Mannerism Like Every Period in Thesis

Excerpt from Thesis :

Padua also gave some important academies in mannerism and a notable one among them is Accademia degli Eterei, with Guarini and Tasso among its members.

Some of the reasons that made painters explore unusual, new methods in their art also inspired those using the written word in their art. "In poetry, ideals of elegance, grace, and ornamental eloquence contribute to the evolution of petrarchism and concettism." The artists developed their own style to persuade their public that they had something to say in art, other than their predecessors and that there are other means to express artistic ideas that are perfectly legitimate even if they use "effetti meravigliosi."

These magic effects are destined to use a restraint space and give the object of art a supplementary dimension that uses the imagination of the public, in order to grasp the subject. Roy Daniels cites Pevsner, one of the first scholars and art historians and critics to present mannerism as a major period in art and not just as a transition period between Renaissance and Baroque: "tendency to enforce movement through space within rigid boundaries is the chief spatial quality of Mannerism." The mannerist artist brings a new from of beauty to life, by distorting of the classical representation of form and giving it a special symbolism: "Thus there arises a new beauty, no longer resting on real forms measurable by the model or on forms idealized on this basis, but rather on an inner artistic reworking on the basis of harmonic or rhythmical requirements."

The most representative artists whose works were used as models for those to follow the "mannerism" movement are: Michelenagelo (some of his artwork) Pontormo, Rosso, Fiorentino and Parmigiano. Among those who practiced the style imposed by those mentioned are: Tintoretto, El Greco, Bronzino, Beccafiumi, Cellini and Bruegel.

As explained before, the mannerist tendencies in the works of art of some artists emerged as a necessary reaction to the all the events happening around them, such as Reformation, scientific discoveries, discovery and conquest of new territories etc. Pople were striving to make a sense out of old and new ideas about their own world and about the world at large. Nicolaus Copernicus' ideas of heliocentricity challenged Ptolemy's geocentric model of the universe and paved the way for the further discoveries of astronomers Tycho Brahe, Johannes Kepler, and Galileo Galiei. Other scholars, such as Andreas Vesalius, Gabriele Fallopio, Gerardus Mercator and Niccolo Tartaglia initiated new approaches in medicine, physics, cartography, geography, and mathematics. All of these developments involved an increasing emphasis on observation and experiement." These are the key words of the period in Europe, between the early sixteenth and the early seventeenth century. Artists could not have escaped these tendencies. On the contrary, they were happy to embrace new ideas, especially because experimentation with color, shape, form and new ways of suggesting a subject were only titillating and inviting them to find push their limits beyond the conventional world. Maniates observes that mannerists were communicating with their public by using a special feature from the classics, eloquence. She calls the mannerist artist "magus" and exaplins that the artist had two possibilities to persuade his audience through his artwork: the first was "to toy with fantastic ornaments and surface appearances" and the second was to personalize the subject, to present it through their particular vision and embellish it though their sensibility.

Appealing to their own emotions and sensibility, the artists of mannerism start to use the means of their art in order to present the world with a subject, general in character, but personalized in context. The thesis that mannerism resulted only as a counter-reaction to the classical forms that required unity between form and content became unsatisfactory for the art critics and historians of the twentieth century. The enhanced means of exploring the world and the human being itself, the reformation in religion, the works of whose who experimented and created with their genious, like Michelangelo, Raphael and Leonardo Davinci, the economic and social changes were all factors that influenced the way painters, architects, pets and musicians envisaged their art. They were also making experiments of their own, but they were using as an example what the afore mentioned already created in terms of innovation.

De Girolami Cheney is further pointing out that the element of "ambiguity" in the mannerist works of art is still to be explored in order to be fully understood.

The representation of a subject in panting is highly subjective, extremely emotional and ambiguous. The public is always left to wonder why the artist chose certain angles, lighting, colors and textures and the effect is almost always one of stupefaction. De Girolami Cheney is also pointing stressing the fact that the turmoil produced by shifts in people's relationship with God, scientific discoveries, exploration of new territories and new technological means was also reflected in art, in the form of mannerism. Examples such as: "Pontormo Descent from the Cross, 1525, in the Capponi Chapel in Santa Felicita, Rosso Putto Playing the Lute, c. 1525, in the Uffizi, Parmigianino Madonna of the Rose, 1530-35, in the Gemaeldegalerie, Dresden, and Parmigianino Amor, 1535-40, in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna" are destined to support the theory that artists cannot produce in a void and environment has always influenced periods and styles.

