Art in Parma 1500-1600

As has already been seen in the section dedicated to Parma at the time of the Farnese (section 9), the happiest and most innovative period of early XVI century painting in Parma coincided with the presence of Correggio and Parmigianino, but it was enriched with new personalities and influxes, especially Flemish, given the global climate of the Spanish Empire.

In particular, must be mentioned Giorgio Gandini del Grano, a painter still little known but endowed with a highly original stylistic language, and Girolamo Mazzola, called Bedoli who he was a cousin of Parmigianino. His work is characterised by an aristocratic preziosity in rendering the material and an elegant and refined gestuality, common elements in both the portraits and great religious paintings.

Bedoli often has recourse to allusive meanings hidden in the attributes of the people or elements which characterise the settings, while still maintaining, above all in religious production, an output in line with the counter-reformation directives of the Council of Trent. An homage to the art of Parmigianino yet charged with new accents can be seen in the fresco fragments by Jacopo Zanguidi, called il Bertoja, from the Palazzo del Giardino and commissioned by Ottavio Farnese. In these mythological scenes the elongated female figures which seem to float in evanescent landscapes, evoke the same fairy tale like atmosphere of the pictorial poems illustrated on walls of the Palazzo and inferred in part from magical realism of Germanic and Flemish painting.