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  Parmigianino  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Parmigianino
 
 
 
born Jan. 11, 1503, Parma, Duchy of Milan
died Aug. 24, 1540, Casalmaggiore, Cremona

also called Parmigiano , byname of Girolamo Francesco Maria Mazzola , or Mazzuoli painter who was one of the first artists to develop the elegant and sophisticated version of Mannerist style that became a formative influence on the post-High Renaissance generation.

There is no doubt that Correggio was the strongest single influence on Parmigianino's early development, but he probably was never a pupil of that master. The influence is apparent in Parmigianino's first important work, the “Mystic Marriage of St. Catherine” (c. 1521). About 1522–23 he executed two series of frescoes: one series in two side chapels of S. Giovanni Evangelista, in Parma, executed contemporaneously with Correggio's great murals on the dome and pendentives of that church, and the other, representing the “Legend of Diana and Actaeon,” on the ceiling of a room in the castle of Fontanellato just outside Parma. The scheme of the latter decoration recalls Correggio's work in the Camera di San Paolo in Parma.

In 1524 Parmigianino moved to Rome, taking with him three specimens of his work to impress the pope, including the famous self-portrait that he had painted on a convex panel from his reflection in a convex mirror. His chief painting donein Rome is the large “Vision of St. Jerome” (1527). Although this work shows the influence of Michelangelo, it was Raphael's ideal beauty of form and feature that influenced his entire oeuvre. While at work on the “Vision of St. Jerome” in 1527 he was interrupted by soldiers of the imperial army taking part in the sack of Rome, and he left for Bologna. There he painted one of his masterpieces, the “Madonna with St. Margaret and Other Saints.” In 1531 he returned to Parma, where he remained for the rest of his life, the principal works of this last period being the “Madonna dal Collo Lungo” (1534; “Madonna of the Long Neck”) and the frescoes on the vault preceding the apse of Sta. Maria della Steccata. The latter were to have been only part of a much larger scheme of decoration in the church, but Parmigianino was extremely dilatory over their execution, and he was eventually imprisoned for breaking his contract.

Parmigianino was one of the most remarkable portrait painters of the century outside Venice. Some of his best portraits are in Naples, in the Museo e Gallerie Nazionali di Capodimonte, including the “Gian Galeazzo Sanvitale” (1524) and the portrait of a young woman called “Antea” (c. 1535–37).

The style that he developed was, in its suave attenuations and technical virtuosity, one of the most brilliant and influential manifestations of Mannerism. It was an extreme development of Raphael's late manner and weakened the naturalistic basis inherent in High Renaissance art.

Parmigianino's works are distinguished by ambiguity of spatial composition, by distortion and elongation of the human figure, and by the pursuit of what the art historian Vasari called “grace”; that is to say, a rhythmical, sensuous beauty beyond the beauty of nature. This last quality of attenuated elegance is evident not only in Parmigianino's paintings but also in his numerous and sensitive drawings. One of the first Italian artists to practice etching, Parmigianino used the etching needle with the freedom of a pen, usually to reproduce his own drawings, which were in great demand.

Encyclopædia Britannica
 
 
 



Self-portrait in a Convex Mirror
c. 1524
Oil on wood, diameter 24,4 cm
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna





Rest on the Flight to Egypt
1524
Oil on panel, 110 x 89 cm
Museo del Prado, Madrid






Madonna and Child with Saints
c. 1530
Oil on wood, 75,5 x 60 cm
Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence






Pallas Athene
c. 1539
Oil on canvas, 63,8 x 45,1 cm
Royal Collection, Windsor






Portrait of a Man
1523
Oil on panel
National Gallery, Londo






Portrait of a Young Woman known as Antea
1524-27
Oil on canvas
Museo di Capodimonte, Naple






The Conversion of St Paul
Oil on canvas, 177,5 x 128,5 cm
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

 
 
 
 



Madonna and Child
c. 1525
Oil on panel (arched), 58,8 x 34,1 cm
Galleria Doria-Pamphili, Rome




Portrait of a Man
1528-30
Oil on canvas
Galleria Borghese, Rome

 
 
 
 

Mystic Marriage of Saint Catherine
1525-27
Oil on panel
National Gallery, London




The Vision of St Jerome
1527
Oil on wood, 343 x 149 cm
National Gallery, London





Madonna with Long Neck
1534-40
Oil on panel, 216 x 132 cm
Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

 
 
 
 

Portrait of a Man
Oil on panel
Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence






Portrait of the Countess of Sansecondo and Three Children
1533-35
Oil on panel
Museo del Prado, Madrid




 

Cupid
1523-24
Oil on wood, 135 x 65,3 cm
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna






Lovers
1528





Three Feminine Heads
1522





Diogenes
1527

 
 
 

 
 
 
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