The Virgin and Child with the Young Saint John the Baptist
Antonio Allegio was born in Correggio, a small Lombard town near Reggio Emilo. His birth date is unknown (Around 1489). His father was a merchant.
Otherwise, Little is known of Correggio’s life or training. In the years 1503-1505 he apprenticed to Francesco Bianchi Ferrara of Modena. He was influenced by the classicism of authors like Lorenzo Costa and Francesco Francia which can be found in his early paintings. In 1516 he was in Parma, where he became a friend of Michelangelo Anselmi, one of the main Mannerist painters of the period. He remained in that city until 1530. In 1519 he married Girolama Francesco di Braghetis, also of Correggio and died in 1529.
In this period Correggio paints his beautiful painting “Virgin and child with the young saint John the Baptist.” It is a painting on oil on panel Italian circa. 1494-1534. The subject matter of the painting is John the Baptist as a child and his first meeting of the Madonna and the Christ child. Influenced by Leonardo da Vinci is romantic with overwhelming radiance and cool pearly colors. The expressive content of the painting is of joy, wonder and is playful. It seems to be a happy, leisurely time for all three people. The young Saint John Baptist’s mood is of reverence as he bows down and looks up at the Christ child. The lines in the painting is of a symmetrical composition arrangement with the Madonna leaning a little toward the young saint almost welcoming her into her arms.
The matter is religious for the young saint is meeting the Christ child as well as welcomed into the arms of the Madonna. The young Saint John the Baptist’s looks as if he is kneeling as he looks up from below to look at the Christ child. The figures are peasants sitting on a bench in a garden underneath a vine. The Madonna is dressed in a beautiful pale red dress and a cloak that is a rich blue on top and green underneath. The cloak draped over her head is folded over and falling off revealing the green underneath on the right side of the Madonna and the blue on her left shoulder.
The color is rich in texture the brush stroke smooth and one stroke. The colors are pale, delicate, and deep bringing out the rich color in the painting. The light and cool pearly radiant color seems to be coming from within the people as well as behind the Madonna. The specific effect is of symmetry in relation to each other. The work is organized to show the Madonna in the center lovingly balancing the Christ child on her left leg as she reaches out her left arm to welcome the young Saint John the Baptist. The Christ child is sitting on the Madonna’s left leg he is raised above the head of the young saint and the young saint kneel and look up. The central focus is of the Madonna inthe center and her smile as well as the Christ child balancing on the Madonna’s leg.
Antonia Correggio reflected the historical context of the renaissance by using the periods work of religious themes found in the Madonna, the Christ Child and a young John the Baptist. The painting is a stylized and idealized. His religious symbolism is largely drawn from the work of Jacobus de Voragine (1260) He created dynamic composition and perspective in his dramatic three-dimensional focused paintings. The mythological perspective depicts movement, drama and diagonal composition arrangement. You can find this movement and drama in the painting “The virgin and child with the young saint John the Baptist” in the Madonna’s movement of her arm as she welcomes the young Saint to join her and her son. Also, in the composition of the three. The Madonna is in the center of the painting thereby catching the eye of the person looking at the painting.
Antonio Correggio was an enigmatic and eclectic painter. His art was a means to reproduce life in its most persuasive domestic side. Later, he initiated a style of sentimental elegance and conscious allure with soft gestures and captivating charm by using imaginary spaces as a replacement for reality. He used these elements of Mannerist and Baroque stylistic approaches found at the time of the renaissance. Antonio Correggio is considered to this day to be one of the boldest and most inventive artist of the High Renaissance. He was revolutionary and is still influential for subsequent artists.