Tintoretto Creation of the Animals

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 depiction. The sixteenth – century artist and critic Vasari — himself a mannerist — believed that excellence in painting demanded refinement, richness of invention, and virtuoso technique, criteria that emphasized the artist ‘s intellect. More important than his carefully recreated observation of nature was the artist ‘s mental conception and its elaboration. This intellectual bias was, in part, a natural consequence of the artist ‘s new status in society. No longer regarded as craftsmen, painters and sculptors took their place with scholars, poets, and humanists in a climate that fostered an appreciation for elegance, complexity, and even precocity.

Mannerism ‘s artificiality — its bizarre, sometimes acid color, its illogical compression of space, the elongated proportions and exaggerated anatomy of figures in convoluted, serpentine poses — frequently creates a feeling of anxiety. Works appear strange and unsettling, despite their superficial naturalism. Mannerism coincided with a period of upheaval that was torn by the Reformation, plague, and the devastating sack of Rome. After its inception in central Italy around 1520, mannerism spread to other regions of Italy and to northern Europe. In Italy, however, it remained largely a product of artists in Florence and Rome.

The character of mannerism continues to be debated. It is often discussed, and judged, in relation to the High Renaissance that preceded it. Some scholars see mannerism as a reaction to Renaissance classicism, while others regard it as a logical extension of it — a natural outgrowth of Michelangelo ‘s emphatic modeling or Raphael ‘s refinement. Already in 1600, mannerists were criticized for having willfully broken the unity of Renaissance classicism, its integration of form and content, its balance of aesthetic aims and ideas. Today, when classicism no longer has a unique claim on perfection, mannerism emerges more clearly as a link between the High Renaissance and the emotionally charged and dynamic baroque art that followed.

Mannerism, the artistic style which gained popularity in the period following the High Renaissance, takes as its ideals the work of Raphael and Michelangelo Buonarroti. It is considered to be a period of tecnical accomplishment but of formulaic, theatrical and overly stylized work.

Mannerist Art is characterized by a complex composition, with muscular and elongated figures in complex poses. Discussing Michelangelo in his journal, Eug'ne Delacroix gives as good a description as any of the limitations of Mannerism:

” All that he has painted is muscles and poses, in which even science, contrary to general opinion, is by no means the dominant factor… He did not know a single one of the feelings of man, not one of his passions. When he was making an arm or a leg, it seems as if he were thinking only of that arm or leg and was not giving the slightest consideration to the way it relates with the action of the figure to which it belongs, much less to the action of the picture as a whole… Therein lies his great merit; he brings a sense of the grand and the terrible into even an isolated limb.”

Prominent Members

In addition to Michelangelo, leading Mannerist artists included Rosso Fiorentino, Pontormo, and Parmigianino.

By the late 16, there were several anti – Mannerist attempts to reinvigorate art with greater naturalism and emotionalism. These developed into the Baroque style, which dominated the 17.

Chronological Listing of Mannerist Artists


Masters of the Fontainebleau (16)French Painter

Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475-1564)Italian Painter / Sculptor

Giovanni Girolamo Savoldo (1480-1548)Italian Painter

Il Pordenone (1484-1539)Italian Painter

Sebastiano del Piombo (1485-1547)Italian Painter

Domenico Beccafumi (1486-1551)Italian Painter

Jacopo Sansovino (1486-1570)Italian Sculptor

Alonso Berruguete (1488-1561)Spanish Painter / Sculptor

Correggio (1489-1534)Italian Painter

Baccio Bandinelli (1493-1560)Italian Sculptor

Pontormo (1494-1556)Italian Painter

Rosso Fiorentino (1495-1540)Italian Painter

Diego de Siloe (1495-1563) Spanish Sculptor / Architect

Giulio Romano (1499-1546) Italian Painter

Polidoro da Caravaggio (1500-1543) Italian Painter

Benvenuto Cellini (1500-1571) Italian Sculptor / Goldsmith

Jan Sanders van Hemessen (1500-1566) Netherlandish Painter

Niccolo Tribolo (1500-1550) Italian Sculptor

Perino del Vaga (1501-1547) Italian Painter

Agnolo Bronzino (1503-1572) Italian Painter

Parmigianino (1503-1540) Italian Painter

Francesco Primaticcio (1504-1570) Italian Painter / Sculptor

Juan de Juni (1507-1577) French / Spanish Sculptor

Andrea Palladio (1508-1580) Italian Architect

Danese Cattaneo (1509-1573) Italian Sculptor

Daniele da Volterra (1509-1566) Italian Painter / Sculptor

Francois Clouet (1510-1572) French Painter

Jean Goujon (1510-1565) French Sculptor

Francesco Salviati (1510-1563) Italian Painter

Lambert Sustris (1510-1560) Dutch Painter

Bartolommeo Ammanati (1511-1592) Italian Sculptor

Giorgio Vasari (1511-1574) Italian Writer / Painter

Niccolo dell’Abbate (1512-1571) Italian Painter

Pirro Ligorio (1513-1583) Italian Architect

Tintoretto (1518-1594) Italian Painter

Antoine Caron (1520-1598) French Painter

Luis de Morales (1520-1586) Spanish Painter

Giovanni Battista Moroni (1520-1578) Italian Painter

Alessandro Vittoria (1525-1608) Italian Sculptor

Luca Cambiaso (1527-1585) Italian Painter

Paolo Veronese (1528-1588) Italian Painter

Giambologna (1529-1608) Flemish / Italian Sculptor

Taddeo Zuccaro (1529-1566) Italian Painter

Giuseppe Arcimboldo (1530-1593) Italian Painter

Cornelis van Dalem (1530-1573) Dutch Painter

Vincenzo Danti (1530-1576) Italian Sculptor

Germain Pilon (1530-1590) French Sculptor

Sofonisba Anguissola (1532-1625) Italian Painter

Martin de Vos (1532-1603) Flemish Painter

Alessandro Allori (1535-1607) Italian Painter

Federico Barocci (1535-1612) Italian Painter

Lucia Anguissola (1540-1565) Italian Painter

Pierre Dumoustier the Elder (1540-1610) French Painter

Hubert Gerhard (1540-1620) Dutch Sculptor

El Greco (1541-1614) Greek / Spanish Painter

Federico Zuccaro (1542-1609) Italian Painter

Bartholomeus Spranger (1546-1611) Flemish Painter

Peter de Witte (1548-1628) Netherlandish Painter

Palma Giovane (1548-1628) Italian Painter

Il Nosadella (1549-1571) Italian Painter

Hans von Aachen (1552-1615) German Painter

Camillo Mariani (1556-1611) Italian Sculptor

Otto van Veen (1556-1629) Flemish Painter

Leandro Bassano (1557-1622) Italian Painter

Adriaen de Vries (1560-1626) Dutch Sculptor

Pietro Bernini (1562-1629) Italian Sculptor

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