Michelangelo, Raphael, and Titian had been called “divino.”
Kings begged them for the slightest sketch.
All problems of representing reality had been solved. Art seemed to have reached a peak of perfection and harmony.
How could other artists compete with the giants of the High Renaissance?
Mannerism was the fashionable and accepted style of painting and sculpture in Italy and Spain.
Popular during mid – late 16th century
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.
Mannerism fit the tastes of wealthy and powerful families.
Figures are often elongated especially their hands, necks, and legs.
Mannerist artists use figura serpentinata, an exaggerated twisted body position.
Mannerist paintings often lack the balance and order of High Renaissance paintings. The compositions are often off center and lack a central focus.
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.
Mannerist art (paintings and sculpture) lack a rational Renaissance organization instead focusing on emotion and feeling.
Mannerism can also be more erotic than the Renaissance works of art. This was for works for private display.
Realistic but somewhat elongated especially fingers, hands, necks, and legs
Rational, logical, Venetian – somewhat sensual
Cultured, refined, sometimes erotic
Parmigianino – “the little fellow from Parma”
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)
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).
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!
Venetian artist known to be the outstanding Venetian representative of Mannerism
His theatrical paintings are also a forerunner of the Baroque style
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.
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
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?
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
Became court painter to King Philip II of Spain – a huge honor
Contemporaries admired her use of relaxed poses and expressions in intimate or informal group portraits.
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)
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.
Paolo Veronese (1528 – 1588)
Venetian whose clients were wealthy monasteries and the doge.
Painted sumptuous pageants in classical settings. These works reflected the past glories of Venice.
Looked to High Renaissance for composition: note symmetry and orderly architectonics (not moving away from the picture plane at an angle like Tintoretto).
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.
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.
Correggio (ca. 1489 – 1534)
Teacher of Parmigianino.
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.
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
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?
Giovanni da Bologna (1529 – 1608)
Born in Flanders in Northern Europe
Worked primarily in Florence
Leading Mannerist sculptor
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.
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?
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)
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.
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.
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)
The Captives or Slaves – 1530 – 1534 (Maybe meant for tomb of Julius II)
The captives express the constant struggle between physical and spiritual forces that was so much a part of Michelangelo’s driving genius.
The Medici Chapel
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.
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.
Side stairs do not match-up with landing like central stairs do.
Like the strains and tensions of his late sculpture.
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.
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.