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ARTH206: The Italian Proto-Renaissance To Mannerism

  • Unit 4: Mannerism  

    In this final unit, we will study Mannerism, a style of art that emerged during the late Renaissance and—though much influenced by the Renaissance Masters—violated Renaissance ideals. This style replaced the clarity, ideal proportion, rationality, and nature of High Renaissance art with ambiguity of content and form, distortion, and artifice.  

    Unit 4 Time Advisory

    This unit will take approximately 9 hours to complete.

    ☐ Introduction: 2 hours

    ☐ Subunit 4.1: 2.5 hours

    ☐ Subunit 4.2: 3 hours

    ☐ Subunit 4.3: 1.5 hours

    Unit4 Learning Outcomes

    Upon successful completion of this unit, the student will be able to:

    • Explain the meaning of “Mannerism” as a sixteenth-century artistic phenomenon.
    • Identify the modes of expression of Mannerism in the art of Italy.
    • Recognize the individual style and interests of important Mannerist artists.
    • Compare and contrast High Renaissance with Mannerist art.
    • Recognize important artworks of Italian Mannerism and describe them in terms of their form, content, and general history of their creation.
    • Assess the role of art and artists during the era of Mannerist artists in Italy.
    • Reading: SmartHistory.org’s “Mannerism in Italy and Spain”

      Link: SmartHistory.org’s “Mannerism in Italy and Spain” (PDF)

      Instructions: Please read this short introduction to Mannerism.
                
      Terms of Use: This open educational resource is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike license: you may share and adapt the work under the conditions that you correctly attribute it, that you do not use it for commercial purposes, and that, in the case you adapt and distribute it, you do so under a similar license.

    • Reading: Peter Levine’s “A Blog for Civic Renewal: On Mannerism and Modernism”

      Link: Peter Levine’s “A Blog for Civic Renewal: On Mannerism and Modernism” (HTML)

      Instructions: Please read this passage from author and philosopher Peter Levine’s blog. He addresses Mannerism as an artistic phenomenon that showed, in an innovative way, the importance of the artist’s subjectivity.
                
      Terms of Use: This open educational resource is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license: you may share and adapt the work under the conditions that you correctly attribute it, and that, in the case you adapt and distribute it, you do so under a similar license.

    • Reading: The Saylor Foundation: The University of Adelaide: John Addington Symonds’ translation of “The Autobiography of Benvenutto Cellini”

      Link: The Saylor Foundation: The University of Adelaide: John Addington Symonds’ translation of “The Autobiography of Benvenutto Cellini” (PDF)

      Also available in:

      HTML

      Instructions: Please read the “Introductory Note” to this important autobiography written by one of the most significant representatives of the Mannerist style in Italian art. Note that Cellini’s work was one of the first autobiographies in the Renaissance, which would tend to reinforce Peter Levine’s view of Mannerism as a result of the increasing importance of the artist’s subjectivity. Please read “Section I” of the book. Then, read or skim through other sections at will, taking notes on how the author describes his and other artists' temperaments.

      Terms of Use: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons license. You are free to copy and distribute it under the conditions that you attribute it correctly, that you do not use it for commercial purposes, and that, if you alter, transform, or build upon it you distribute the resulting work under an identical license and make clear to others the license terms of this work. The original version can be found here (HTML). 

  • 4.1 Painting  

    • Lecture: The University of Melbourne: The Bernard Smith Art History Lectures: “Renaissance Art: High Renaissance and Mannerism”

      Link: The University of Melbourne: The Bernard Smith Art History Lectures: “Renaissance Art: High Renaissance and Mannerism” (PDF)

      Instructions: In the “Continued Reading” section, please click on the “High Renaissance and Mannerism” hyperlink to open the PDF file.  Proceed to read this lecture. The discussion of Mannerism starts on page 6, so pages 6 through 9 are of greater importance to this unit.  However, it is recommended that you read the lecture in its entirety (9 pages total) as the first 6 pages will help you review knowledge previously gained. Please also view the images linked in this subunit when you read pages 6 through 9. The Bernard Smith Art History lectures were given at an undergraduate level at the University of Melbourne by Professor Bernard Smith between 1956 and 1966.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the terms of use and copyright of the webpage above.

    • Web Media: Wikimedia Commons: Rosso’s Descent from the Cross, Parmigianino’s Madonna with the Long Neck, Michelangelo’s Last Judgment, da Vinci’s Last Supper, Tintoretto’s Last Supper, and El Greco’s Burial of Count Orgaz

      Links: Wikimedia Commons: Rosso’s Descent from the Cross, Parmigianino’s Madonna with the Long Neck, Michelangelo’s Last Judgment, da Vinci’s Last SupperTintoretto’s Last Supperand El Greco’s Burial of Count Orgaz

      Note: All these images are in PDF format.

      Instructions: Please view these images as you read Bernard Smith’s Lecture.

      Terms of Use: The photographs of Rosso’s Descent from the Cross, Parmigianino’s Madonna with the Long Neck, Michelangelo’s Last Judgment, Tintoretto’s Last Supper, and El Greco’s Burial of Count Orgaz are in the public domain. The photograph of Da Vinci’s Last Supper is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license: you are free to share and remix it under the conditions that you correctly attribute it and that, if you alter or build upon it, you distribute it only under a similar license. All images are attributed to Wikipedia and the original images can be found here: Rosso’s Descent from the Cross, Parmigianino’s Madonna with the Long Neck, Michelangelo’s Last Judgment, da Vinci’s Last SupperTintoretto’s Last Supperand El Greco’s Burial of Count Orgaz. (All images are HTML)

    • Reading: The Metropolitan Museum’s Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History: Ross Finocchio’s “Mannerism: Bronzino and his Contemporaries”

