Saints Peter, Martha, Mary Magdalen, and Leonard

Artist: Correggio (Antonio Allegri) (Italian, Correggio, active by 1514–died 1534 Correggio)

Medium: Oil on canvas

Dimensions: 87 1/4 x 63 3/4 in. (221.6 x 161.9 cm)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: John Stewart Kennedy Fund, 1912

Accession Number: 12.211


This relatively early work by Correggio was painted around 1515–17 for Melchiore Fassi and was installed in the oratory of Santa Maria della Misericordia in the town of Correggio. Its emotional restraint and use of strong local color contrasts with the highly charged expressiveness of Correggio's mature paintings. Especially notable is the soft lighting of the figures, set off against a dense copse of trees, on one of which is a woodpecker.

The saints can be identified by their emblems: keys (for Saint Peter), a dragon (for Saint Martha), a pot of ointment (for Mary Magdalen), and fetters (for Saint Leonard).