(b. 1578, Modena, d. 1615, Parma)
The Charity of St Elizabeth of Hungary1611
Oil on canvas, 180 x 128 cm
Museo Nazionale di Capodimonte, Naples
This painting holds a historic place in the Farnese collection. It is also one of Schedoni's best-known works. The rather generic title is not really sufficient as the canvas appears to be describing a real episode. Schedoni gave his characters an amazing degree of consistency and peremptoriness. The blind boy staring out at us with empty eyes is one of the strongest images ever produced in the seventeenth century. As always, Schedoni also drew on Correggio's legacy for touches of moving lyricism, such as the little boy on the right. But the real magic of the painting lies yet again in the highly personal way that Schedoni used light, both penetrating and delicate at the same time. His light brings out the coloured fabrics while casting long shadows over parts of the faces.