Antonio Allegri, known to posterity by his nickname Antonio da Correggio, was born in the town of that same name in the duchy of Modena in the Po valley. Originally he began training as a physician and surgeon, and studied anatomy under Giovanni Battista Lombardi, believed to be the doctor portrayed in the painting entitled Correggio's Physician.
In 1518 he embarked on his epic series of frescoes for the Convent of San Paolo in Parma and followed this with the decoration of Parma Cathedral. Putto with Hunting Trophy in the Camera di San Paolo, Parma. This extraordinary room, a perfect example of Renaissance taste, remained secret for centuries, it was not thought proper, in fact, for an abbess to hold literary conversations in an intensely profane salon, dominated by the figure of Diana and transformed into a bower by the illusionist frescoes on the ceiling. This is one of the many decorations surrounding the cupola.
Antonio da Correggio was the first Italian painter to paint the interior of the cupola, producing The Ascension for the church of San Giovanni in Parma. He also executed numerous religious and biblical paintings but also drew on classical mythology for inspiration. His wife Girolama is believed to have been his model for The Madonna and Child with White Rabbit (La Zngarella), Correggio developed a fluid, luminous, immediate and personal style.
Many of Correggio's nude paintings show grace, smiles and a voluptuous sense of beauty to assure that scenes of this kind, seen in Antiope, remain far removed from any kind of coarse eroticism. In the painting Danae and Jupiter and Io, these two paintings are part of the “Loves of Jupiter” series. Danaë depicts the maiden as she is impregnated by a curtain of gilded divine rain. Her lower torso semi-obscured by sheets. Particularly impressive in Jupiter and Io is the scene in which Jupiter, transformed into as cloud, embraces and kisses the nymph Io, causing her to swoon. The soft divine cloud seems to envelop the nymph's gleaming body, clasping her in gentle, irresistible embrace.
Correggio gave a novel touch to the composition and feeling of the altarpieces without adopting the norms of Mannerism. Inspired by the soft style of Leonardo (in Madonna's features and the light that blurs the outlines), he creates a sense of tender abandonment and confident faith. For the execution of this work, Madonna With St Jerome, he received a payment that was very typical in the Emilia region: 44 Imperial Liras, two cartloads of firewood, a few measures of wheat, and a pig.
Art Movement History: Renaissance, Mannerism.
Artists Influencing Correggio: Da Vinci, Andrea Mantegna, Lorenzo Costa, Francesco Francia.
Painters Correggio Influenced: Giovanni Maria Francesco Rondani, Parmigianino, Bernardo Gatti, Giorgio Gandini del Grano.
Artist's Biography compiled by Albert L. Mansour at The World's Artist.