Through a selection of masterpieces from the most important museums in the world, the exhibition compares the paths of two absolute stars of the Italian Renaissance, Antonio Allegri called Correggio (1489-1534) and Francesco Mazzola called Parmigianino (1503-1540). Thanks to the formidable talent of these two artists, the city of Parma became the beginning of the sixteenth century, an artistic center able to fully compete with the great Italian art capitals like Rome, Florence and Venice.
Correggio went to Parma at the end of the second decade of the sixteenth century, when it was already at the peak of his career, and remained there for the rest of his life. With the intent to examine the entire artistic career, they were selected shows around twenty paintings that appropriately emphasize not only the extraordinary emotional power and range of feelings expressed by Correggio painter of religious images, but also his works on mythological subjects , which had an enormous influence on later artists, from Carracci, Watteau, to Picasso.
You can admire masterpieces such as the Madonna Barrymore (Washington, National Gallery of Art), the Portrait of a Lady (St. Petersburg, the State Hermitage Museum), The Martyrdom of Four Saints (Parma, National Gallery); Noli Me Tangere (Madrid, Museo del Prado), The School of Love (London, National Gallery); Danae (Rome, Borghese Gallery).
As for Parmigianino, whose career also saw him active in Rome and Bologna, the number of paintings on display will be roughly the same, but alongside those of religious and mythological subjects, the focus will be also on the spectacular achievements in the genre portrait. A wide selection of works on paper will highlight the sheer diversity of their approach to drawing: that of Correggio substantially functional to be alongside the most incomparably rich and varied production of Parmigianino, artist driven by an almost obsessive need to draw. Among the masterpieces in the exhibition remembers the great Bardi Altarpiece, first work by the artist at the age of sixteen, the monumental San Rocco painted for the Basilica of San Petronio in Bologna, the Conversion of Saul (Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum ); Our Lady of San Zaccaria (Florence, Uffizi Gallery); the famous Turkish Slave of the National Gallery of Parma and the so-called “Antea”, among the most sophisticated and mysterious portraits of the sixteenth century.
As well as Correggio and Parmigianino, which of course will be the protagonists of the exhibition event, the exhibition also includes paintings and drawings by four artists less famous but no less talented of the so-called School of Parma – Michelangelo Anselmi, Francesco Maria Rondani, Girolamo Mazzola and Bedoli Giorgio Gandini del Grano – reflecting the fact that one of the most remarkable effects of the presence in Parma Correggio and Parmigianino was precisely the emergence of a circle of students and disciples.