Mannerism introduction

Дата канвертавання19.04.2016
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  1. So what now?

  1. Michelangelo, Raphael, and Titian had been called “divino.”

  2. Kings begged them for the slightest sketch.

  3. All problems of representing reality had been solved. Art seemed to have reached a peak of perfection and harmony.

  4. How could other artists compete with the giants of the High Renaissance?

  1. Mannerism

  1. Mannerism was the fashionable and accepted style of painting and sculpture in Italy and Spain.

  2. Popular during mid – late 16th century

  3. Art historians refer to the style as Mannerism because of a 16th description calling the style “il maniera” or “the manner” or “style” of the time.

  4. Mannerism fit the tastes of wealthy and powerful families.

  5. Figures are often elongated especially their hands, necks, and legs.

  6. Mannerist artists use figura serpentinata, an exaggerated twisted body position.

  7. Mannerist paintings often lack the balance and order of High Renaissance paintings. The compositions are often off center and lack a central focus.

  8. Mannerist paintings often include unusual lighting effects. Instead of the Renaissance focus on a single light source that illuminates bodies and causes them to cast shadows, Mannerist paintings can have multiple light sources.

  9. Mannerist art (paintings and sculpture) lack a rational Renaissance organization instead focusing on emotion and feeling.

  10. Mannerism can also be more erotic than the Renaissance works of art. This was for works for private display.



Body position

Rational, balanced, stable positions

Off-balance, figura serpentinata


Rational, orderly, pyramid or diagonal

Off-balance, lacking rationality

Use of light

Single, identifiable light source, shading is natural

Multiple-light sources, unusual light and shadows

Treatment of the body

Realistic but idealized as well

Realistic but somewhat elongated especially fingers, hands, necks, and legs


Rational, logical, Venetian – somewhat sensual

Cultured, refined, sometimes erotic


  1. Parmigianino – “the little fellow from Parma”

  1. Madonna of the Long Neck

  • The Madonna has an elongated neck – there was a 16th century poem comparing Madonna’s appearance to the beauty of a swan. The large column in the distance reinforces the length of her neck.

  • Her pose and the poses of the other figures (the angels and baby Jesus) are twisted and exaggerated into FIGURA SERPENTINATA

  • Note that the foreground figures are long from the waist down and short from the waist up.

  • Baby Jesus is elongated

  • Unusual lighting effects

  • An asymmetrical composition – All the figures are crowded into the foreground on the left, only one figure in the distance on the right.

  • Older figure to the right may represent a Old Testament prophet (Schneider-Adams)

  • Notice the slightly erotic tone to scene (Schneider-Adams)

  1. Self-portrait in a Convex Mirror

  • Notice the unusual qualities of this portrait

  • His face appears normal because it is further from the picture plane

  • Notice how the hand is stretched out because it is closer to the convex mirror

  • The strange illusion fit well with Parmagianino’s personality. He was preoccupied with counterfeiting and “obsessed with alchemy (the science of converting base metal to gold), and eventually abandoned painting altogether” (Schneider-Adams).

  1. Jacopo da Pontormo

  1. Entombment of Christ

  • An altarpiece from the 16th century

  • Notice that the painting lacks a central focus. There is actually an empty space in the center around which the figures swirl.

  • Note how the figures crowd the composition almost completely blotting the setting

  • Note the figura serpentinata of Christ and the exaggerate posture of the figure who supports Christ’s weight from below. His back is hunched unnaturally as he crouches on his tippy toes. This enhances the emotion and feeling of the painting.

  • It is not a rational, orderly composition. The painting stresses the emotion.

  • Guess who the figure is in the back right (to the right of Mary). That’s right. It’s Pontormo!

  1. Tintoretto

  1. Introduction

  • Venetian artist known to be the outstanding Venetian representative of Mannerism

  • His theatrical paintings are also a forerunner of the Baroque style

  1. Last Supper (12 feet by 18 feet located in San Giorgio Maggiore in Venice)

  • Unlike Leonardo’s Last Supper, the table is no longer parallel to the picture plane. Instead, the table forms a long diagonal that plunges deep into the picture. As a result, the picture is divided diagonally.

