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Correggio | High Renaissance Master of Illusionism

 Jupiter and Io by Correggio

Jupiter and Io
by Correggio
c. 1532
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

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Correggio, the High Renaissance painter whose real name was Antonio Allegri, was an Italian Renaissance artist about whom little is known. Renaissance historian Giorgio Vasari claimed that Correggio never went to Rome, but maintained that Correggio was influenced by the works of Raphael and Michelangelo through their well-known prints and drawings. He was also influenced by the illusionistic works of Mantegna and by the soft sfumato modeling of Leonardo da Vinci.

Around 1518, Correggio was working in Parma where he was commissioned for several large works for church. While in Parma he developed the illusionistic style for which he is famous based on Mantegna's work. He explored religious themes as well as mythological ones, including a series on the Loves of Jupiter for Federigo Gonzaga in c. 1530. In these sensual works painted at the height of his career, he displayed his superb mastery of foreshortening and remarkable atmospheric effects that prefigure later works by Rococo artists like Boucher.

Brenda Harness, Art Historian

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