Cupid planing bow by Francesco Parmigianino

Cupid planing bow by Francesco Parmigianino

Parmigianino’s painting “Cupid planing a bow”. Painting size 135 x 65.3, wood, oil. Over the frescoes of the Parma Church of Santa Maria della Steccata, Parmigianino worked at first very smartly, managing to write small things for his friends from time to time. For his long-time friend Knight, the painter Bayardo, the artist painted in 1535 the painting “Cupid, planing a bow”.

But then Parmigianino became interested in alchemy, which caused him to cool down to the painter’s work. Vasari very heartily complains about this: “Having scored his head with this, and not

with thoughts about fine fictions and not thoughts about brushes or paints, he spent the whole day in efforts about coal, firewood, glass flasks and the like nonsense to which he spent one day more than he earned in the Stekkaty chapel in a week, and since he had no other income, he needed to live, he gradually broke up with his own mountains, and even worse was that members of the Stekkat community saw that he completely abandoned work, and they, as it should be, are Tea overpaid him, filed a lawsuit against him.

Therefore, he considered it best to retire and flew away one night with a few friends in Casalmajor… “Here he somewhat moved away from his alchemical hobbies, to the great delight of his talent’s admirers. However, the revival for art was short. Soon, Parmigianino returned to his flasks and retorts, transformed from a pleasant and elegant young man into an unsociable, gloomy, overgrown beard of an old man. This transformation vividly illustrates his late self-portrait, how little was left of him He looks at us from “Self-portrait in a convex mirror.”

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