Born Antonio Allegri, Correggio was named after the town of his birth. His ability to manipulate light and shade to create luminous atmospheric effects resulted in some of the most sumptuous religious paintings of the Italian Renaissance. Giorgio Vasari, a sixteenth-century biographer of artists, wrote, "everything that is to be seen by his hand is admired as something divine." Correggio was profoundly influenced by the style and technique used by the painter Andrea Mantegna.
By the age of twenty-nine, Correggio was probably working in Parma, the center of his greatest activity. The frescoes he painted in the dome of the cathedral there served as a model of dome decorations long after his death. Correggio inspired future generations of artists as diverse as the Carracci family, Rubens, and Boucher.