The Art of Experiment: Parmigianino at The Courtauld

The Gilbert and Ildiko Butler Drawings Gallery
5 March – 5 June 2022

The Renaissance artist Girolamo Francesco Maria Mazzola, better known as Parmigianino (1503-1540), was celebrated for his graceful compositions and praised as the heir to Raphael (1483 – 1520). Parmigianino drew relentlessly during his short life: more than a thousand of his drawings have survived. They show the virtuoso artist, endlessly sketching out new ideas on paper. As well as drawing and painting, Parmigianino also experimented with printmaking, and is considered to have been the first to try the new medium of etching in Italy as well as pioneering the chiaroscuro woodcut technique.

This display will present an important group of twenty-two works by Parmigianino from The Courtauld’s collection. They include a sketch for the artist’s most ambitious painting, the Madonna of the Long Neck. Alongside it, there will be studies for his celebrated frescoes of the church of Santa Maria della Steccata in Parma, Italy – one of Parmigianino’s most significant commissions. A collaborative project which involved former and current research students at The Courtauld, the display and its accompanying catalogue will shed light on an artist who approached every technique with unprecedented freedom and produced innovative works which were studied and admired by artists and collectors in his lifetime and for centuries thereafter.

5 March - 5 June 2022

The Courtauld Gallery  The Gilbert and Ildiko Butler Drawings Gallery 

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