  • On the right are servants who go about their business apparently unaware of the significant event taking place at the table.

  • On the left are the apostles, some in exaggerated poses, illuminated by a mystical light.

  • Can you find Christ?

  • What are the sources of light?

  • Can you find Judas?

  1. Agnolo Bronzino

  1. Venus, Cupid, Folly, and Time

  • The painting – commissioned by Cosimo de’ Medici as a gift for Francis I of France, known for his love of refinement and eroticism

  • Eye catching, but what does it all mean? And how does it illustrate the Mannerist style?

  • A complex allegory that engages the viewer in an intellectual game, challenging him to discover the meaning

    • The characters –

    • Venus and Cupid – engaged in an erotic embrace. (Mother and Child!!!) Notice that Venus holds the golden apple. The dove has been the symbol of love since ancient times.

    • They illustrate the Mannerist taste for erotic imagery

    • Figures are in the figura serpentinata pose

    • Foolish little boy- Folly – with his blushing cheeks and smiling face, he is encouraging Venus and Cupid by throwing rose petals at them. Roses symbolize love but the thorns represent the pain that love can cause.

    • Time and Folly

    • Time (notice the hourglass) is the old man who tears back the curtain from Folly to reveal the incest in progress

    • Folly is the woman figure who tries to cover up the illicit love from time

    • Jealousy – female figure clutching her head

    • Deceit – young girl with an angelic face in the background right. Is there something wrong with her hands? What about her lower body?

    • A possible moral for Bronzino’s Venus, Cupid, Folly, and Time

    • Folly blinds one to the jealousy and fraud of sensual love, which time will reveal

  1. Bronzino, Portrait of a Young Man, 1530 – 1545, oil on wood.

  • Notice the twisting pose

  • The long and graceful hands and neck

  • Very refined painting, emphasizes the intellectual qualities of the young man (notice his fingers hold a page in a book)

  • Captures rank and station of subject. Does he capture his personality?

  1. Sofinisba Anguissola

    1. A very important female artist whose work has Mannerist qualities

    2. One of the greatest portrait painters of her time

    3. Her talent was recognized by Michelangelo after she sent him a drawing of a child crying after he had been pinched by a crab

  • He gave her drawings from his notebooks to copy

    1. Became court painter to King Philip II of Spain – a huge honor

    2. Contemporaries admired her use of relaxed poses and expressions in intimate or informal group portraits.

    3. She lived a long life. She was wealthy because of her contacts with the king of Spain, married twice, once to a Spanish noble. After he died, as she travelled on a boat, she became interested in the ship captain. Although he was considerably younger, they got married. Seven years after her death at 93, on what would have been her 100th birthday, he had this epitaph added to her tomb:

  • To Sophinisba, my wife…who is recorded among the illustrious women of the world, outstanding in portraying the images of man…Orazio Lornellino, in sorrow for the loss of his great love, in 1632, dedicated this little tribute to such a great woman. (Wikipedia)

    1. When she was a renowned and established artist, young Peter Paul Rubens and young Sir Anthony van Dyck came to her for advice. These two men would become two of the greatest 17th century painters. She gave them some of her drawings to copy.

  1. Paolo Veronese (1528 – 1588)

    1. Venetian whose clients were wealthy monasteries and the doge.

    2. Painted sumptuous pageants in classical settings. These works reflected the past glories of Venice.

    3. Looked to High Renaissance for composition: note symmetry and orderly architectonics (not moving away from the picture plane at an angle like Tintoretto).

    4. Shimmering colors

    5. Christ in the House of Levi, 1573, oil on canvas. Originally titled The Last Supper, but the Office of the Inquisition did not like Christ depicted so close to dwarves and dogs in such a sacred moment, so Veronese renamed the painting.

    6. Triumph of Venice, 1585, Oil on canvas. Oval frame (think circular for High Renaissance) is an illusionistic composition. But the view is up at a 45 degree angle, not straight up like Mantenga. This became a standard view in the Late Baroque.

