Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Seated Goddess Diana (recto); Studies of a Nude Male Torso Seen from the Rear, and a leg (verso)

Artist:
Parmigianino (Girolamo Francesco Maria Mazzola) (Italian, Parma 1503–1540 Casalmaggiore)
Date:
ca. 1522
Medium:
Red chalk
Dimensions:
5 3/4 x 3 7/16in. (14.6 x 8.7cm)
Classification:
Drawings
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1910
Accession Number:
10.45.4
Not on view
The softly rendered drawing on the recto of this early sheet was clearly inspired by Correggio's Diana, frescoed around 1518-19 above the fireplace in the Camera di San Paolo in Parma. The drawing technique is palpably Correggesque, with reinforced contours full of movement and a sfumato effect of tone despite the use of hatching. The present study has been described as a "copy from memory" after Correggio, but it reveals such fundamental differences of conception with respect to Correggio's fresco (the goddess exhibits more compact bodily proportions, and is seated in a languid, entirely restful pose) that it seems an independent work. It may well be that the challenge of designing a Diana fresco cycle of his own in the small room at the Rocca Sanvitale in Fontanellato stimulated Parmigianino in this iconographic exercise. The proportions of the torso on the verso of the sheet seem closer to the hefty anatomy of some of the putti in Correggio's camera di San Paolo oculi frescoes, or of his semi-nude apostles in the dome frescoes at San Giovanni Evangelista than to the original of the famous Belvedere Torso, as has been suggested. (This Hellenistic marble sculpture now in the Vatican Museums was at the Palazzo Colonna in Rome in the early sixteenth century.) Rather the artist probably drew the torso after a wax model, a practice also used by Correggio to design the San Giovanni Evangelista frescoes. Parmigianino's studies of two putti in the Louvere (Popham no.405, pl.15) of ca.1522 offer an exact analogy to the present sheet in terms of technique and practice. The recto was most probably produced soon after Correggio completed the Camera di San Paolo frescoes. The style and technique of the drawing suggest that it dates from around 1522, reflecting the moment when Parmigianino and Correggio were both working in San Giovanni evangelista.

(Carmen C. Bambach 2000)
Marking: Stamped lower left with the collector's mark of Sir Joshua Reynolds (Lugt 2364) and, lower right, that of Jonathan Richardson the Elder (Lugt 2183).
Thomas Howard (British, Finchingfield, Essex 1585–1646 Padua, Italy); Jonathan Richardson Sr. (British, London 1667–1745 London); John Barnard the Younger (British, 1705–1784); Sir Joshua Reynolds (British, Plympton 1723–1792 London); Vendor: P. & D. Colnaghi & Co., through Roger Eliot Fry
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Correggio and Parmigianino Master Draughtsmen of the Renaissance," February 5, 2001–May 6, 2001.

Arthur Ewart Popham Catalogue of the Drawings of Parmigianino. 3 vols., New Haven and London, 1971, vol. 1, no. 295; vol. 2, pl. 10 (ill. recto and verso), cat. no. 295, ill.

Paola Rossi L'opera Completa del Parmigianino. Milan, 1980, repr. p. 84, p. 5, ill.

Jacob Bean, Lawrence Turčić 15th and 16th Century Italian Drawings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1982, cat. no. 158, fig. no. 158, pp. 164-65, ill.

Diane DeGrazia, Eugenio Riccòmini, Lucia Fornari Schianchi Correggio e il suo lascito: disegni del Cinquecento emiliano Exh. cat. Galleria Nazionale, Parma (July 6 - June 15, 1984). Parma, 1984, cat. no. 28, pp. 130-31, ill.

Diane DeGrazia Correggio and His Legacy, Sixteenth Century Emilian Drawings. Exh. cat. National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., Washington, DC, 1984, cat. no. 28, pp. 122-123, ill.

Carmen C. Bambach, Martin Clayton, George R. Goldner, Hugo Chapman Correggio and Parmigianino: Master Draughtsmen of the Renaissance. Exh. cat., The British Museum, London, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. London, 2000-2001, p. 80, no. 38, figs. 384-v (entry by Carmen C. Bambach).

Achim Gnann Parmigianino: Die Zeichnungen. 2 Vols., Petersberg, Germany, 2007, cat. no. 29, fig. no. 29, p. 355, ill.

Mario Di Giampaolo Mario di Giampaolo. Scritti sul disegno italiano 1971-2008. Ed. by Cristiana Garofalo, Florence, 2010, p. 131.



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