Wednesday, January 11, 2012

On a day like today, Italian artist Parmigianino, was born (From

Parmagianino, Antea (detail), 1531-4, Museo di Capodimonte, Naples

January 11, 1503.-  

Girolamo Francesco Maria Mazzola (11 January 1503 – 24 August 1540), also known as Francesco Mazzola or more commonly as Parmigianino (a nickname meaning "the little one from Parma") or sometimes "Parmigiano", was a prominent Italian Mannerist painter and printmaker active in Florence, Rome, Bologna, and his native city of Parma. His work is characterized by elongation of form and includes Vision of Saint Jerome (1527) and the Madonna with the Long Neck (1534). 

Parmagianino, Antea,1531-4 , Museo di Capodimonte, Naples



Occasionally gazing at these images (and Antea’s gaze) today, I’m reminded how astonished I was when I first saw Parmagianino’s paintings and how they still completely enthrall me.  One’s first dose of Mannerism is a little bit like taking a new drug; you never thought the world could look like that and then you think, yes – the world should look like that alwaysThe drug then wears off.  With any luck, you reorder your senses and priorities and learn the history behind the image and the manner in which the image was created.  (Why this way, rather than that way? How?)  You then re-view the work, seeing it anew and calmly. If and when the old feeling hits you, it’s like Bob Marley said: You feel no pain.

Parmagianino, Study for Madonna With The Long Neck, 1535, private collection (formerly part of Robert Lebel collection, Paris)


  1. Isn't she/it? I've just posted an additional note here, should you ever care to read it. I sometimes find myself guided by Helen Gurley Brown's "good magazine" maxims, which were passed on to me many years ago by a former Cosmo junior editor who is Jane's godmother. Helen wisely said that articles need to have enough "me and you" about them; they need to "sit down and visit." So I added some me to Parmagianino (509 years old today!) and you. Curtis

  2. Having viewed Antea with body, I had a decidedly different reaction vs. Antea sans body. My curiosity was piqued, however, and I read some history (and commentary) about this painting, the Late Renaissance, and Mannerism. There seems to be quite a divergence of opinions about Mannerism. (Given your background, you are well aware of this.) Frankly, I find this painting oddly disturbing yet extremely compelling. Nell

  3. The face is beautiful- revisiting our loves is important to moving on. these are masterful. pgt

  4. Anthea's Gaze has rendered me speechless. The gentleness of the face and purity speaks to my soul. I shall be quiet and just return and look at her.
    Thank you for this beautiful post. I found you through Little Augery.
    As your new follower, I look forward to your visit.

  5. Gaye -- I enjoyed thinking about this because like most young people interested in art, when I first encountered the Mannerist painters, they captivated me and threw me for a loop. That can be (and was) great, obviously, but it's nice to know that we sometimes have the time (and can bother to take the time) to let our understanding deepen and grow. Antea's really something. Hello Helen -- SO pleased you visited and like this. I'll be visiting your site shortly. I just need to winch these files off my desk. Curtis

  6. I so appreciated your posting and it inspired my post today which I noted in the posting- pgt