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Antonio Allegiii Correggio

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CORREG'GIO, ANTONIO ALLEGIII, a celebrated Italian painter, called C. from the place of his birth, a small town near 31cdena, now called Reggio. He was born in the year 1493-94, and his father, a tradesman of some property, had him carefully educated, and instructed in the rudiments of art, by an uncle, Lorenzo Allegri. a painter of small merit. How much he owed to his teacher is uncertain. He was the first among the moderns who displayed that grace and general beauty and softness of effect, the com bined excellences of design and color with taste and expression, for which he is still unrivaled. His chiaroscuro is perfect. Almost before he had seen the great masters, he became a master in a style all his own; and was the founder, or rather his imitators for him, of what is called by some the Lombard, by others the Parma school of painting. On first beholding, at Bologna, Raphael's glorious picture of St. Cecilia, he is said to have exclaimed: io sono pittore" (I. too, am a painter). But this story is doubted.

There was long a tradition that C. lived in indigence, unaided but by his own genius; and it is remarkable that Vasari, who lived at the same time, in his lives of the Painters, records only vague rumors regarding C.'s life; and that Annibale Caracci, fifty years after his death, writes: " I rage and weep to think of the fate of this poor Antonio: so great a man—if, indeed, he were not rather an angel in the flesh." This belief, so prev alent in his own day now refuted by recent researches, proves how retired and simple must have been his life. That he was in high estimation in his later days, is proved by his signature being found affixed to the deed of marriage of the lord of Correggio, cele brated in 1533. C. died the following year, Mar. 5, 1534, in his 41st year, and is buried

in the Franciscan convent of Correggio.

At the age of 18, C. painted an altarpiece, the "Madonna di San Francesco," now in the Dresden gallery, which is rich in pictures by C.; the most famous of which are the " Notte " (Night), lighted only by the celestial splendor beaming from the head of the infant Saviour—Vasari calls it "quite wonderful "—and the famous "Magdalen," one of the most admired pictures in the world. For the cupola of the church San Giovanni at Parma, he painted an " Ascension " in fresco, and over the high-altar a "Coronation of the Virgin, 'now only known through copies and engraving-s. Ile also decorated elaborately in fresco the cathedral there, for which he received 1000 ducats, worth about £3,500. In the Louvre arc two pictures—the "'Marriage of St. Catharine," and the Antiope;" in the Florence gallery, three—one the " Madonna on her knees adoring the Infant;" in the Naples 'gallery, three—one a lovely Madonna, called, from its oriental character, "La Zingarella" (the Gypsy), said to be a likeness of C.'s wife; at Vienna, two; at Berlin, three; at Parma, five—the most celebrated is the " SL Jerome;" and in the British national gallery, a Madonna, known as the "Vierge Pallier," the " Edu. cation of Cupid," and the famous " Ecce Homo," purchased by the British government for £11,500.