Mannerism, also known as Late Renaissance, is a style in European
art that emerged in the later years of the Italian High Renaissance
around 1520 and lasted until about end of the 16th century in Italy,
Baroque style began to replace it. Northern Mannerism
continued into the early 17th century.
Mannerism encompasses a variety of approaches
influenced by, and reacting to, the harmonious ideals associated with
artists such as Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, and early Michelangelo.
High Renaissance art emphasizes proportion, balance, and ideal
Mannerism exaggerates such qualities, often resulting in
compositions that are asymmetrical or unnaturally elegant. The
style is notable for its intellectual sophistication as well as its
artificial (as opposed to naturalistic) qualities. It favors
compositional tension and instability rather than the balance and
clarity of earlier Renaissance painting.
Mannerism in literature and
music is notable for its highly florid style and intellectual
The definition of
Mannerism and the phases within it continue to be a
subject of debate among art historians. For example, some scholars
have applied the label to certain early modern forms of literature
(especially poetry) and music of the 16th and 17th centuries. The term
is also used to refer to some late Gothic painters working in northern
Europe from about 1500 to 1530, especially the
group unrelated to the Italian movement.
Mannerism also has been
applied by analogy to the Silver Age of Latin literature.
2 Origin and development
2.1 Origins and role models
2.1.1 The competitive spirit
2.2 Early mannerism
2.3 High maniera
3 Spread of mannerism
5 Early theorists
5.1 Giorgio Vasari
5.2 Gian Paolo Lomazzo
6 Some Mannerist artists
6.1 Jacopo da Pontormo
Rosso Fiorentino and the School of Fontainebleau
6.3 Agnolo Bronzino
6.4 Alessandro Allori
6.6 El Greco
6.7 Benvenuto Cellini
6.8 Joachim Wtewael
6.9 Giuseppe Arcimboldo
7 Mannerist architecture
7.1 Renaissance examples
Mannerism in literature and music
Mannerism and theatre
8.1.1 Commedia dell'arte, disegno interno, and the discordia concors
9 See also
12 Further reading
13 External links
Mannerism role-model: Laocoön and His Sons, an ancient sculpture,
rediscovered in 1506; now in the Vatican. The artists of Mannerism
greatly admired this piece of sculpture.
The word mannerism derives from the Italian maniera, meaning "style"
or "manner". Like the English word "style", maniera can either
indicate a specific type of style (a beautiful style, an abrasive
style) or indicate an absolute that needs no qualification (someone
"has style"). In the second edition of his Lives of the Most
Excellent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects (1568), Giorgio Vasari
used maniera in three different contexts: to discuss an artist's
manner or method of working; to describe a personal or group style,
such as the term maniera greca to refer to the Byzantine style or
simply to the maniera of Michelangelo; and to affirm a positive
judgment of artistic quality.
Vasari was also a Mannerist artist,
and he described the period in which he worked as "la maniera
moderna", or the "modern style". James V. Mirollo describes how
"bella maniera" poets attempted to surpass in virtuosity the sonnets
of Petrarch. This notion of "bella maniera" suggests that artists
who were thus inspired looked to copying and bettering their
predecessors, rather than confronting nature directly. In essence,
"bella maniera" utilized the best from a number of source materials,
synthesizing it into something new.
As a stylistic label, "Mannerism" is not easily defined. It was used
by Swiss historian
Jacob Burckhardt and popularized by German art
historians in the early 20th century to categorize the seemingly
uncategorizable art of the Italian 16th century — art that was no
longer found to exhibit the harmonious and rational approaches
associated with the High Renaissance. “High Renaissance” connoted
a period distinguished by harmony, grandeur and the revival of
classical antiquity. The term Mannerist was redefined in 1967 by John
Shearman following the exhibition of Mannerist paintings organised
Fritz Grossmann at Manchester City Art Gallery in 1965. The
label “Mannerism” was used during the 16th century to comment on
social behaviour and to convey a refined virtuoso quality or to
signify a certain technique. However, for later writers, such as the
17th-century Gian Pietro Bellori, "la maniera" was a derogatory term
for the perceived decline of art after Raphael, especially in the
1530s and 1540s. From the late 19th century on, art historians
have commonly used the term to describe art that follows Renaissance
classicism and precedes the Baroque.
