which is not a feature of parmigianinos madonna of the long neck
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. 
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:
One of the most naturally gifted Old Masters associated with Mannerist painting, Parmigianino was the younger contemporary of the other great painter from Parma, Correggio (1494-1534). Like other Mannerist artists, Parmigianino’s painting is marked by its elongated figures – executed, in his case, with considerable elegance and refinement. It exerted considerable influence on the artistic taste of the royal courts of Europe, notable the Fontainebleau School (1528-1610). As well as religious paintings, he produced some exceptional portrait art, numerous woodcuts and a quantity of etching. He also left behind some of the best Renaissance drawings of the 16th century. Pursued by the Parma authorities for breach of contract over two uncompleted altarpieces, he fled the city in late 1539, and died of a fever shortly afterwards in Casalmaggiore, at the tender age of 37.
Madonna of the Long Neck is an excellent example of the new style of Mannerism, that followed High Renaissance painting in the early 1530s. High Renaissance art – exemplified by Raphael’s Sistine Madonna (1513-14, Gemaldegalerie Alte Meister Dresden) – emphasized harmony and balance. Parmigianino had no interest in this. So, instead of grouping his angels in equal numbers on both sides of the Madonna and Child, he crammed them all into one side, creating extra movement and opening up the picture more fully. Furthermore, the Madonna’s pose describes a typical Mannerist figura serpentinata. In this way, Parmigianino and other Mannerists sought to demonstrate that the classical solution of perfect harmony is not the only answer. After decades of Renaissance ‘harmony’, the new generation of artists – including Jacopo da Pontormo (1494-1556), Rosso Fiorentino (1494-1540), Agnolo Bronzino (1503-72) and Federico Barocci (1526-1612), as well as the Venetians Jacopo Bassano (1515-92), Tintoretto (1518-94), Paolo Veronese (1528-88) and the Cretan painter known as El Greco (1541-1614) – wanted to create something new and unexpected, even if it distorted classical forms and rhythms.
Madonna with the Long Neck
Madonna with the Long Neck
The style that he developed was, in its suave attenuations and technical virtuosity, one of the most brilliant and influential manifestations of Mannerism. It was an extreme development of Raphael’s late manner and opposed the naturalistic basis inherent in High Renaissance art.
Parmigianino was one of the most remarkable portrait painters of the century outside Venice. Some of his best portraits are in Naples, in the National Museum and Gallery of Capodimonte, including the Gian Galeazzo Sanvitale (1524) and the portrait of a young woman called Antea (c. 1535–37).
And so to our picture today, which was painted by the great Mannerist artist Girolamo Francesco Mari Mazzola, more commonly known a Parmigianino which translated means “the little one from Parma”, his birthplace. Today’s work of art is his painting, Madonna with the Long Neck. This was his crowning masterpiece. He commenced working on the painting in 1534 for the church Santa Maria dei Servi at Parma. However at this time of his life the artist became fascinated with alchemy and all the magic that goes with it and this obsession resulted in his art commissions being neglected and on his death six years later this painting was still incomplete.
Around the 1520’s in Italy, art in many ways had reached its peak of excellence. It was the time of the great High Renaissance painters Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo Buonaroti, Titian and Raphael Santi. It was believed by many that the works of these four giants of art could never be bettered. Their paintings combined splendour and harmony with correctness. Although few would disagree with this appraisal of their work, think how it affected a young up-and-coming artist of the time to be told that no matter how hard they tried, their work would never come up to the standard of those that went before them. Would you be disappointed and disheartened by that appraisal of your future? Would that just make you want to give up your artistic career? For many aspiring artists at that time that is what they did – gave up their dreams but for others they decided to imitate the works of the great High Renaissance artists. They looked at the musculature of the figures in some of Michelangelo’s paintings and copied the figures in to their works and as Gombrich wrote in his book The Story of Art: