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Antonio Allegri da Correggio

(1489 1534)

 Italian, Renaissance

Stylistically influenced by the following painters - Lorenzo Costa, Francesco Francia, Mariotto Albertinelli Michelangelo Anselmi and Andrea Mantegna

One of the Greatest Painters Of All Time

Correggio Biography and Information

The quality of Correggio's artistic character was fundamentally cheerful. The figures he painted are filled with joy in life and movement.  Their faces are wreathed with eternal joy.  Mythological, Biblical and youth themes were his favorite subjects.  A major part of Correggio's career as an  artist was focused on mural painting.  The subject Correggio was most famous for  was that of the Madonna and Child.  His magnificent style, particularly in his depiction of women, holy or otherwise,  was fortunately unscathed by the age of Savonarola.

 Correggio's life prior to becoming one of the most celebrated painters in all of  Italy was tumultuous and heartbreaking. His family was poor and he often went to bed hungry. The great painter was remembered by his colleagues as a mysterious, gloomy and reclusive man, occasionally given to bouts of binge drinking.

 The endless wonder of Renaissance painters for all things classical spurned them on to study the human body in ways not seen since the ancients.  A change of  attitude was taking place. Artists reveled in their new found passion, the passion for beauty, for sophistication, and for elegance.

At the closing of the fourteenth century there was an awakening of the senses. Italy felt the awakening earlier than the rest of Europe, and felt it far more powerfully. Its first manifestation was a limitless and unquenchable curiosity, urging people to find out all they could about the world and about man. They looked around them at the amazing building that still stood, the Roman forum, the coliseum and realized that something truly great had preceded them. People turned enthusiastically to the study of classic literature as well as nature.  Giorgio Vasari  observed "Art owes its origin to Nature herself... this beautiful creation, the world, supplied the first model, while the original teacher was that divine intelligence which has not only made us superior to the other animals, but like God Himself, if I may venture to say it. "


The newly emerging painting techniques and styles were a reflection of the transformation that was taking place in Europe, the change from the medieval period to a more liberal, noble society.  Artists, writers and scholars were climbing new heights of greatness. Great states were being created. Large centers of commerce were being founded. High above the turreted towers of the castle and the peaked roof of the town-hall, rose the slender spire of the newly built Gothic cathedral. Everywhere the world was in transition. The newly wealthy merchat class, was becoming conscious of their own strength and were struggling to throw off the yoke of their feudal masters.


Key Descriptive Words  and Phrases associated with the Renaissance Movement   rebirth, rediscovery of the classical world,  publication of Della Pittura, a book about the laws of mathematical perspective for artists,  sfumato, chiaroscuro, Savonarola, spiritually significant illuminated manuscriptidealized biblical themes, scriptorium, illuminator,  Age of Discovery, axonometric drawing, curiosity about the natural world, the works of Dante, realistic use of colors and  light, Bonfire of the Vanities, Old Testament stories, ethereal and foggy backgrounds, Gospel parables, The Black death, romanticized landscapesChristian symbolism

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