"The beauty and range of the work of the sixteenth-century artist Parmigianino as painter, draughtsman, and printmaker make him one of the most remarkable figures of the Italian Renaissance. He was an artist who seemed to discover his style without any effort, and his art was universally recognized as being graceful, or full of grace. In his day, "grace" was understood to be a spiritual endowment, conferring qualities that could not be taught. It was one of the preconditions of natural genius, so highly valued among Renaissance artists. But nothing as effortlessly elegant as Parmigianino's drawings and paintings could have been achieved without effort. It is through a close study of the drawings, in particular, that one is able to discern the sources of Parmigianino's style and the creative struggles he endured." "This illustrated study offers a comprehensive reassessment of his work as a draughtsman. More than eighty works on paper, selected from collections around the world, are discussed in detail. Among Renaissance artists, Parmigianino was perhaps more conscious than any of the potential of the graphic arts to convey, and indeed broadcast, complex ideas. He explored this potential himself, not only by means of his numerous drawings but also through the etchings he produced on his own (effectively introducing this print medium into Italian art) and through the engravings and chiaroscuro woodcuts that were made after his designs. In these media, his influence travelled farther and wider than it could have through his paintings alone." "This book coinciding with the quincentenary of the artist's birth in Parma in 1503, accompanies an exhibition presented at the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, from October 3, 2003 to January 4, 2004, and at The Frick Collection, New York, from January 27 to April 18, 2004"--Jacket.