died the previous year, and it is believed that the two paintings commemorated his memory and originally decorated the shutters of a small organ or perhaps a reliquary within his family chapel.


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