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MANNERISM


What is mannerism?

Mannerism is an artistic style that predominated in Italy beginning in the 1520s, the end of the High Renaissance, to 1590, the beginning of the Baroque period. Mannerism began in Florence and Rome and spread to northern Italy and finally, to much of central and Northern Europe.

The High Renaissance was characterized by a naturalistic and classical representation of the human form. This was evident in the work of such painters as Leonardo, Michelangelo, and Raphael. Mannerism arose as a reaction to this portrayal of human beauty and body. Prominent Mannerists included Giorgio Vasari, Daniel da Volterra, Francesco Salviati, Domenico Beccafumi, Federico Zuccari, Pellegrino Tibaldi, and most importantly Il Bronzino. The Mannerists focused on the representation of the nude in complex and artificial poses. The characters in their paintings often had elongated limbs, small heads, and stylized facial features in the midst of contrived positions. They valued continuous forms and emphasized contrast and exaggeration. The result of this was a fusion of intense and unnatural colours with an emphasis on abnormalities of scale while mixing classical motifs and bizarre fantasies.

Mannerism remained popular until Annibale Carracci and Caravaggio became internationally popular at the beginning of the 17th century. While Mannerism was blamed for the marked fall of the High Renaissance because of its supposed anarchic style.Unfortunately, this grandiose artistic style became appreciated once again in the 20th century. Apparently its representation of spiritual force and its complex scholarly aestheticism, was also striking to the modern personality as it had been in the Sixteenth century.


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