  2. Correggio (ca. 1489 – 1534)

    1. Teacher of Parmigianino.

    2. Half a century before Veronese he blended the styles of Leonardo, Raphael, and the Venetian school. Developed illusionistic ceiling perspectives. Assumption of the Virgin, 1526 – 1530, fresco.

    3. Under appreciated by his contemporaries, he was appreciated by 17th century Baroque painters.


  1. Cellini

    1. A flamboyant life

  • A celebrated autobiography

  • Dictated while under house arrest

  • Violent behavior

  • Took preliminary vows for the priesthood, but changed his mind and married the mother of his illegitimate children

    1. Saltcellar of Francis I

  • What is a saltcellar? A saltcellar is a portable stand that holds small salt and pepper shakers. Often, saltcellars are treated as miniature works of art. This saltcellar has small wheels beneath and can be pushed across the table.

  • Made of gold and enamel

  • Neptune – lord of the sea. Salt comes from the sea

  • Earth – a voluptuous goddess. Pepper comes from the earth

  • Elongated figures in unrealistic poses

  • Exquisite detail and beauty with erotic overtones

  • Cellini broadly boasts that Francis I uttered “a loud cry of astonishment” when he first saw the saltcellar

    1. Genius of Fountainebleau

  • Genius refers to a female spirit

  • Diana – the Greco-Roman goddess of the hunt shown with her animal the deer

  • Based on the shape of this object, where do you think it was intended to be placed?

  • What are the Mannerist devices of this work of art?

  1. Giovanni da Bologna (1529 – 1608)

  1. Brief biography

  • Born in Flanders in Northern Europe

  • Worked primarily in Florence

  • Leading Mannerist sculptor

  1. Style

  • Multiple points of view

  • Until the middle of the 16th century, sculptors thought of their statues as having a front or main side to be viewed. But Mannerist sculptors had a new idea. They created statues which could be viewed from many angles. To appreciate a Mannerist sculpture fully, a viewer now had to walk around it.

  • Use of figura serpentinata

  • Mannerist sculptors wanted to give their figures a sense of dramatic movement. Most of their figures spiral in a shape called figura serpentinata.

  1. Abduction of the Sabine Women (Florence, Marble, 13 feet 6 inches0

    • The Story – the statue shows the abduction of a Sabine woman by a Roman. Beneath the legs of the Roman, an older man watches the scene in horror.

    • Spiral composition – Note how the three figures make a spiral shape. The spiraling movement compels us to walk around the statue.

    • Note the use of figura serpentinata as well as the erotic overtone of the work

    • What does the face and body positioning of the man at the bottom remind you of?

  1. Mercury (Bronze, 2 feet)

  • The messenger god is busy delivering a message. His step is being aided by Zephyr, who blows the wind below his feet.

  • Meant to be viewed from different angles (multiple viewpoints)

  • Figura serpentinata

  • Holding the caduceus – a wind with two intertwined serpents that Mercury used to wave away evil spirits or sicknesses that get in his way. The caduceus has been associated with the medical field.

  1. Venus

  • Do you remember the Classical prototype upon which this statue is derived?

  • Bologna’s statuette (It is only 15 inches high!) is meant to be seen from any viewpoint.

  • Figura serpentinata – Bologna twisted Venus’ upper torso and arms to the far right and extended her neck in the opposite direction so that her chin was over her right shoulder, straining the limits of the human body.

  1. Michelangelo’s Later Work

A. Brief review of his earlier work
1. Pieta – 1498 (Carved when Michelangelo was just 23 years old)
2. David – 1501 – 1504 (Finished when Michelangelo was 29 years old)
3. Moses – 1513 – 1516 (Finished just after the Sistine Ceiling was completed when Michelangelo was 41 years old)

  • Designed to be a part of the tomb of Pope Julius II

  • Stands out for its incomparable power. The statue embodies the High Renaissance concept of “terribilita” or awesome power and energy

  • Note that the statue is sculpted in the round and entirely polished (a highly finished look to it)

    1. The Captives or Slaves – 1530 – 1534 (Maybe meant for tomb of Julius II)

  • Bound captive

  • Atlas

  • Bearded captive

  • Awakening captive

  • The captives express the constant struggle between physical and spiritual forces that was so much a part of Michelangelo’s driving genius.