Yet historians differ as to whether
Mannerism is a style, a movement,
or a period; and while the term remains controversial it is still
commonly used to identify
European art and culture of the 16th
Origin and development
Collected figures, ignudi, from Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel ceiling
By the end of the High Renaissance, young artists experienced a
crisis: it seemed that everything that could be achieved was
already achieved. No more difficulties, technical or otherwise,
remained to be solved. The detailed knowledge of anatomy, light,
physiognomy and the way in which humans register emotion in expression
and gesture, the innovative use of the human form in figurative
composition, the use of the subtle gradation of tone, all had reached
near perfection. The young artists needed to find a new goal, and they
sought new approaches. At this point Mannerism
started to emerge. The new style developed between 1510 and 1520
either in Florence, or in Rome, or in both cities
Origins and role models
This period has been described as a "natural extension" of the art
of Andrea del Sarto, Michelangelo, and Raphael.
his own style at an early age, a deeply original one which was greatly
admired at first, then often copied and imitated by other artists of
the era. One of the qualities most admired by his contemporaries
was his terribilità, a sense of awe-inspiring grandeur, and
subsequent artists attempted to imitate it. Other artists learned
Michelangelo's impassioned and highly personal style by copying the
works of the master, a standard way that students learned to paint and
Sistine Chapel ceiling
Sistine Chapel ceiling provided examples for them to
follow, in particular his representation of collected figures often
called ignudi and of the Libyan Sibyl, his vestibule to the Laurentian
Library, the figures on his
Medici tombs, and above all his Last
Judgment. The later
Michelangelo was one of the great role models of
Mannerism. Young artists broke in to his house and stole drawings
from him. In his book Lives of the Most Eminent Painters,
Sculptors, and Architects,
Giorgio Vasari noted that Michelangelo
stated once: "Those who are followers can never pass by whom they
The competitive spirit
The competitive spirit was cultivated by patrons who encouraged
sponsored artists to emphasize virtuosic technique and to compete with
one another for commissions. It drove artists to look for new
approaches and dramatically illuminated scenes, elaborate clothes and
compositions, elongated proportions, highly stylized poses, and a lack
of clear perspective.
Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo da Vinci and
Michelangelo were each
given a commission by Gonfaloniere
Piero Soderini to decorate a wall
in the Hall of Five Hundred in Florence. These two artists were set to
paint side by side and compete against each other, fueling the
incentive to be as innovative as possible.
Copy after lost original, Michelangelo's Battaglia di Cascina, by
Bastiano da Sangallo, originally intended by
Michelangelo to compete
with Da Vinci's entry for the same commission
Copy after lost original, Leonardo da Vinci's Battaglia di Anghiari,
by Rubens, originally intended by Da Vinci to compete with
Michelangel's entry for the same commission
Jacopo Pontormo, Entombment, 1528; Santa Felicità, Florence
The early Mannerists in Florence—especially the students of Andrea
del Sarto such as
Jacopo da Pontormo
Jacopo da Pontormo and
Rosso Fiorentino who are
notable for elongated forms, precariously balanced poses, a collapsed
perspective, irrational settings, and theatrical lighting.
Parmigianino (a student of Correggio) and
Giulio Romano (Raphael’s
head assistant) were moving in similarly stylized aesthetic directions
in Rome. These artists had matured under the influence of the High
Renaissance, and their style has been characterized as a reaction to
or exaggerated extension of it. Instead of studying nature directly,
younger artists began studying Hellenistic sculpture and paintings of
masters past. Therefore, this style is often identified as
"anti-classical”, yet at the time it was considered a natural
progression from the High Renaissance. The earliest experimental phase
of Mannerism, known for its "anti-classical" forms, lasted until about
1540 or 1550. Marcia B. Hall, professor of art history at Temple
University, notes in her book After
Raphael that Raphael's premature
death marked the beginning of
Mannerism in Rome.
In past analyses, it has been noted that mannerism arose in the early
16th century contemporaneously with a number of other social,
scientific, religious and political movements such as the Copernican
model, the Sack of Rome, and the Protestant Reformation's increasing
challenge to the power of the Catholic Church. Because of this, the
style's elongated forms and distorted forms were once interpreted as a
reaction to the idealized compositions prevalent in High Renaissance
art. This explanation for the radical stylistic shift c. 1520 has
fallen out of scholarly favor, though early Mannerist art is still
sharply contrasted with
High Renaissance conventions; the
accessibility and balance achieved by Raphael's School of Athens no
longer seemed to interest young artists.
The second period of
Mannerism is commonly differentiated[citation
needed] from the earlier, so-called "anti-classical" phase. Subsequent
mannerists stressed intellectual conceits and artistic virtuosity,
features that have led later critics to accuse them of working in an
unnatural and affected "manner" (maniera). Maniera artists looked to
their older contemporary
Michelangelo as their principal model; theirs
was an art imitating art, rather than an art imitating nature. Art
Sydney Joseph Freedberg argues that the intellectualizing
aspect of maniera art involves expecting its audience to notice and
appreciate this visual reference—a familiar figure in an unfamiliar
setting enclosed between "unseen, but felt, quotation marks". The
height of artifice is the Maniera painter's penchant for deliberately
misappropriating a quotation.
Agnolo Bronzino and Giorgio Vasari
exemplify this strain of Maniera that lasted from about 1530 to 1580.
Based largely at courts and in intellectual circles around Europe,
Maniera art couples exaggerated elegance with exquisite attention to
surface and detail: porcelain-skinned figures recline in an even,
tempered light, acknowledging the viewer with a cool glance, if they
make eye contact at all. The Maniera subject rarely displays much
emotion, and for this reason works exemplifying this trend are often
called 'cold' or 'aloof.' This is typical of the so-called "stylish
style" or Maniera in its maturity.
Spread of mannerism
English Mannerism: Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, 1546, a rare English
Mannerist portrait by a
The cities Rome, Florence, and Mantua were Mannerist centers in Italy.
Venetian painting pursued a different course, represented by
his long career. A number of the earliest Mannerist artists who had
been working in
Rome during the 1520s fled the city after the Sack of
Rome in 1527. As they spread out across the continent in search of
employment, their style was disseminated throughout Italy and Northern
Europe. The result was the first international artistic style
since the Gothic. Other parts of Northern Europe did not have the
advantage of such direct contact with Italian artists, but the
Mannerist style made its presence felt through prints and illustrated
books. European rulers, among others, purchased Italian works, while
northern European artists continued to travel to Italy, helping to
spread the Mannerist style. Individual Italian artists working in the
North gave birth to a movement known as the Northern Mannerism.
Francis I of France, for example, was presented with Bronzino's Venus,
Cupid, Folly and Time. The style waned in Italy after 1580, as a new
generation of artists, including the Carracci brothers,
Cigoli, revived naturalism.
Walter Friedlaender identified this period
as "anti-mannerism", just as the early mannerists were
"anti-classical" in their reaction away from the aesthetic values of
the High Renaissance.
Outside of Italy, however,
Mannerism continued into the 17th century.
In France, where Rosso traveled to work for the court at
Fontainebleau, it is known as the "Henry II style" and had a
particular impact on architecture. Other important continental centers
Northern Mannerism include the court of Rudolf II in Prague, as
Haarlem and Antwerp.
Mannerism as a stylistic category is less
frequently applied to English visual and decorative arts, where native
labels such as "Elizabethan" and "Jacobean" are more commonly applied.
Mannerism is one exception, applied to
architecture that relies on pattern books rather than on existing
precedents in Continental Europe.
