madonna of the long neck
In the lower right-hand corner of the painting is an enigmatic scene, with a row of marble columns and the emaciated figure of St. Jerome. A depiction of St. Jerome was required by the commissioner because of the saint’s connection with the adoration of the Virgin Mary.
The Madonna with the Long Neck (Italian: Madonna dal collo lungo), also known as Madonna and Child with Angels and St. Jerome, is an Italian Mannerist oil painting by Parmigianino, dating from c. 1535-1540 and depicting Madonna and Child with angels. The painting was begun in 1534 for the funerary chapel of Francesco Tagliaferri  in Parma, but remained incomplete on Parmigianino’s death in 1540. Ferdinando de’ Medici, Grand Prince of Tuscany, purchased it in 1698 and it has been on display at the Uffizi since 1948. 
Madonna With the Long Neck (also referred to as “Madonna and Child with Angels and St. Jerome”) is generally regarded as Parmigianino’s masterpiece. It was commissioned by Elena Baiardi, as an altarpiece for her private chapel in the church of Santa Maria dei Servi at Parma. It was started in 1534 and completed at Pentecost in 1535, but it reached its intended destination only after the artist’s death. Hence it is often referred to as ‘unfinished’. Described as lyrical and aloof with a cool but polished colour, it achieved widespread fame during the sixteenth century and in 1698 it was acquired by Ferdinando de’ Medici, Grand Prince of Tuscany. It has been in the Uffizi since 1948.
Explanation of Other Mannerist Paintings
“Madonna of the Long neck”, painted by Parmagianino, providied a initially disturbing impression of the Madonna and baby Jesus, but upon closer examination and understanding the beauty of the painting is revealed. Parmagianino uses a mannerist style in his painting which displays a very disproportionate and skewed depth sense to the viewer. Rather than taking art from nature, such as in the Renaissance, Mannerism takes art from art. This is what Paragianino does in this painting, as we can see close resemblence of this painting with the past work of Michaelangelo’s Pieta. Parmagiano takes the beauty and naturalism of the Renaissance and exaggerates it into an elegant mannerist depiction.
Title: Madonna of the Long neck
Medium: Oil on Wood
Location: Uffizi (Florence, Italy)
Dimensions: 85 in x 52 in
The Madonna with the Long Neck (Italian: Madonna dal collo lungo), also known as Madonna and Child with Angels and St. Jerome, is an Italian Mannerist oil painting by the painter Parmigianino, dating from c. 1535-1540 and depicting Madonna and Child with angels. The painting was begun in 1534 for the funerary chapel of Francesco Tagliaferri in Parma, but remained incomplete on Parmigianino’s death in 1540. Ferdinando de’ Medici, Grand Prince of Tuscany purchased it in 1698 and it has been on display at the Uffizi since 1948.
The painting is popularly called Madonna of the Long Neck because “the painter, in his eagerness to make the Holy Virgin look graceful and elegant, has given her a neck like that of a swan.” On the unusual arrangement of figures, Austrian-British art historian E. H. Gombrich writes:
Madonna with the Long Neck
Parmigianino studied and admired the grace and poise in Raphael’s art, but he has remodeled the figures from the old master’s work and turned them into almost unearthly creatures: their limbs, ivory marble skin, blithe attitude, all portray a different idea of ideal beauty.