The New Student's Reference Work/Correggio, Antonio Allegri da
Correggio (kŏr-rĕd′jō), Antonio Allegri da, was named from his birthplace, Correggio, near Modena, Italy. He was born in 1494, and, as his father was well-off and his uncle an artist, Antonio seems to have had none of those struggles with poverty that have hampered so many painters. In 1518 he painted a salon in the convent of San Paolo in Parma. The groups of goddesses, graces and nymphs were painted with a fullness of life, gaiety and grace, at that time unknown, that at once stamped him as a genius. In 1522 he began his famous decoration of Parma's cathedral, painting in the main dome his Assumption of the Virgin—the Madonna borne up to heaven by a countless throng of rejoicing angels, while the Savior descends to meet her. This is deemed the painter's masterpiece, and Titian, when he first saw it, said: “If I were not Titian, I would be Correggio.” The Night, Il Giorno and The Reading Magdalene are among his best-known pictures. In Correggio's art there are a wonderful gaiety and a sunny charm; he was a master of light and shadow; and hardly any artist equaled him in painting human flesh. He died on March 5, 1534.