Mannerism in the Capodimonte:Parmigianino, Bedoli & Vasari.
Parmigianino arrived from Parma in Rome in 1524 and immediately adapted his art to the first wave of mannerism in the city which included Polidoro who was pioneering a new form of classicism. Like Polidoro, Parmigianino also fled Rome in 1527 and went to Bologna, and thence back to Parma. There are about five paintings by Parmigianino in the Capodimonte, but this group was transferred from Alessandro’s palace in Parma to Naples in 1734, so they had no impact on local schools of painting during the renaissance. These include the “Antea,” probably a courtesan from Rome referred to in Cellini’s autobiography; the Portrait of a Man (sometimes called G. B. Castaldo); a portrait of Galeazzo Sanvitale, Count of Count of Fontanella; and a Holy Family. Interestingly, the attribution of a Lucretia in the Capodimonte has swung between Parmigianino and his follower Bedoli based on stylistic analysis, provenance research, and pure speculation. There are no less than six paintings in Naples by Parmigianino’s follower Bedoli which also came from the Farnese collection in the 18th century. Bedoli may have been a pupil in a workshop of one of Parmigianino’s uncles who set out to imitate the great mannerist master on his return to Parma in 1531. There are some examples of his early works in Naples such as the Adoration of the Child and later ones such as the Annunciation (oil sketch or bozetto for this in New York) which shows Bedoli’s attempt to translate the grace and suavity of Parmigianino’s art into his own compositions. Eventually Bedoli abandoned his Parmamigianio experiments and retreated into the naturalism of Correggio hardly to figure in the history of Italian art, let alone the story of mezzogiorno painting. To conclude, we turn to a mannerist artist who actually spent time in Naples, Giorgio Vasari (late 1544- mid 1555). From him we have the altarpiece of a Presentation in the Temple (1544) in the museum which in the words of Freedberg “represent[s] an apex in Vasari of the sensibility of the high Maniera” comparable to artists like Salviati and Perino dal Vaga, another one of Raphael’s alumni. If Freedberg is to be believed, Vasari tamed and formularized the Maniera, bled it of its eccentricities and deformities present in Polidoro and its aesthetic seductions in Parmigianino, domesticating it before taking it on the road as “an exalted commercial traveller in high Maniera style.” This had consequences for painting in Rome and Florence, and even in Naples where Vasari’s 1545 Resurrection (painted with Raffaellini Colle) hung in the monastery of Santa Maria di Monteoliveto; but in an adjacent church another altarpiece was to appear in 1606 which would set the agenda for the next phase of painting in Naples and Sicily. This was Caravaggio’s Seven Acts of Mercy and painting in Naples would never be the same again.
 Cecil Gould, Parmigianino, (Abbeville Press, 1994), nos A27, A 28, A 29, A 30. Gould also lists five other paintings in the Capodimonte attributed to Parmigianino, C5-C9.
 David Ekserdjian Parmigianino, (Yale University Press, 2006, 104) says that examination after recent cleaning swings the pendulum back in favour of Parmigianino. But miraculous revelations on the basis of cleaning are always suspect, so Ekserdjian’s re-attribution to Parmigianino should be treated with caution.
 Freedberg, Painting in Italy, 448.