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 Jesus Vanishing point on high horizon, right Logical, balanced composition – symmetrical Complex, unbalanced composition General lighting 2 light sources, 1 real, one supernatural Emphasizes personal betrayal Mood of intense spirituality created by deep colors, bright highlights, & chiaroscuro Natural figural proportions Elongated proportions
Grounded in reality, not even a halo Smoky angels, bright halo - otherworldly
Mannerism & Venetians
SLIDE - Paolo Veronese, Christ in the House of Levi.
1573. Oil on canvas. 18’ 6” x 42’ 6”.
Nicknamed Veronese, from Verona. Worked mainly in Venice. Venice was a very wealthy city, many merchants.
Veronese showed elaborate architecture, costumes, & other everyday details
Often unconnected to the main subject
Venetian patrons found his style appealing
VERY LARGE canvases.
Had a vision of a “glorious Venice”, with rich color, Classical architecture.
This is his most famous artwork - painted for a prestigious monastery. stAt 1 glance, seems all about the architecture
Open air arcade -& marble city in background, grand setting. People look wealthy - rich clothing
Huge size allows anecdotal side things – cat under table, dog, jester, foreign soldiers, etc. Was originally a “The Last Supper.” scene.
Wealthy Venetians loved it, but was hated by Catholic Inquisitors,
They thought it was profane - inappropriate during the Counter-Reformation. Jesus having the last supper with scruffy dogs and sloppy men picking at their teeth? No.
Veroneses was ordered to make it more “pious” at his own expense. More solemn.
He didn’t want to change it
So he changed the title so it portrayed the Feast of Levi
About tax collectors - where such things would be more appropriate
This appeased the inquisitors.
SLIDE - Veronese, Triumph of Venice.
Ceiling of the Hall of the Grand Council, Palazzo Ducale. Venice. 1585. Oil on canvas. 29’ 8” x 19’.
City officials commissioned this painting by Veronese & his assistants. Actually have a record of the contract.
Wanted it to fill the ceiling of the council chamber in the ruler’s palace
Wanted huge & colorful painting.
Asks him to create an image of Venice surrounded by:
Peace, happiness, honor, security, freedom, etc.
Vivid colors & idealized forms.
Veronese responded with this personification of Venice as Woman
A mature, beautiful, & richly clothed woman,
Enthroned between 2 towers of the Venetian arsenal
(The building where ships built for trade)
The source of the city’s wealth & power.
Crowds of enthusiastic citizens cheer her.
Fame crowns her with a wreath.
Lion of Venice - observes the event below her.
A symbol of the city & its Patron Saint - St. Mark. Anatomically accurate – horse butt
Illusionistic, but NOT “di sotto in su” - “viewed upwards, from directly below”.
Actually painted as if looking up at 45-degree angle. Used later by many Baroque artists.
Blatant propaganda – to promote & glorify the city
Mannerism & Venetians
SLIDE - Andrea Palladio, Church of San Giorgio Maggiore.
Venice. Begun in 1565.
Palladio began his career as a stonecutter.
He made many trips to Rome, studied Roman art & monuments.
Like Tintoretto, Andrea Palladio based ideas on Venetian & Roman architecture
But took it further.
Expanding on the principles of Alberti & ancient Roman architecture. ndth Dominated architecture during the 2 half of the 16 century
Liked harmonious symmetry, and limited frivolous ornamentation.
In 1565 was commissioned to build the monastery church of San Giorgio Maggiore.
The façade is very Renaissance-inspired in style.
Plan is a basilica-style.
What is different - looks like 2 white marble temples - staggered.
Colossal columns on high pedestals support the “upper” temple,
Lower temple on pilasters.
2 separate pediments, one atop the other. They overlap.
Has a cornice with rectangular pattern.
SLIDE - Interior motifs reflect the exterior - columns on top of pedestals,
Arches, lots of white marble, cornice.
SLIDE - Andrea Palladio, Villa Rotunda.
Near Vicenza, Italy. 1566 - 1570.
Palladio built many villas during his career.
Villas were originally working farms.
This one just for relaxation (party house). Each side has an Ionic order porch to enjoy the view. Steps that lead up. ndThe lower level for kitchen storage, utility rooms. Living areas on the 2 level.
Rotunda means “Round Hall”
Inspired by the Pantheon (another rotunda)
Clear, geometric plan.
*Circle in a small square
*Inside a larger square
*Rectangular projections off each side. Perhaps the first central dome on domestic building
Totally secularized the dome.
First in a long line of domed country homes, mostly in England & U.S.