Of particular note is the
Flemish influence at
combined the eroticism of the French style with an early version of
the vanitas tradition that would dominate seventeenth-century Dutch
Flemish painting. Prevalent at this time was the "pittore vago," a
description of painters from the north who entered the workshops in
France and Italy to create a truly international style.
As in painting, early Italian Mannerist sculpture was very largely an
attempt to find an original style that would top the achievement of
the High Renaissance, which in sculpture essentially meant
Michelangelo, and much of the struggle to achieve this was played out
in commissions to fill other places in the
Piazza della Signoria
Piazza della Signoria in
Florence, next to Michelangelo's David.
Baccio Bandinelli took over
the project of
Hercules and Cacus
Hercules and Cacus from the master himself, but it was
little more popular then than it is now, and maliciously compared by
Benvenuto Cellini to "a sack of melons", though it had a long-lasting
effect in apparently introducing relief panels on the pedestal of
statues. Like other works of his and other Mannerists it removes far
more of the original block than
Michelangelo would have done.
Perseus with the head of Medusa
Perseus with the head of Medusa is certainly a
masterpiece, designed with eight angles of view, another Mannerist
characteristic, and artificially stylized in comparison with the
Michelangelo and Donatello. Originally a goldsmith, his
famous gold and enamel Salt Cellar (1543) was his first sculpture, and
shows his talent at its best.
Small bronze figures for collector's cabinets, often mythological
subjects with nudes, were a popular Renaissance form at which
Flemish but based in Florence, excelled in the
later part of the century. He also created life-size sculptures, of
which two entered the collection in the Piazza della Signoria. He and
his followers devised elegant elongated examples of the figura
serpentinata, often of two intertwined figures, that were interesting
from all angles.
Stucco overdoor at Fontainebleau, probably designed by Primaticcio,
who painted the oval inset, 1530s or 1540s
Benvenuto Cellini, Perseus with the head of Medusa, 1545–1554
Giambologna, Samson Slaying a Philistine, about 1562
Giambologna, Rape of the Sabine Women, 1583, Florence, Italy, 13' 6"
Adriaen de Vries, Mercury and Psyche
Northern Mannerist life-size
bronze, made in 1593 for Rudolf II, Holy Roman Emperor.
Venus, c. 125; Marble, Roman; British Museum
Pietro Francavilla, Apollo Victorious over the Python, 1591. The
Walters Art Museum
Giorgio Vasari's opinions about the art of painting emerge in the
praise he bestows on fellow artists in his multi-volume Lives of the
Artists: he believed that excellence in painting demanded refinement,
richness of invention (invenzione), expressed through virtuoso
technique (maniera), and wit and study that appeared in the finished
work, all criteria that emphasized the artist's intellect and the
patron's sensibility. The artist was now no longer just a trained
member of a local Guild of St Luke. Now he took his place at court
alongside scholars, poets, and humanists, in a climate that fostered
an appreciation for elegance and complexity. The coat-of-arms of
Medici patrons appears at the top of his portrait, quite as
if it were the artist's own. The framing of the woodcut image of
Lives of the Artists would be called "Jacobean" in an
English-speaking milieu. In it, Michelangelo's
Medici tombs inspire
the anti-architectural "architectural" features at the top, the papery
pierced frame, the satyr nudes at the base. As a mere frame it is
extravagant: Mannerist, in short.
Gian Paolo Lomazzo
Another literary figure from the period is Gian Paolo Lomazzo, who
produced two works—one practical and one metaphysical—that helped
define the Mannerist artist's self-conscious relation to his art. His
Trattato dell'arte della pittura, scoltura et architettura (Milan,
1584) is in part a guide to contemporary concepts of decorum, which
the Renaissance inherited in part from Antiquity but Mannerism
elaborated upon. Lomazzo's systematic codification of aesthetics,
which typifies the more formalized and academic approaches typical of
the later 16th century, emphasized a consonance between the functions
of interiors and the kinds of painted and sculpted decors that would
be suitable. Iconography, often convoluted and abstruse, is a more
prominent element in the Mannerist styles. His less practical and more
metaphysical Idea del tempio della pittura (The ideal temple of
painting, Milan, 1590) offers a description along the lines of the
"four temperaments" theory of human nature and personality, defining
the role of individuality in judgment and artistic invention.
