Tours at a stone’s throw from the sky, among the majestic frescoes of Parma.
1. THE ART OF CORREGGIO INSIDE THE THREE DOMES OF PARMA
Antonio Allegri, known as Correggio, worked in Parma achieving three undisputed frescoes masterpieces of art history: the Chamber of Saint Paul (1519), the dome of San Giovanni Evangelista (1520-1524) and the dome of the Cathedral (1524-1530) "...the most beautiful of all, which are painted before and after" as Mengs affirmed in the eighteenth century.
The Camber of Saint Paul is part of the apartment of the Abbess Giovanna from Piacenza.
The ceiling, with an umbrella vault, was frescoed by Correggio with a brand new and original style that assumes the knowledge of the work of Mantegna in Mantua.
In the dome of Church of San Giovanni Evangelista in Parma he painted a beautiful fresco that shows Christ surrounded by the apostles.
The elderly Giovanni, the protagonist of the vision, at the base, is evidence of the skill shown by the painter in managing the figures in glimpse, here well exemplified in the architecture of clouds.
Impressing and among the most significant symbols of the Italian Capital of Culture 2020 + 2021, is the Cathedral of Parma.
Inside, Correggio depicts the Assumption of the Virgin in Heaven, with a new language, made of perspectives and glimpses that mark the transit between earth and sky in a vortex populated by clouds and light.
Composition and movement blend into a masterpiece of visual illusionism.
Correggio organized the painted space around a spiral of bodies in flight, never seen before, which seems to cancel the architecture to emphasise the characters, who, in balance, are released in the air.
At the centre, Christ comes down from the light with a plastic pose, very innovative for that period.
2. THE FRESCO OF PARMIGIANINO IN THE BASILICA OF ST MARY OF STECCATA IN PARMA
Three wise virgins and three foolish virgins is the majestic fresco of Parmigianino, datable to 1531-1539 and preserved in the vault of the presbytery of the basilica of St. Mary of Steccata.
The artist, who had worked for some years in Bologna, returned to his hometown to decorate the main apse of the new basilica, built in 1521 by Bernardino Zaccagni and his son Giovanni Francesco, with the contribution of Antonio da Sangallo the Younger for the design of the dome.
The basilica, whose central plan with a greek cross is inspired by Bramante, is a beautiful example of Renaissance church and is located in the central Via Garibaldi in Parma.
The name "Steccata" comes from the wooden fence (in italian "steccato") that protected the painting of the Breastfeeding Madonna, now placed above the high altar, venerated in the oratory that was here before the construction of the church.
The bright dome, was decorated by Bernardino Gatti, who painted the Assumption of Mary among a multitude of saints and patriarchs, while Christ descended towards her.
The masterpiece of Parmigianino on the large arch above the high altar stands out.
On the right he depicted the "Wise Virgins" with the lighted lamp and on the left the "Foolish Virgins" with the lamp off.
In the apse behind the high altar, the fresco dedicated to the Coronation of the Virgin was executed between 1541 and 1547 by Michelangelo Anselmi on cartoons by Giulio Romano.
3. THE DOME OF THE CHURCH OF ST MARY DEL QUARTIERE
A large dome frescoed by Pier Antonio Bernabei with his brother Alessandro and Giovanni Maria Conti della Camera between 1626 and 1629 overlooks the Church of Santa Maria del Quartiere, in the heart of the Oltretorrente Parmigiano.
The church, with a hexagonal plan and supported by arches and pillars, was so called because it was built near the district (in italian "quartiere") of a military garrison.
The splendid dome is one of the largest in Italy and its decoration, that reminds the Correggio for the multitude of figures and the crowd of the pasty clouds, represents the Paradise with the Trinity, Madonna, the apostles, the prophets and the saints.