The Virgin and Child with St Catherine and an Angel holding a Book is
of the most moving religious prints of the Italian 17th
century, though the reason behind Scaramuccia's revised version is yet unclear.
Rendered as a sort of reversed close-up of Correggio's Mannerist masterpiece*, transformed into an intimate Sacra Conversazione qua Mystic Marriage (see The Golden Legend, by Jacobus de Varagine, the most prominent Medieval version of this hagiography), from
which has been removed the lateral representation of Saint
Jerome. There only remains the book (as Jerome was the author of
the Vulgate), which the Angel holds out (incidentally bearing also the signature of the artist: "Luigi S").
The printings (or editions) of
this remarkable etching are not known. We have however located a
sole impression of this print in the British Museum, Registration
number W,8.35 (?)** This impression is in a darker ink, yet
also showing the fine vertical scratches along the angel's left hand...