Some Mannerist artists
Venus, Cupid, Folly and Time
Venus, Cupid, Folly and Time by Bronzino, c. 1545;
National Gallery, London.
Joachim Wtewael Perseus and Andromeda, 1616, Louvre, the composition
displaying a Vanité of bones and seashells in the foreground and an
elaborate academic nude with a palette borrowing from the forefront
for Andromeda's cheeks. The Dragon seems of sino-oriental influence.
Jacopo da Pontormo
Jacopo da Pontormo's Joseph in Egypt features what would in the
Renaissance have been considered incongruous colors and an incoherent
handling of time and space.
Rosso Fiorentino and the School of Fontainebleau
Rosso Fiorentino, who had been a fellow pupil of
Pontormo in the
studio of Andrea del Sarto, in 1530 brought Florentine mannerism to
Fontainebleau, where he became one of the founders of French
16th-century Mannerism, popularly known as the "School of
The examples of a rich and hectic decorative style at Fontainebleau
further disseminated the Italian style through the medium of
Antwerp and from there throughout Northern Europe from
London to Poland. Mannerist design was extended to luxury goods like
silver and carved furniture. A sense of tense, controlled emotion
expressed in elaborate symbolism and allegory, and an ideal of female
beauty characterized by elongated proportions are features of this
Mannerist portraits by
Agnolo Bronzino are distinguished by a serene
elegance and meticulous attention to detail. As a result, Bronzino's
sitters have been said to project an aloofness and marked emotional
distance from the viewer. There is also a virtuosic concentration on
capturing the precise pattern and sheen of rich textiles.
Alessandro Allori's (1535–1607) Susanna and the Elders (below) is
distinguished by latent eroticism and consciously brilliant still life
detail, in a crowded, contorted composition.
Tintoretto's Last Supper (below) focuses on light and motion, bringing
the image to dramatic life. Unlike more traditional views of the Last
Tintoretto depicts Heaven opening up into the room, and the
angels looking on in awe, in line with the old Catholic maxim that "If
the angels were capable of envy, they would envy the Eucharist."
El Greco attempted to express religious emotion with exaggerated
traits. After the realistic depiction of the human form and the
mastery of perspective achieved in high Renaissance Classicism, some
artists started to deliberately distort proportions in disjointed,
irrational space for emotional and artistic effect.
El Greco still is
a deeply original artist.
El Greco has been characterized by modern
scholars as an artist so individual that he belongs to no conventional
school. Key aspects of
El Greco include the jarring
"acid" palette, elongated and tortured anatomy, irrational perspective
and light, and obscure and troubling iconography.
Benvenuto Cellini created the
Cellini Salt Cellar
Cellini Salt Cellar of gold and enamel
in 1540 featuring
Amphitrite (water and earth) placed in
uncomfortable positions and with elongated proportions. It is
considered a masterpiece of Mannerist sculpture.
Joachim Wtewael (1566–1638) continued to paint in a Northern
Mannerist style until the end of his life, ignoring the arrival of the
Baroque, and making him perhaps the last significant Mannerist artist
still to be working. His subjects included large scenes with still
life in the manner of Pieter Aertsen, and mythological scenes, many
small cabinet paintings beautifully executed on copper, and most
Giuseppe Arcimboldo (also spelled Arcimboldi) is known for his
portraits contrived from a still life composition
Jacopo Pontormo Joseph in Egypt, 1515–18; Oil on wood; 96 x
109 cm; National Gallery, London
Rosso Fiorentino, Francois I Gallery, Château de Fontainebleau,
Juno in a niche, engraving by Jacopo Caraglio, probably from a drawing
of 1526 by Rosso Fiorentino
Giuseppe Arcimboldo, The Librarian, 1562, Skokloster Castle.
