Girolamo Francesco Maria Mazzola is known as Parmigianino, after Parma, his place of birth. He was a painter, draftsman, and etcher from a family of artists who recognized his precocity as a draftsman at a young age and provided his initial training. Correggio’s work was an important early stimulus to his development.
Parmigianino’s highly individual style, with its elongated figures and sinuous line, became famous through his etchings. They brought him additional recognition as one of the earliest influential “Mannerist” artists in sixteenth-century Italy and France.
In 1524 Parmigianino painted a portrait of Gian Galeazzo Sanvitale of Fontanellato, Naples. At that time, he was involved in painting frescoes in a chamber at Fontanellato. Art historians have suggested that the statuette in this pen and ink drawing of an attenuated female seated figure with its cursive hatching represents the goddess of victory. She bears a lance in her right hand and a palm branch in her left, as she is depicted in the Sanvitale family crest.