Renaissance: Mannerism (1520-1580)

At a time when Renaissance has achieved ultimate perfection a style developed that imparted a bizarre, fantastical and highly imaginative quality to the models established by the great masters. This style called Mannerism from the Italian maniera "style". It is often applied to the art in the period from about 1520 to 1580. Mannerist works are refined, sophisticated, and technically accomplished, making a cult of the beautiful and delighting in bizarre, and fanciful imagery. This style was first synonymous with unnaturalness - a cold, cerebral quality and sterile virtuosity. Gradually this opinion was revised and Mannerism was appreciated. The young Florentine painters had been greatly influenced by their studies of Leonardo and Michelangelo's preparatory cartoons for two frescos portraying battle scenes in the Palazzo Vecchio. In Florence Bronzino, Pontormo's only pupil and court painter to the Medici imparted an extraordinary degree of formal perfection to one of the most important characteristics of Mannerism: the refined and detached elegance of pure abstract thought. By the 1530s Italian Mannerism in all its most refined variants was becoming familiar throughout Europe where it combined with local traditions to give rise to the so called International Mannerism. The main exponents of the refined culture of the mid sixteen century were Cellini, and Primaticcio, who gave plastic form to the fluid formal harmony of Parmigianino and gained a wide following among Italian and foreign artists.

See also:
» The Renaissance

» Early Renaissance     1400-1455
» High Renaissance     1470-1530

Andrea del Sarto, Jacopo Pantormo, Bronzino, Parmegianino, Lucas Cranach the Elder, Vasari, Tintoretto, Gulio Romano, El Greco
Sculpture: Cellini
Architecture: Palladio
Literature: Cervantes

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