Cover image for The art of Parmigianino
The art of Parmigianino
Franklin, David, 1961-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New Haven : Yale University Press ; Ottawa : in association with the National Gallery of Canada, [2003]

Physical Description:
ix, 289 pages : illustrations (chiefly color) ; 28 cm
General Note:
Published in conjunction with the exhibition The art of Parmigianino, organized by the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Oct. 3, 2003-Jan. 4, 2004, and the Frick Collection, New York, Jan. 27-Apr. 18, 2004.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
ND623.M55 A4 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Oversize

On Order



The sheer beauty of the work of sixteenth-century artist Parmigianino (1503-40) makes it easy to imagine that he discovered his style without any effort. But nothing so elegant as his drawings and paintings could have been achieved effortlessly. A close study of the artist's work, particularly his drawings, reveals the sources of his style and the creative struggles he endured. This lavishly illustrated book offers a comprehensive reassessment of Parmigianino's work as a draftsman, discussing in detail more than eighty of the artist's works on paper selected from collections around the world. Among Renaissance artists, Parmigianino was perhaps more conscious than any of the potential of the graphic arts to convey, and indeed broadcast, complex ideas. He explored this potential by means of his numerous drawings and through the etchings he produced on his own as well as through the engravings and chiaroscuro that were made after his designs. In these media, the artist's influence travelled farther and wider than it could have through his paintings alone. This book coincides with the quincentenary of the artist's birth in Parma and accompanies an exhibition at the National Gallery of

Author Notes

David Franklin is Deputy Director and Chief Curator of the National Gallery of Canada.

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

This scholarly and original work accompanies a recent exhibition on the art of 16th-century Italian artist Parmigianino (1503-40), focusing on his works on paper and appearing at the Frick Museum, New York, and the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa (through April 18). In his essay, art historian Franklin (chief curator, National Gallery of Canada) gives a chronological overview of Parmigianino's paintings, following him from Parma to Rome, where he was exposed to and influenced by the work of Raphael. Parmigianino's work was, however, less balanced and more studied that Raphael's. In a second essay, curator David Ekserdjian (Coreggio) focuses on Parmigianino's drawings. Because of an inventory created by a collector of the artist's work in 1561, a detailed list of Parmigianino's paintings and drawings survives. One can see the variety of styles and techniques employed over the span of a career, from delicate red chalk drawings to confident, detailed drawings using pen and wash. A detailed catalog of all artworks in the exhibition is included, with 130 color and 86 black-and-white illustrations. Because of its specialized focus on works on paper, this book is recommended for museum and academic art collections.-Sandra Rothenberg, Framingham State Coll. Lib., MA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

This beautifully illustrated exhibition catalog from the National Gallery of Canada celebrates the 500-year anniversary of the birth of Parmigianino. Franklin's essay is a nice overview of the artist's career, while Ekserdjian's essay focuses on Parmigianino's drawings and prints, discussed together with a few smaller paintings and some lesser-known drawings such as a peculiar sketch of Mars and Venus Surprised by Vulcan (Paris, National Gallery). Though the literature on Parmigianino is already extensive, this catalog does a nice job of synthesizing and updating the work of Cecil Gould (Parmigianino, CH, Oct'95) and Sylvie Beguin (Parmigianino: The Drawings, 2000) to include more than 80 sketches that are grouped together with Parmigianino's paintings. Eight studies illustrated for the Madonna of the Long Neck (Florence, Uffizi) demonstrate very well Parmigianino's creative struggles as he sought to define his compositions and symbolic emphases. These sketches range from the primi pensieri of Saints Jerome and Francis to the final red chalk cartoon for the complete painting (Paris, Louvre), and show how Parmigianino struggled to work out an effective positioning for the Christ Child, starting with a squirming, breast-feeding infant to the final version of the sleeping baby. A nice sourcebook for drawings. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through professionals. A. L. Palmer University of Oklahoma

Table of Contents

David FranklinDavid Ekserdjian
Message from the Sponsorp. vi
Forewordp. vii
Prefacep. viii
The Paintings of Parmigianinop. 1
The Drawings and Prints of Parmigianinop. 31
Cataloguep. 51
Exhibitions and Referencesp. 280