National Gallery of Parma

March 18 2018

Image of National Gallery of Parma

Pictures: BG

I'm in Parma - what a beautiful city. We've come from Genoa, which by contrast is grim and brutal, though of course full of its own fascinations. I've never before come out of a major museum and immediately been propositioned by prostitutes, but in Genoa it seems anything goes. Parma by contrast is a city of complete civility, almost Swiss in its cleanliness and efficiency.

And of course there are many artistic treasures to see too. We went first to the National Gallery here, with its famous Leonardo sketch. In reproduction this has always struck me as rather odd, but in the flesh it's as exquisite as you would expect a Leonardo head study to be. 

I was dazzled by Cima's c.1507 Madonna and Child with St John (etc.), which in its details seems strikingly modern. 

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