Destruction and disasters produced by the plague and wars were also destined to stimulate the artist's imagination in a certain direction. During the third decade of the sixteenth century, artists who were returning to Rome, after having fled the sack and the plague and some new artists who were coming to the center of European culture to offer their services to the new papacy. The first to coin the mannerist style, a mannerist himself, Vasari, illustrated the mannerist vision in some paintings like the Allegory of the Immaculate Conception, in 1540 and the Supper of St. Gregory, in 1539.

On the other hand, Hauser is remarked that artists like Pontormo and Prmigiano, Bronzino, Boccafiumi, Tintoretto, El Greco, Bruegel and Spranger "were concentrated above all on breaking up the all too obvious regularity and harmony of classical art and replacing its superpersonal normativity by more subjective and more suggestive features."

The aspect of spirituality is deeply involved in the creation of the mannerist works of art, but the mystical is not serving the same purpose as it used to serve in the Middle Eve. Now, the spiritual experiences of the artist are clashing with his intellectual discoveries and revelations are not only of spiritual sort, but they are also breakthroughs in the fields of science and technology. The human being has changed positions in relationship with the universe and with God and the mannerist artist is caught between the old and the new, lacking certainty of any kind. Apart from the fact that he has to create according to what he is commissioned, the artist has a whole new space for exploration with his means of expression, but also with the reaction of the public to his own work.

Mannerism was, in its turn, passing through different tendencies and influences and "the two opposed currents in mannerism - the mystical spiritualism of Grecoand pantheistic naturalism of Bruegel- do not however always confront eachotheras separate stylistic tendencies personified in different artists, but are in fact usually, indissolubly intertwined."


Maniates, Maria Rika. Mannerism in Italian Music and Culture, 1530-1630. University of North Carolina, 1979

Weurtenberger, Franzsepp. Heron, Michael. Mannerism: The European Style of the Sixteenth Century. Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1963

Hauser, Arnold. The Social History of Art Vol. 2. Routledge. 1999

Bousquet, Taylor. Mannerism: The Painting and Style of the Late Renaissance. Braziller, 1964.

Daniells, Roy. Milton, Mannerrism and Baroque. University of Toronto Press, 1963

Carney, Eldridge. Renaissance and Reformation, 1500-1620: A Biographical Dictionary. Greenwood Press, 2001

Maniates, Maria Rika. Mannerism in Italian Music and Culture, 1530-1630. (University of North Carolina, 1979). 93

Bousquet, Taylor. Mannerism: The Painting and Style of the Late Renaissance.(Braziller, 1964).23

Weurtenberger, Franzsepp. Heron, Michael. Mannerism: The European Style of the Sixteenth Century. (Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1963).6

Maniates, Maria Rika. Mannerism in Italian Music and Culture, 1530-1630.(Universityof NorthCarolina, 1979) 107.

Bousquet, Taylor. Mannerism: The Painting and Style of the Late Renaissance.(Braziller, 1964).24

Weurtenberger, Franzsepp. Heron, Michael. Mannerism: The European Style of the Sixteenth Century. (Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1963).7

Maniates, Maria Rika. Mannerism in Italian Music and Culture, 1530-1630().104

Hauser, Arnold. The Social History of Art: Renaissance, Mannerism, Baroque. (Edition:3. Routledge, 1999). 90

Maniates, Maria Rika. Mannerism in Italian Music and Culture, 1530-1630.(university of North Carolina, 1979).90 idem, 91 idem

Maniates, Maria Rika. Mannerism in Italian Music and Culture, 1530-1630.(university of North Carolina, 1979)., 91-92

Idem, 92

Idem, 106 idem

Pevsner, the Architecture of Mannerism," the Mint, 116-38 cited by Daniells, Roy. Milton, Mannerism and Baroque. (University of Toronto Press, 1963). 7

Friedleander, Mannerism and Anti-Mannerism in Italian Painting, 8, cited by Daniells,…

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