Allegri, Antonio

Allegri, Antonio (better known as da Correggio), an illustrious Italian painter, was born at Correggio, a town in the duchy of Modena, in 1494. Some Italian writer says he was instructed by Francesco Bianchi and Giovanni Murani. Others say that he was pupil to Leonardo da Vinci, and others still, to Andrea Mantegna. It is most probable that he learned the rudiments from his uncle, Lorenzo Allegri, a painter who was very fond of him, and at his death left him most of his property. His wonderful genius created such an admirable system of harmony, grace, and grandeur as his successors have never equalled. The principal work of Correggio is the great fresco painting in the cupola of the cathedral at Parma, completed in 1530. The cupola is octangular, and the subject the Assumption of the Virgin. In the lower part he has represented the apostles admiring the event. The dome of the Church of San Giovanni (of the Benedictines) at Parma is another of his wonderful works, which represents the Ascension of our Saviour, with the twelve apostles and doctors of the Church. Among his oil-paintings, one of the most celebrated is the St. Jerome at Parma, including the Virgin seated with the Infant on her knee. For the Church of San Giovanni he painted two altar-pieces — one representing the Descent fromn the Cross, and the other the Martyrdom of San Placido. Correggio's famous work, called La Notte, representing the Nativity, may be seen in the Gallery at Dresden, and also a beautiful little picture of the Magdalen reading. Writers differ widely as to whether Allegri engraved any plates. This great artist passed some time in Mantua, on two occasions, with the marchese Manfredo, and the celebrated patroness of arts and letters Veronica Gambara, relict of Gilberto, lord of Correggio. Here he had the advantage of examining the works of Andrea Mantegna, the frescos of Cosso, Lionardo Bruno, and Dosso, and also the grand collection of pictures, medals, cameos, and antiquities of Isabella da Este. He died March 5, 1534.

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