The painter, whose real name was Antonio Allegri, was called Correggio due to his birthplace. Lived between 1489 and 1534.
His early works were influenced by the styles of Mantegna and Leonardo da Vinci, as evidenced in the Marriage of St. Catherine and the Madonna of St. Francis. Correggio’s first important commission, in 1518, was the decoration of the Convent of St Paul in Parma. He handled the erudite allegorical decorations with exuberance, depicting an impressive array of gods in the lunettes, adding a group of putti (male infants) to the dome.
In 1520 he began to fresco the dome of St John the Evangelist, in Parma, with the Ascension of Christ while a few years later he was working on his most famous project, the Assumption of the Virgin, in the dome of the Cathedral. The Virgin is encircled by an elaborate network of apostles, patriarchs, and saints, emerging from the clouds. Correggio’s illusionistic ceiling decorations and his sensual, mythological paintings were greatly influential on baroque artists. Pervaded by a sense of tenderness, his paintings are characterized by a soft play of light and color. Other famous works are Madonna of St. Jerome, now at the National Gallery of Parma, the Adoration of the Child, at the Uffizi in Florence.