Mannerism & more Venetians
Mannerism comes from the Italian word - maniera - “stylish”
Began in Florence & Rome around 1520, then spread.
Mannerists were directly inspired by Michelangelo’s late work
Also admired Leonardo da Vinci & Raphael.
Intellectually complex subjects, highly skilled techniques.
Concerned with “beauty for beauty’s sake”
High Renaissance artists wanted to create art that looked natural as possible.
NOT the Mannerists - they didn’t care much about that.
They LIKED showing the artificial nature of their work. Hard to define as a single style, but common characteristics:
*Artifice - weird looking space, odd colors
*Sophisticated, elegant compositions, even unbalanced
*Intentional distortion - elongated proportions
*Manipulation of formal conventions
*Irrational spatial effects
*Ambiguous meanings. Enigmatic gestures & expressions. It is also often obscure, unsettling, erotic, with unusual colors. Mannerist architects defy conventional use of classical order, and rationality.
Reflects unsettled political & religious conditions in Europe.
It was in this setting that mannerism was born & matured. The religious unity of Western Christendom was shattered.
Had been unchallenged for centuries.
Destroyed in 1517 by Martin Luther & the Protestant Reformation.
*French invasion of Italy in 1524 ad the sack of Rome in 1527
Brought an era of tension & disorder.
In their way, artists were intentionally “rebelling” -
Against the careful, balanced, soothing works of the Renaissance.
SLIDE - Jacopo da Pontormo, Descent from the Cross.
From the Capponi Chapel, Santa Felicita, Florence. 1525 - 1528. Oil on wood. 10’ 3” x 6’ 6”.
A deposition scene, but -
Figures all bunched up – not laid out in horizontal line like van der Wyden. Unusual, complex composition, with a “hole” in the center to the left of Virgin Mary.
Hole is symbolic of loss.
We see the moment just after Jesus removed from the Cross, but NOT the actual cross.
Mary falls backwards. The young men pause to regain their hold. Figures look off in different directions with anxious looks - Not grief, but anxiety.
Why “anxious” facial expressions?
Emotional aspect also expressed by odd poses, twisted forms.
Distortion - heads too small for bodies.
Striking costumes, contrasting colors (blue/pink) of the iridescent silks.
Mannerism & Venetians
SLIDE - Parmigianino, Madonna with the Long Neck.
1535. Oil on wood. 7’ 1” x 4’ 4”.
Parmigianino influenced by Correggio, studied under him.
Liked the work of other Mannerists, and Raphael & Michelangelo. Has a calm, but unsettling style. Very Elegant. Graceful & “sweet”.
Madonna has elongated figure, w/ massive legs & lower body
Contrasts with narrow shoulders and overly long neck
Body shape resembles vase being carried by youth at left.
The neck also echoes the column - long & thin.
Often interpreted as an abstract statement about beauty -
Compares the female body to the forms of classical columns & vases.
Virgin’s neck like ivory column.
A well-known subject – Virgin & Child - but it is unsettling to viewers.
Spidery, delicate hand.
Infant Jesus looks disturbing - unnatural proportions.
Too big for an infant, bald, tiny feet & hands.
Seems to be slipping off his mother’s lap.
Arms stretched out in position they will have at crucifixion. Who are the people at L? Angels, cherubs? Soft, sweet expressions. Who is the man w/ the scroll at R? Is he an architect, a prophet from the Old Testament?
Is he far away or just really small?
Ambiguous background - in or out? What is she sitting on? Unfinished? Painting is intellectually challenging. Religious meaning + philosophy of beauty. Parmigianino became a “savage wild man” in his last few years.
Let hair & beard grow, turned his back on the world.
Died a recluse at age 37.
SLIDE - Bronzino, Portrait of a Young Man.
1530. Oil on wood. 3’ 2” x 2’ 6”.
Artist’s real name was Agnolo di Cosimo, but he was called “Bronzino.”
Nickname means “copper colored”, like calling someone Red, or Rusty.
Was Pontormo’s assistant. In 1530 He established his own workshop.
