A Short History of Italian Painting

By Alice Van Vechten Brown; William Rankin | Go to book overview
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HIGH RENAISSANCE NORTH ITALY

CORREGGIO1
1494-1534

ONE North Italian painter, outside of Venice, belongs with the great Europeans--with Giorgione and Titian, with Velasquez and Rubens. Antonio Allegri, called Correggio, from his birthplace, was born in the town of Correggio, within short journeys of Ferrara and Bologna and Mantua. His first master may have been an uncle; nothing is further known except that he was certainly brought up in the artistic tradition of Ferrara-Bologna.2 When quite young he was sent to Mantua, where Mantegna's work gave a lasting inspiration, and where he studied the works of Costa and Dosso Dossi. He was at work in Parma (Convent of S. Paolo) in 1518, when twenty-four years old. He was in Correggio off and on from 1519-1521, and married there, but soon after settled permanently in Parma ( 1521), where his powers were given full scope in two great decorations, that of S. Giovanni Evangelista and that of the Cathedral, besides which he executed a host of smaller pictures. After the death of his wife ( 1529) he retired to Correggio, where he continued to paint until he died, at the age of forty, in 1534.

Correggio's early work (up to 1515, when he was twenty-one), of which many pictures remain, is often delightful. The influences are clearly seen of Costa and Dosso Dossi and Mantegna. The typical altarpiece of his early style is the Enthroned Madonna and SS. ( 1515, Dresden). This shows the Ferrarese element in the early design and long proportions, the encircling curves of Costa, the sculpture and canopy of the throne derived from Padua through Bianchi-Ferrari, with a

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1
Gronan fine article, Th.-B. Lex., VII, authoritative. Ricci Correggio, important monograph. See also Moore Correggio, interesting. For a discriminating appreciation of Correggio, see Blashfield Correggio in Parma, in It. Cities.
2
See Ricci for Correggio's masters. Bianchi-Ferrari is reputed to be one.

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