Tintoretto, Last Supper
Giuseppe Arcimboldo, Autumn, 1573, oil on canvas, Louvre Museum, Paris
Giuseppe Arcimboldo, Vertumnus the god of seasons, 1591, Skokloster
Bronzino, Portrait of Bia de'Medici
Alessandro Allori, Susanna and the elders
El Greco, Baptism
Mannerist architecture was characterized by visual trickery and
unexpected elements that challenged the renaissance norms. Flemish
artists, many of whom had traveled to Italy and were influenced by
Mannerist developments there, were responsible for the spread of
Mannerist trends into Europe north of the Alps, including into the
realm of architecture.  During the period, architects experimented
with using architectural forms to emphasize solid and spatial
relationships. The Renaissance ideal of harmony gave way to freer and
more imaginative rhythms. The best known architect associated with the
Mannerist style, and a pioneer at the Laurentian Library, was
Michelangelo (1475–1564). He is credited with inventing the
giant order, a large pilaster that stretches from the bottom to the
top of a façade. He used this in his design for the Campidoglio
Prior to the 20th century, the term
Mannerism had negative
connotations, but it is now used to describe the historical period in
more general non-judgmental terms. Mannerist architecture has also
been used to describe a trend in the 1960s and 1970s that involved
breaking the norms of modernist architecture while at the same time
recognizing their existence. Defining mannerist in this context,
architect and author
Robert Venturi wrote "
Mannerism for architecture
of our time that acknowledges conventional order rather than original
expression but breaks the conventional order to accommodate complexity
and contradiction and thereby engages ambiguity unambiguously." 
An example of mannerist architecture is the
Villa Farnese at
Caprarola. in the rugged country side outside of Rome. The
proliferation of engravers during the 16th century spread Mannerist
styles more quickly than any previous styles.
Dense with ornament of "Roman" detailing, the display doorway at
Colditz Castle exemplifies this northern style, characteristically
applied as an isolated "set piece" against unpretentious vernacular
From the late 1560s onwards, many buildings in Valletta, the new
capital city of Malta, were designed by the architect Girolamo Cassar
in the Mannerist style. Such buildings include St. John's
Co-Cathedral, the Grandmaster's Palace and the seven original
auberges. Many of Cassar's buildings were modified over the years,
especially in the
Baroque period. However, a few buildings, such as
Auberge d'Aragon and the exterior of St. John's Co-Cathedral, still
retain most of Cassar's original Mannerist design.
One of the best examples of Mannerist architecture - Palazzo Te in
Mantova, designed by Giulio Romano
Giulio Romano, Pallazo Ducale in Mantova
Own house of
Giulio Romano in Mantova
Palazzo Massimo alle Colonne
Palazzo Massimo alle Colonne in Rome
Michelangelo, vestibule of Laurentian Library
St. John's Co-Cathedral
St. John's Co-Cathedral in Valletta, Malta
Town Hall in Zamość, Poland, designed by Bernardo Morando.
Mannerist architecture in Gdańsk, Poland.
Mannerism in literature and music
See also: Metaphysical poets
In English literature,
Mannerism is commonly identified with the
qualities of the "Metaphysical" poets of whom the most famous is John
Donne. The witty sally of a
Baroque writer, John
Dryden, against the verse of Donne in the previous generation, affords
a concise contrast between
Baroque and Mannerist aims in the arts:
He affects the metaphysics, not only in his satires but in his amorous
verses, where nature only should reign; and perplexes the minds of the
fair sex with nice speculations of philosophy when he should
engage their hearts and entertain them with the softnesses of
love.:15 (italics added)
The rich musical possibilities in the poetry of the late 16th and
early 17th centuries provided an attractive basis for the madrigal,
which quickly rose to prominence as the pre-eminent musical form in
Italian musical culture, as discussed by Tim Carter:
The madrigal, particularly in its aristocratic guise, was obviously a
vehicle for the ‘stylish style’ of Mannerism, with poets and
musicians revelling in witty conceits and other visual, verbal and
musical tricks to delight the connoisseur.
