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Parmigianino (Francesco Mazzola)

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Parmigianino (Francesco Mazzola)
16th-century Parmese
(Parma, Italy, 1503 - 1540, Casalmaggiore, Italy)

After the giants of the High Renaissance, Francesco Mazzola was the most individual, refined, and influential of all 16th-century Italian artists. Of modest provincial formation, but real direction from the work of his compatriot Correggio, his style was eccentric from the outset. At first this eccentricity was shaped by an instinctively graceful design and rhythmic touch. With the assimilation of classical style, especially that of Raphael, during a sojourn in Rome (1525-27), it was given a more rigorous conception, complex rhetoric, and high finish. Supernaturally beautiful and psychologically abstracted, Parmigianino’s style after his return to Emilia epitomizes Mannerism, determining much of its next stage in Italy, recommending its adoption at the most ambitious courts of Europe, and setting the standard for elegant stylization through the 18th century.


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