The style direction of mannerism was formed by the beginning of the 1520s on the basis of the creativity of Italian painters.
For the masters of mannerism, the world was fundamentally tragic, mystical, and unpredictable. This is the origin of the high degree of dramatic images, exaggerated expression of poses, and the struggle of light and shadow.
Parmigianino, along with such masters as Pontormo and Giulio Romano, is the brightest representative of this direction.
Parmigianino (real name-Gerolamo Francesco Maria Mazzola), was born in 1503 in Parma. The young man often visited the Parma Church of San Giovanni Evangelista, where he was fascinated by the frescoes of the great Correggio. The work of Antonio Correggio had a huge impact on the young artist.
Going to Rome in 1523 to study the works of Michelangelo and Raphael, Francesco took several of his paintings with him. One of them was very unusual: a young man drew a self-portrait in the form of a reflection in a convex mirror.
The painting was presented to Pope Clement VII and greatly impressed him. Appreciating the gift of the young artist, the Pope commissioned him to paint a mural on the wall of one of the Vatican halls. But the artist did not have time to complete the honorary task.
In 1527, the troops of the Spanish Emperor Charles V attacked Rome and sacked the city. The soldiers spared the young artist, and Francesco managed to leave for Bologna, where he took up engravings from his drawings. Here fate again decided to test Francesco: all his drawings were stolen.
In 1531, Francesco returned to his native Parma, where he received an order to paint the Church of the confraternity della Staccata. The painter did not complete the task-he destroyed some of the paintings that he did not like, for which he was sent to prison. After vowing to complete the task, Francesco was released into the wild.
But he didn’t grab the brushes, and ran out of the city. Having settled in the suburbs of Parma, the artist hid for some time from his employers. Francesco is increasingly immersed in the world of mystical experiences, far from the realities of life.
The exquisite images of his early paintings are replaced by unreal images, often incomprehensible to the viewer of the Renaissance. The reality of space is violated, perspective is distorted, and proportions are deliberately ignored.
Comparing the paintings “Madonna with a rose” and “Madonna with a long neck”, written in different periods of time, you can see how the artist’s style has changed.
Many associated this transformation with the artist’s passion for alchemy. Perhaps the search for the philosopher’s stone, or perhaps an irresistible desire to create an image that no one has ever created, further removed the talented painter from the heights that he had previously reached.
However, this painful break in the real world, the abstract ideality and the unattainable, and therefore so difficult to perceive spiritual perfection of its new images, served as the basis for the formation of the Baroque style.
Francesco Mazzola died at the age of 37 from a fever. According to other sources, from poisoning with chemicals used for alchemical experiments.