(b. 1431, Isola di Cartura, d. 1506, Mantova)

Christ the Redeemer

Tempera on canvas, 53 x 43 cm
Congregazione di Carità, Correggio

According to the inscription, this painting was a gift from Mantegna to an unknown recipient on 5 January 1493, the eve of the Feast of the Epiphany. This head of Christ is a new interpretation of a famous painting by Jan van Eyck that was known in Italy from several copies.

The motif is close-fitting so that Christ's head now comes very near to the frame. Though he appears as a living being, he seems remote and unapproachable. This is one of the few works of the later period for which we have a date, and which therefore provides a reference point for other works.