After the High Renaissance To compare the High Renaissance with an arrival on a high plateau that enjoys a climate more benign than that of the mountainside that leads to it, is fair up to a point; so also is the corollary that to continue beyond that desirable summit involves an inevitable descent.
Most of these artists were followers of Michelangelo or Mannerism originated as a reaction to the harmonious classicism and the idealized naturalism of High Renaissance art as practiced by Leonardo, Michelangelo, and Raphael in the first two decades of the 16th century.
In the portrayal of the human nudethe standards of formal complexity had been set by Michelangelo, and the norm of idealized beauty by Raphael.
The highest value was instead placed upon the apparently effortless solution of intricate artistic problems, such as the portrayal of the nude in complex and artificial poses.
Mannerist artists evolved a style that is characterized by artificiality and artiness, by a thoroughly self-conscious cultivation of elegance and technical facility, and by a sophisticated indulgence in the bizarre.
The figures in Mannerist works frequently have graceful but queerly elongated limbs, small heads, and stylized facial features, while their poses seem difficult or contrived. The deep, linear perspectival space of High Renaissance painting is flattened and obscured so that the figures appear as a decorative arrangement of forms in front of a flat background of indeterminate dimensions.
Mannerists sought a continuous refinement of form and concept, pushing exaggeration and contrast to great limits. The results included strange and constricting spatial relationships, jarring juxtapositions of intense and unnatural colours, an emphasis on abnormalities of scale, a sometimes totally irrational mix of classical motifs and other visual references to the antique, and inventive and grotesque pictorial fantasies.
In the period from to the Florentine painters Rosso Fiorentino and Jacopo da Pontormo broke away from Renaissance classicism and evolved an expressive, emotionally agitated style in their religious compositions. In the early s Rosso journeyed to Rome, where he joined the artists Giulio RomanoPerino del Vaga, and Polidoro da Caravaggiowho had all been followers of Raphael in his work for the Vatican.
The Mannerist style completely emerged in the paintings of these artists as well as in those of Parmigianino. Madonna of the Long Neck, oil on wood by Parmigianino, c. Meanwhile, Mannerism had begun to spread outside Italy; Rosso took the style to France in and was followed there two years later by Francesco Primaticciowho evolved an important French variant of Mannerism in his decorations done at the French royal court at Fontainebleau.
Mannerism was transplanted and disseminated throughout central and northern Europe around mid-century through large numbers of engravings of Italian paintings and through the visits of northern artists to Rome to study.
Although the Dutch cities of Haarlem and Amsterdam became centres of the new style, the most ambitious patronage was practiced at Prague by the Emperor Rudolf II; Spranger and others who worked for Rudolf evolved a rather bizarre and exotic Mannerism that occasionally degenerated into the merely grotesque and inexplicable.
Courtesy of the trustees of the British Museum; photograph, J. The sculptors Bartolommeo AmmannatiBenvenuto Celliniand, most importantly, Giambologna became the principal practitioners of Mannerism with their graceful and complexly posed statues.
Mannerism was for long afterward looked down upon as a decadent and anarchic style that simply marked a degeneration of High Renaissance artistic production. But in the 20th century the style came to be appreciated anew for its technical bravura, elegance, and polish.
Learn More in these related Britannica articles:The Artcyclopedia is an index of online museums and image archives: find where the works of over 8, different fine artists can be viewed online. The term mannerism describes the style of the paintings and bronze sculpture on this tour.
Derived from the Italian maniera, meaning simply “style,” mannerism is sometimes defined as the “stylish style” for its emphasis on self-conscious artifice over realistic initiativeblog.com sixteenth-century artist and critic Vasari—himself a mannerist—believed that .
A-Z List of Mannerist Artists. See below for an alphabetical list of Old Masters and other artists of the Mannerism movement.. Adriaen de Vries () Dutch Sculptor Alessi, Galeazzo () Architect Allori, Alessandro () Painter.
Mannerism, also known as Late Renaissance, is a style in European art that emerged in the later years of the Italian High Renaissance around , spreading by about and lasting until about the end of the 16th century in Italy, when the Baroque style largely replaced it.
Mannerism launched a highly imaginative and expressive period in art following the achievements of the Renaissance Italy.
Share; El Greco was a master artist who employed highly expressive techniques and elongated figures that both confounded his contemporaries and influenced later movements such as Expressionism and Cubism. We are proud to say we are one of the largest and most comprehensive online collections.
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