Today: September 15, 2008

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Main | Archive | Issue 6/2008

Who Are You, Signora Antea?
Column: The Arts

A very important person, Antea, a charming young lady, will be staying at the State Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow from mid-May to late July. The Italian artist Francesco Mazzola (15031540), who went down in the history of art as Parmigianino, did her portrait. He came to be an outstanding representative of Mannerism, a transitional style between the then-declining Renaissance and the emerging baroque. This masterpiece (it was even called the Mona Lisa of Mannerism), however, has contradictions inherent in any transitional style: on one hand, the stiffness of the subject, bound by the armor of heavy formal clothes and jewelry, and, on the other hand, the works profound psychologism and a harbinger of baroque passions. The painting was done around 15311534. Who that woman, known as Antea, was, still remains a mystery.

The owner of the masterpiece, the Capodimonte museum in Naples, and the Eighth Open Art Festival Sweet Cherry Forest (otherwise known as Bosco di Ciliegi) let us have the joy of admiring Antea.

Oleg Torchinsky.

-, 2006