Alessandro Mazzola Bedoli (attributed to) - inv. 305
The panel shows the Holy Family resting in a wood during the flight into Egypt. In the foreground, Mary, seated on the ground, is holding the sleeping Child on her legs. Two flying angels look on, while Joseph leading the donkey in the background is listening to indications from another angel about the direction to take.
The style of the panel is typical of painting in Parma during the second half of the 16th century, dominated by the lesson of Correggio and Parmigianino. With the Virgin and Jesus in the centre, the composition is enlivened by the appearance of the celestial messengers and by the opening, on the right, in the background, where Joseph is conversing with the angel. The most striking element, typical of this moment in Emilian painting, is the sophisticated use of light, which highlights the flesh parts of the figures, their garments and the leaves on the trees.
The work has been assigned, though with some doubts, to Alessandro Mazzola Bedoli, son of the more famous Girolamo, one of the painters most in vogue in Parma during the middle of the 16th century. The artist, who can be considered the last exponent of Parma’s great pictorial season, is here similar to his father’s style, although distinguished from it by a lower quality and a more analytical description of the details, deriving from northern painting. It is probably a youthful work by Alessandro, datable therefore to about 1570.