The Poetry of Parmigianino’s “Schiava Turca”

Painting of a half-length woman wearing a round headdress, big blue sleeves, and holding a white fan

Francesco Mazzola (1503–1540), called Parmigianino after Parma, the Northern Italian city of his birth, was one of the most prolific and celebrated artists of the sixteenth century. Known as “Raphael reborn,” he mastered the arts of painting, drawing, and printmaking and was renowned for his portraits. Today his exquisite portrait of an unknown woman called the Schiava Turca (Turkish Slave) is an icon of Parma. The painting, which has rarely been seen outside its home institution, the Galleria Nazionale di Parma, travels to the United States for the first time for its presentation at The Frick Collection (and subsequently at the Legion of Honor, part of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco). The showing at the Frick marks the museum’s third collaboration with the Foundation for Italian Art & Culture (FIAC), a series of loans focused on the female portrait in the Renaissance. The collaboration previously featured Raphael’s La Fornarina (Rome, Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Antica, Palazzo Barberini) and Parmigianino’s Antea (Naples, Museo di Capodimonte).  The Poetry of Parmigianino’sSchiava Turca” will be accompanied by a catalogue and numerous public programs.  The exhibition is curated by Aimee Ng, Research Associate at The Frick Collection and Lecturer in the Department of Art History and Archaeology at Columbia University, and is organized by The Frick Collection with the Foundation for Italian Art & Culture. Support for the presentation in New York is generously provided by Gabelli Funds, Aso O. Tavitian, The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, Mr. and Mrs. Hubert L. Goldschmidt, Hester Diamond, and the Foundation for Italian Art & Culture.

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