Fupiter and I Italian 1489-1534
Italian painter and draughtsman. Apart from his Venetian contemporaries, he was the most important northern Italian painter of the first half of the 16th century. His best-known works are the illusionistic frescoes in the domes of S Giovanni Evangelista and the cathedral in Parma, where he worked from 1520 to 1530. The combination of technical virtuosity and dramatic excitement in these works ensured their importance for later generations of artists. His altarpieces of the same period are equally original and ally intimacy of feeling with an ecstatic quality that seems to anticipate the Baroque. In his paintings of mythological subjects, especially those executed after his return to Correggio around 1530, he created images whose sensuality and abandon have been seen as foreshadowing the Rococo. Vasari wrote that Correggio was timid and virtuous, that family responsibilities made him miserly and that he died from a fever after walking in the sun. He left no letters and, apart from Vasari account, nothing is known of his character or personality beyond what can be deduced from his works. The story that he owned a manuscript of Bonaventura Berlinghieri Geographia, as well as his use of a latinized form of Allegri (Laetus), and his naming of his son after the humanist Pomponius Laetus, all suggest that he was an educated man by the standards of painters in this period. The intelligence of his paintings supports this claim. Relatively unknown in his lifetime, Correggio was to have an enormous posthumous reputation. He was revered by Federico Barocci and the Carracci, and throughout the 17th and 18th centuries his reputation rivalled that of Raphael.