Title

Madonna of the Long Neck and Elena Tagliaferri as the Virtuous Wife of Deceased Francesco Tagliaferri

Description/Abstract/Artist Statement

Francesco Mazzola, also known as Parmigianino, painted Madonna of the Long Neck for Elena Tagliaferri in honor of her late husband Francesco in 1534. The Virgin is displayed rather large in scale, with an elongated neck, holding the sleeping Christ Child and sitting beside angels, one of which is holding an urn with a cross on it. In the background, one can observe a figure, likely Saint Jerome, holding a scroll. To the left of him is an inscription stating that the artwork went unfinished, and to the right of him are the feet of a figure inferred to be Saint Francis of Assisi. Although visually similar to the Madonna of the Rose, scholarship on Madonna of the Long Neck emphasize the importance of style and anatomy in the representation of the Madonna as a sacred and virtuous figure, yet make no suggestion of allusions directly to Elena. By carefully examining the social and religious circumstances of Elena Tagliaferri, the paragone between this painting and Petrarchan poetry alongside Parmigianino’s studies and drawing process of the Christ Child and Madonna, it will become clear that Parmigianino’s Madonna of the Long Neck functioned dually as a source of comfort in Elena’s grief and as a personal devotional piece. Therefore, expanding on the argument that the Madonna of the Long Neck connects the sensual and beautiful to the divine and spiritual, this paper argues that this painting displays Elena Tagliaferri’s devotion to her husband and to God.

Presenting Author Name/s

Hannah Austin

Faculty Advisor/Mentor

Anne H. Muraoka

College Affiliation

College of Arts & Letters

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Disciplines

Ancient, Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque Art and Architecture

Session Title

Art History 3: Through the Eyes of Women

Location

Zoom

Start Date

3-19-2022 3:30 PM

End Date

3-19-2022 4:30 PM

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Mar 19th, 3:30 PM Mar 19th, 4:30 PM

Madonna of the Long Neck and Elena Tagliaferri as the Virtuous Wife of Deceased Francesco Tagliaferri

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Francesco Mazzola, also known as Parmigianino, painted Madonna of the Long Neck for Elena Tagliaferri in honor of her late husband Francesco in 1534. The Virgin is displayed rather large in scale, with an elongated neck, holding the sleeping Christ Child and sitting beside angels, one of which is holding an urn with a cross on it. In the background, one can observe a figure, likely Saint Jerome, holding a scroll. To the left of him is an inscription stating that the artwork went unfinished, and to the right of him are the feet of a figure inferred to be Saint Francis of Assisi. Although visually similar to the Madonna of the Rose, scholarship on Madonna of the Long Neck emphasize the importance of style and anatomy in the representation of the Madonna as a sacred and virtuous figure, yet make no suggestion of allusions directly to Elena. By carefully examining the social and religious circumstances of Elena Tagliaferri, the paragone between this painting and Petrarchan poetry alongside Parmigianino’s studies and drawing process of the Christ Child and Madonna, it will become clear that Parmigianino’s Madonna of the Long Neck functioned dually as a source of comfort in Elena’s grief and as a personal devotional piece. Therefore, expanding on the argument that the Madonna of the Long Neck connects the sensual and beautiful to the divine and spiritual, this paper argues that this painting displays Elena Tagliaferri’s devotion to her husband and to God.