Parmigianino (Biographical details)

Parmigianino (printmaker; painter/draughtsman; Italian; Male; 1503 - 1540)

Also known as

Parmigianino; Mazzola, Girolamo Francesco Maria; Parmigianino, Francesco; Mazzuoli, Francois; Mazzuoli, Francesco


Painter, etcher and designer for engraving and woodcut, exponent of Mannerism with an emphasis on elongated forms, worked in Parma, Rome and Bologna.
Girolamo Francesco Maria Mazzola, called Il Parmigianino, b. Parma, 11 January 1503, d. Casalmaggiore, 24 August 1540. After the death of his father, Filippo Mazzola, in 1505, Parmigianino was brought up by his uncles Michele and Pier Ilario Mazzola. Like his father, they were painters, and according to Vasari it was from them that he received his earliest training. In August 1521 he was sent with Girolamo Bedoli to Viadana, to avoid the war then threatening Parma. He returned to Parma in the following year and on 22 November 1522 contracted to decorate the vault and northern apse of the north transept of the Cathedral. So far as is known, this was never begun, but he seems by then to have already embarked on the decoration of side-chapels in S. Giovanni Evangelista. The first two chapels on the l.-hand side are the only ones unanimously accepted as his. The paintings in these show the influence of Correggio who was working in the church at the same time and who had been in Parma since 1519/20. In 1523/4 Parmigianino decorated a room in the Rocca Sanvitale at Fontanellato, near Parma, and later went to Rome where he remained until 1527. When the Sack of Rome took place in May 1527 he had almost completed 'The Virgin and Child with SS. John the Baptist and Jerome', intended for the altar of a chapel in S. Salvatore in Lauro, and now in the National Gallery. Later in the same year he left Rome for Bologna, where he stayed until 1530 or 1531. On 10 May 1531 he contracted with the Fabbricieri of S. Maria della Steccata in Parma to decorate the eastern apse and the vault leading to it. On 27 September 1535, when the decoration should have been completed, his contract was revised to give him further time; but some time after 26 August 1539, having failed to comply with the revised terms, he was imprisoned. On his release he fled to Casalmaggiore, and on 19 December 1539 he was discharged from work on the Steccata.


Popham 1967 with following bibliography:
L. Fröhlich-Bum, Parmigianino und der Manierismus, Vienna, 1921; G. Copertini, Il Parmigianino, Parma, 1932 (2 vols.: vol. i containing plates i to lxxxxvi, vol. ii plates lxxxxvii to clxxii followed by an additional 15 numbered 1-15 ); Sydney J. Freedberg, Parmigianino, his works in painting, Harvard University Press, 1950 (with bibliography). Louise Burroughs, 'A Drawing by Francesco Mazzola, il Parmigianino', in The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, N.S. vii (1948-9), pp. 101 ff. ; British Museum, Department of Prints & Drawings. Emilian Drawings of the XVI Century, Exhibition, 1951, catalogue by A. E. Popham; A. E. Popham, The Drawings of Parmigianino, London, 1953 ; A. E. Popham, 'Un disegno del Parmigianino', in Parma per l'arte, iii (1953), pp. 107 f. ; Ferdinando Bologna, 'Una "Pentecoste" del Parmigianino', in Paragone, 63 (1955), pp. 31 ff.; A. E. Popham, 'Parmigianino as a Landscape Draughtsman', in Art Quarterly, xx (1957), pp. 275 ff.; L. Fröhlich-Bum, 'Additions to a Corpus of Drawings by Parmigianino', in Gazette des Beaux-Arts, period 6, li (1958), pp. 9 ff.; Robert Wark, 'A Sheet of Studies by Parmigianino', in Art Quarterly, xxii (1959), pp. 245 ff. ; A. E. Popham, 'Uno sconosciuto disegno del Parmigianino per S. Giovanni Evangelista', in Aurea Parma, xliii (1959), pp. 8 ff. ; A. E. Popham, 'Dessins du Parmesan au Musée des Beaux-Arts de Budapest', in Bulletin du Musée National Hongrois des Beaux-Arts, no. 19 (1961), pp. 43 ff. ; L. Fröhlich-Bum, 'Some Unpublished Drawings by Parmigianino', in Apollo, lxxvi (1962), pp. 693 ff. ; Iván Fenyő, 'Some Newly Discovered Drawings by Parmigianino', in Burlington, cv (1963), pp. 145 ff.; Iván Fenyő, 'Su alcuni disegni del Parmigianino nel Museo di Belle Arti di Budapest', in Arte antica e moderna, 22 (1963), pp. 139 ff. ; Graphische Sammlung Albertina. Parmigianino und sein Kreis: Zeichnungen und Druckgraphik aus eigenem Besitz, Exhibition, 1963, catalogue by Konrad Oberhuber; A. E. Popham, 'Drawings by Parmigianino for the Rocca of Fontanellato', in Master Drawings, i (1963), no. 1, pp. 3 ff. ; Musée du Louvre. Dessins de l'École de Parme: Corrège, Parmesan, Exhibition, 1964, catalogue by Roseline Bacou; A. E. Popham, 'Two drawings by Parmigianino', in The National Gallery of Canada Bulletin, ii, no. 2 (1964), pp. 23 ff.
Additional publications: BM 2000, 'Correggio and Parmigianino, Master Draughtsmen of the Renaisasance'
Achim Gnann, 'P, die Zeichnungen', 2007 (catalogue)