Painted for the grand duke of Tuscany & the Medici family.
Best known for his Mannerist portraits - stylish and elegant.
Skilled at depicting costumes & settings, as we see here. He has a cold style, which enhances the haughty personalities he paints.
Shows his subjects as intelligent, aloof, elegant, & self-assured.
Very formal-looking. Looks very proud.
The young man toys with a book, suggests his scholarly interests.
Fine hands – does not do any manual labor.
Carved faces on the furniture - what do they represent?
Masks often represent Deceit - common Mannerist symbol.
Weird icky greenish walls, purplish furniture.
Bronzino, Eleonora of Toledo with her son Giovanni de' Medici
1544-45. Oil on wood, 115 x 96 cm
Mannerism & Venetians
Bronzino, Venus, Cupid, Folly, and Time
1545 Oil on panel, 5 ft 1 in x 4 ft 8 3/4 in
Illustrates the Mannerist taste for obscure imagery with erotic overtones
Appears to be about lust, fraud, and envy:
Bald, bearded Time at the upper right,
Assisted by Truth (or is it Deceit?) at the upper left.
Draws aside a curtain to reveal Venus & Cupid.
Folly throws rose petals at them.
Twisting forms of Venus & Cupid aren’t necessary – done just because he could.
Sofonisba Anguissola, Portrait of the Artist’s Sisters and Brother
1555. Oil on wood panel. 2’5” x 3’1”.
From Cremona, Italy. High class family. Had 6 painter sisters – she was the best.
First woman artist to achieve international renown.
Humanist father – educated his daughters very well.
He promoted them and their work shamelessly, Sent Sofonisba's drawings to Michelangelo
Got her a position as lady-in-waiting to the queen of Spain, Elizabeth of Valois.
The position that gave her opportunities for painting formal court portraits
Could not fully transcend the limitations of being female. Not allowed to study anatomy, or drawing from life
Could not undertake the complex multi-figure compositions
That is required for large-scale religious or history paintings. Turned instead to family and herself as her models.
Different type of portraiture with sitters in informal domestic settings.
Self-portraits and portraits of her family are considered her finest works.
Somewhat stiff, but very charming.
Sofonisba Anguissola, Self Portrait. 1554, Oil on canvas.
SLIDE - Della Porta & Vignola, Façade of Il Gesu. Rome. 1575 - 1584.
This is LATE Renaissance/Mannerist architecture – it’s almost Baroque.
Made for the Jesuits - they assisted in the Counter-Reformation effort
Worked to strengthen the Catholic Church – getting people to services. Architects were profiting from the Counter-Reformation’s program of church building.
*Church began a new emphasis on individual & emotional participation
*A focus on sermons & music.
*This required LARGE naves, & unobstructed views of the altar. Inspired by Alberti’s Sant’Andrea & New Saint Peter’s Cathedral.
Has a wide, barrel vaulted nave. Side chapels, but no side aisles.
Short transepts. Dome over the crossing.
Façade emphasizes the central portal – pilasters, engaged columns, pediments.
Also has scrolling volutes (curlicues that hide buttresses)
They link the tall section to the lower sides. Colossal order columns - large scale, rise up several stories in height
Raised on a pedestal, so even taller.
Mannerism & Venetians
SLIDE - Tintoretto, The Last Supper.
San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice. 1594. Oil on canvas. 12’ x 18’ 8”. thLate 16 century Venetian painting built on established earlier Venetian painters -
Like the Bellinis, Titian, & the Mannerists of Florence. Tintoretto’s name means “little dyer” - his father was a dyer - dyed fabrics. Strongly influenced by Titian (he apprenticed in Titian’s shop)
Exaggerated Titian’s techniques.
He said he wanted to combine Titian’s color with Michelangelo’s drawing skill.
He had that saying tacked up in his studio to keep it in mind. Was often commissioned to do large works to decorate interior spaces. Compare to Leonardo’s Last Supper.
Leonardo da Vinci Tintoretto________________
Closed in, defined space Ambiguous space Straight on view View from the corner Vanishing point center above Jes