07 Mar Correggio e Parmigianino
The exhibition aims to allow visitors to avail themselves of a selection of masterpieces from some of the world’s leading museums to compare and contrast the artistic careers of two of the greatest luminaries of the Italian Renaissance – Antonio Allegri known as Correggio and Francesco Mazzola known as Parmigianino. The formidable talent of these two artists alone placed the city of Parma in the early 16th century on an equal footing with the peninsula’s other great art capitals, Rome, Florence and Venice.
Correggio only travelled to Parma when he was already at the height of his career, in the late 1510s, but he was to remain in the city for the rest of his life. Some twenty of his paintings, covering his entire career, have been selected to underscore the extraordinary emotive force and expressive range that the artist put not only into his religious works but also into his mythological paintings, which were to have such a huge impact on later artists, ranging from the Carracci brothers to Watteau and even to Picasso.
The exhibition hosts such unquestioned masterpieces as the Barrymore Madonna from the National Gallery of Art in Washington, the Portrait of a Lady from the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, the Martyrdom of Four Saints from the Galleria Nazionale in Parma, the Noli Me Tangere from the Museo del Prado in Madrid, the School of Love from the National Gallery in London and the Danaë from Rome’s Galleria Borghese.
The art of Parmigianino, who also worked in Rome and Bologna, is represented by roughly the same number of paintings, but alongside his religious and mythological work the exhibition also focuses on his spectacular achievements in the field of portraiture. A broad selection of works on paper highlights the two artists’ deeply divergent approach to drawing, Correggio’s basically functional work sitting alongside Parmigianino’s incomparably richer and more varied graphic output .
The Parmigianino paintings on display include his large Bardi Altarpiece, the first work he ever painted at the age of only sixteen, a monumental St. Roch which he painted for the Basilica of San Petronio in Bologna, the Conversion of Saul from the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, the San Zaccaria Madonna from the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, his extremely celebrated Turkish Slave from the Galleria Nazionale in Parma and his so-called Anthea, one of the most sophisticated and mysterious portraits of the entire 16th century.
In addition to Correggio and Parmigianino, who are of course the unquestioned stars of the show, the exhibition also showcases paintings and drawings by other possibly less well-known but no less talented artists of the so-called School of Parma such as Michelangelo Anselmi, Francesco Maria Rondani, Girolamo Mazzola Bedoli and Giorgio Gandini del Grano, illustrating how one of the most remarkable effects of Correggio’s and Parmigianino’s presence in the city was precisely the emergence of a substantial circle of pupils and followers.