Francesco Mazzola called Il Parmigianino, Madonna dal collo lungo, Florence, Uffici Palace (219 x 135 cm)

Parmigianino's painting is the epitome of Mannerist art: falling into two asymmetrical parts the composition is dominated by a highly disproportionate madonna (with a conspicuously long neck and tapering fingers) holding an elongated and distorted baby Jesus on her lap. On the left-hand side five androgynous angels (or amoretti) crowd around this scene of holy maternity, each of them gazing distractedly in a different direction; on the right-hand side the picture is almost empty, with a little man unfolding a scroll only emphasising the lack of balance. A pillar with no recognisable purpose and a red curtain providing the backdrop for the adoring angels reinforce the theatricality of the composition.








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