Plaque in Honour of Paolo da Correggio

Sixteenth century

Istrian stone (Karst) 161 x 84 x 12cm

Inv. 7226

Museo Lapidario Estense, Modena

This plaque was hung outside the Palazzo Comunale of Modena in commemoration of Paolo da Correggio, a distinguished magistrate and member of the centuries-old da Correggio family. Paolo was famed for his integrity. According to the legend, despite having received death threats he justly blamed the scion of a powerful family who subsequently arranged to have him killed. The commemorative epigraph contained in a cartouche is topped with an (originally polychrome) heraldic bas-relief. A tree emerges from behind a shield with the emblem of an eagle between two rampant lions and two tied belts are at each side. The tree branches fork out into a palm and bay laurel whilst a helmet topped with a nude female figure representing Fortune sits between them. Due to its potent admonitory value, in the seventeenth century this work was moved to the Magistrates’ Hall inside the Palazzo Comunale. It joined the Lapidario Estense the year it was established in 1828.