  1. The Medici Chapel

    1. Purpose – a funerary chapel to hold the sculpted tombs of four Medici (Lorenzo the Magnificent, his brother Giuliano, his son Guiliano and his grandson Lorenzo). Let’s look.

    1. Tomb of Giuliano

  • Figure of Night – Owl and mask. Note the figura serpentinata, the twisting of the body in contrary direction that is one of the hallmarks of the Mannerist style.

  • Figure of Day – Day seems to be desperately trying to tear himself away

  • The body of Day is muscular and based on Roman Hercules statues

  • It is an unfinished work

  • Statues of river gods were supposed to adorn the lower part of the wall – represented brute matter

  • Giuliano – depicted as a man of action

  • Resembles a Roman Caesar with his armor and commander’s baton

  • Head turns sharply to his left

  • Not a portrait, but Michelangelo’s vision of what Giuliano should look like… “No one will care what he really looked like one hundred years from now.”

  • Notice his elongated neck

    1. Tomb of Lorenzo

  • Statues of Dawn and Dusk – the beginning of life/youth vs. the end of life/old age

  • Compare to Cellini’s figures on the Saltcellar – The human figures of Michelangelo’s later style influenced Mannerists

  • Bodies twist in figura serpentinata

  • Lorenzo is depcted as the contemplative man

    1. Interpretation

  • The tombs represent the soul’s ascent through the Neo-Platonic universe from brute matter, through life, to the highest existence – the spirit.

    1. Michelangelo’s later Pieta sculptures

  • His last sculptures, probably intended to decorate his own tomb

  • He smashed two Pieta sculptures he was making when they did not turn out the way he wanted

  • Florentine Pieta (ca. 1550)

  • Nicodemus, the secret follower of Christ, supports Christ’s weight

  • Virgin Mary and Mary Magdalene are by Christ’s legs

  • Who do you think Michelangelo used for the likeness of Nicodemus?

  • Pieta Rondanini (1552 – 1564)

  • Unfinished at his death in 1564

  • Notice that the surface is more textured and the detail less defined

  • The effect of the work is no less powerful and emotional

  • Notice that the figures are more elongated and twisted

    1. Do you thing Michelangelo was more of a Mannerist in his later years?

  1. Mannerist Architecture:

  • Used classical architectural elements in a personal and unorthodox way. Revealed the contrivances or architectural design.

  1. Guilio Romano (ca. 1499 – 1546)

    • Was Raphael’s assistant when he died. Served as master executor and finished Raphael’s incomplete works.

    • Palazzo del Te, Mantua, 1525 – 1535

      • Need a sophisticated audience to appreciate the subtle jokes. Guilio’s patron, Duke Gonzaga, got the jokes.

        • Keystones look like they are falling into place.

        • Voussoirs over rectangular niches (NO ARCH)

        • Thin architraves on oversize engaged columns. Central triglyphs look like they are ready to fall down.

        • A general disregard for proportion.

  1. Laurentian Library (late Michelangelo architecture)

  • Ignored many of the classical norms and proportions

  • Indifference to use of orders (columns)

  • Pairs of columns that are decorative.

  • Breaks through columns with pediments

  • Some columns taper down, not up.

  • Side stairs do not match-up with landing like central stairs do.

  • Like the strains and tensions of his late sculpture.

  1. Michelangelo, Piazza del Campidoglio, Capitoline Hill, Rome Italy, 1536 - 46.

  • Used oval instead or circular (rational, Renaissance). Michelangelo said he did it for optical compensation.

  • Broke a lot of conventions, trapezoidal configuration of surrounding buildings.

  1. Giacomo della Porta and Giacomo de Vignola, Il Gesu, Rome, ca. 1575 – 1584

  • Exceptionally wide nave for grand processions with side chapels instead of aisles.

  • Was model for many Baroque church architecture.

  • The architects synthesized the elements and the plan from the work of Alberti and Michelangelo and unified them into a design that became very influential during the Baroque and subsequent generations.

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