Having trained in the workshop of Garofalo in Ferrara, Girolamo visited Rome in the early 1520s and he is recorded working in Bologna in 1525. The influence of Raphael's late work in the loggia of the Villa Farnesina and the monumental figures in the altarpiece of Saint Cecilia in Bologna is apparent throughout da Carpi's career.
After his return to Ferrara, he worked on the decoration of the cupola (now destroyed) and the friezes in the nave of the Church of S. Francesco. Here the influence of Parmigianino, whom he might have encountered in Bologna in circa 1527-30, is appaerent.
Professor Mina Gregori has pointed out the striking similarity between the fresco of Saint Ursula in one of the pendentives in the nave of this church with the head of Saint Catherine in this hitherto unpublished picture. Furthermore, the broad features of the Madonna with her downcast eyes is comparable with the Saint Catherine in one of the other pendentives in the same church (both illustrated in colour in A. Mezzetti, Girolamo da Ferrara, detto da Carpi. l'Opera pittorica, Milan, 1977, pp. 78-79, nos. 52-53, pl. V-VI). Whilst the features of the Madonna and Saint Catherine in this picture recall the elegant facial expressions of Parmigianino and the monumentality of the school of Raphael, Giulio Romano in particular, da Carpi's Ferrarese origin is similarly apparent in the head of Saint Joseph which reveals a debt to Dosso Dossi.
We are grateful to Professor Mina Gregori for confirming the attribution on the basis of a photograph.