A Study of the Assumption of the Virgin

WAG 1995.56


This drawing is a reverse copy by Federico Zuccaro (1540/42 - 1609) of the interior fresco of the cupola in Parma Cathedral. Painted by Correggio (about 1489 - 1534) between 1526 and 1530, the fresco depicts the Assumption of the Virgin Mary and is now considered one of the most important paintings of its period. It utilises dramatic foreshortening to create a mass of figures climbing towards Heaven and draw the viewer's eye to the central figure of Christ. It was influential on similar frescoes in the 17th century although an 18th century priest referred to it as 'frog leg stew'. The drawing is thought to be a counterproof, a reproduction made by wetting the original drawing or print and pressing a clean piece of paper onto it. It produces a fairly faint reverse image as can be seen here. The drawing is similar to two other chalk drawings attributed to Zuccaro of the Virgin's attendants from Correggio's 'Assumption', also shown in reverse and held at the National Gallery of Ireland (inv. 2063, 3287).