Self-portrait in a Convex Mirror
c. 1524
Oil on wood, diameter 24,4 cm
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

"Then came upon him the desire to see Rome, hearing men greatly praise the works of the masters there, especially of Raffaello and Michael Angelo, and he told his desire to his old uncles. They, seeing nothing in the desire that was not praiseworthy, agreed, but said that it would be well to take something with him which would gain him an introduction to artists. And the counsel seeming good to Francesco, he painted three pictures, two small and one very large. Besides these, inquiring one day into the subtleties of art, he began to draw himself as he appeared in a barber's convex glass. He had a ball of wood made at a turner's and divided in half, and on this he set himself to paint all that he saw in the glass, and because the mirror enlarged everything that was near and diminished what was distant, he painted the hand a little large. Francesco himself, being of very beautiful countenance and more like an angel than a man, his portrait on the ball seemed a thing divine, and the work altogether was a happy success, having all the lustre of the glass, with every reflection and the light and shade so true, that nothing more could be hoped for from the human intellect."
(Giorgio Vasari: Lives of the Artists)


Venus Disarming Cupid
c. 1527-1530

The Alchemy of Beauty
Parmigianino - Drawings and Prints of the Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest
1 December 2009 – 15 March 2010
The major part of the eighty exhibited sheets has never been displayed before.