Mannerism has also been used to describe the style of highly
florid and contrapuntally complex polyphonic music made in France in
the late 14th century. This period is now usually referred to as
the ars subtilior.
Mannerism and theatre
The Early Commedia dell'Arte (1550–1621): The Mannerist Context by
Paul Castagno discusses Mannerism's effect on the contemporary
professional theatre. Castagno's was the first study to define a
theatrical form as Mannerist, employing the vocabulary of Mannerism
and maniera to discuss the typification, exaggerated, and effetto
meraviglioso of the comici dell'arte. See Part II of the above book
for a full discussion of Mannerist characteristics in the commedia
dell'arte. The study is largely iconographic, presenting a pictorial
evidence that many of the artists who painted or printed commedia
images were in fact, coming from the workshops of the day, heavily
ensconced in the maniera tradition.
The preciosity in Jacques Callot's minute engravings seem to belie a
much larger scale of action. Callot's Balli di Sfessania (literally,
dance of the buttocks) celebrates the commedia's blatant eroticism,
with protruding phalli, spears posed with the anticipation of a comic
ream, and grossly exaggerated masks that mix the bestial with human.
The eroticism of the innamorate (lovers) including the baring of
breasts, or excessive veiling, was quite in vogue in the paintings and
engravings from the second school at Fontainebleau, particularly those
that detect a Franco-
Flemish influence. Castagno demonstrates
iconographic linkages between genre painting and the figures of the
commedia dell'arte that demonstrate how this theatrical form was
embedded within the cultural traditions of the late cinquecento.
Commedia dell'arte, disegno interno, and the discordia concors
Important corollaries exist between the disegno interno, which
substituted for the disegno esterno (external design) in mannerist
painting. This notion of projecting a deeply subjective view as
superseding nature or established principles (perspective, for
example), in essence, the emphasis away from the object to its
subject, now emphasizing execution, displays of virtuosity, or unique
techniques. This inner vision is at the heart of commedia performance.
For example, in the moment of improvisation the actor expresses his
virtuosity without heed to formal boundaries, decorum, unity, or text.
Arlecchino became emblematic of the mannerist discordia concors (the
union of opposites), at one moment he would be gentle and kind, then,
on a dime, become a thief violently acting out with his batte.
Arlecchino could be graceful in movement, only in the next beat, to
clumsily trip over his feet. Freed from the external rules, the actor
celebrated the evanescence of the moment; much the way Cellini would
dazzle his patrons by draping his sculptures, unveiling them with
lighting effects and a sense of the marvelous. The presentation of the
object became as important as the object itself.
According to art critic Jerry Saltz, "Neo-Mannerism" (new Mannerism)
is among several clichés that are "squeezing the life out of the art
Mannerism describes art of the 21st century that is
turned out by students whose academic teachers "have scared [them]
into being pleasingly meek, imitative, and ordinary".
Visual arts portal
Mannerist architecture and sculpture in Poland
Timeline of Italian artists to 1800
^ A World history of architecture and Mannerism: the painting and
style of the Late Renaissance
^ Freedberg 1971, 483.
^ a b c d Gombrich 1995,[page needed].
Bronzino (1503–1572) and his Contemporaries".
Metropolitan Museum of Art. Retrieved 2013-05-19.
^ a b c d e f Art and Illusion, E. H. Gombrich,
^ "the-mannerist-style". www.artsconnected.org.
^ John Shearman, “Maniera as an Aesthetic Ideal”, in Cheney 2004,
^ Cheney 1997, 17.
^ Briganti 1961, 6.
^ a b Mirollo 1984,[page needed]
^ Shearman 1967.
^ Grossmann 1965.
^ Smyth 1962, 1–2.
^ Cheney, "Preface", xxv–xxxii, and Manfred
Wundram, "Mannerism," Grove Art Online. Oxford University Press,
[accessed 23 April 2008].
^ Friedländer 1965,[page needed]
^ a b Freedberg 1993, 175–77.
^ a b Giorgio Vasari, Lives of the Most Eminent Painters, Sculptors,
^ Friedländer 1965,[page needed].
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