      Link: The Metropolitan Museum’s Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History: Ross Finocchio’s “Mannerism: Bronzino and his Contemporaries” (HTML)

      Instructions: Please read the above article that discusses Mannerist painting. Please also click on the thumbnail images located above the text and view the images and their captions.  Lastly, make sure to go to the links embedded within the text.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 4.1.1 Parmigianino  

    • Lecture: SmartHistory.org’s “Parmigianino, Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror, 1524”

      Link: SmartHistory.org’s “Parmigianino, Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror, 1524” (YouTube)

      Instructions: Watch this video in its entirety (12:22 minutes). In this video, Dr. David Drogin and Dr. Beth Harris discuss paintings by Parmigianino, an important Italian Mannerist artist. Take careful notes on the mannerist “oddities” of his paintings and how they compare, in form as well as in content, to High Renaissance artworks, such as Michelangelo’s Pietà.
                
      Terms of Use: This open educational resource is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike License.

    • Lecture: SmartHistory.org’s “Parmigianino’s Madonna of the Long Neck”

      Link: SmartHistory.org’s “Parmigianino’s Madonna of the Long Neck” (YouTube)

      Instructions: Watch this video (6 minutes). In this video, speakers Dr. David Drogin and Dr. Beth Harris comment on a Mannerist painting by Parmigianino. What makes this painting a Mannerist one? How would you compare and contrast it to a “Madonna” by the High Renaissance artist Raphael?

      Terms of Use: This open educational resource is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike License.

  • 4.1.2 Pontormo  

    • Lecture: SmartHistory.org’s “Pontormo’s Entombment”

      Link: SmartHistory.org’s “Pontormo’s Entombment” (YouTube)

      Instructions: Listen to this 10-minute lecture in which Dr. David Drogin and Dr. Beth Harris discuss Mannerism as it expressed itself first in the art of High Renaissance artists like Raphael, and then more fully in artworks by artists such as Pontormo, who intentionally rejected many High Renaissance principles.
                
      Terms of Use: This open educational resource is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike License.

  • 4.1.3 Bronzino  

    • Lecture: SmartHistory.org’s “Bronzino and the Mannerist Portrait”

      Link: SmartHistory.org’s “Bronzino and the Mannerist Portrait” (Youtube)

      Instructions: Listen to this 10-minute lecture in which Dr. David Dorgin and Dr. Beth Harris discuss the distinctive Mannerist portraits of Bronzino. How were Mannerist qualities applied to the genre of portraiture? What did Bronzino choose to focus on while depicting his sitters? Take notes on the two portraits’ formal elements as well as what they express in relation to the specific sitters they are describing or interpreting.

      Terms of Use: This open educational resource is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike License.

  • 4.2 Architecture  

    • Lecture: The University of Melbourne: The Bernard Smith Art History Lectures: “Renaissance Art: Mannerist Architecture and Baroque”

      Link: The University of Melbourne: The Bernard Smith Art History Lectures: “Renaissance Art: Mannerist Architecture and Baroque” (PDF)

      Instructions: Please scroll down the webpage to the “Continued Reading” section and click on the “Download Mannerist Architecture and Baroque Architecture” hyperlink to download the PDF.  Proceed to read the first three pages of this lecture. While you read it, please view the artworks linked in this subunit under web media. The Bernard Smith Art History Lectures were given at an undergraduate level at the University of Melbourne by Professor Bernard Smith between 1956 and 1966.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the terms of use and copyright of the webpage above.

    • Web Media: Wikimedia Commons: Laurentian Library Vestibule and Laurentian Library Staircase; Flickr: Laurentian Library, Palazzo del Te, Painting in the Palazzo del Te, San Giorgio Maggiore, and Redentore

      Links: Wikimedia Commons: Laurentian Library Vestibule and Laurentian Library Staircase; Flickr: Laurentian Library, Palazzo del Te, Painting in the Palazzo del Te, San Giorgio Maggiore, and Redentore

      Note: All of these images are in PDF format.

      Instructions: Please view these images as you read Bernard Smith’s lecture, linked in this subunit.

      Terms of Use: The photograph of the “Laurentian Library Vestibule” is in the public domain.  The photographs of the “Laurentian Library Staircase,” “Laurentian Library,” “San Giorgio Maggiore,” and “Redentore” are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs license (HTML): you are free to share them under the conditions that you correctly attribute them, that you do not use them for commercial purposes, and that you do not alter or build upon them. The photographs of the “Palazzo del Te” and of the “Painting in the Palazzo del Te” are licensed under an Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license (HTML): you are free to share and remix them under the conditions that you correctly attribute them, that you do not use them for commercial purposes, and that if you alter or build upon them you distribute them only under a similar license. The original versions can be found here (All in HTML): Wikimedia Commons: Laurentian Library Vestibule and Laurentian Library Staircase; Flickr: Laurentian LibraryPalazzo del TePainting in the Palazzo del TeSan Giorgio Maggiore, and Redentore

  • 4.2.1 Michelangelo  

    • Reading: The Saylor Foundation: Alexandra M. Korey’s “Michelangelo’s Laurentian Library, Mannerist Tendencies”

      Link: The Saylor Foundation: Alexandra M. Korey’s “Michelangelo’s Laurentian Library, Mannerist Tendencies” (HTML)

      Instructions: Please read this passage from Art Historian Alexandra M. Korey’s blog that discusses the Laurentian Library by Michelangelo in Florence. Take careful notes on the Mannerist “licenses” (in Alexandra Korey’s words) that Michelangelo took in the design of the library.

      Terms of Use: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 (HTML) United States License. It is attributed to Alexandra Korey and the original version can be found here (HTML).

  • 4.2.2 Giulio Romano  

    • Reading: Miami University: “The Palazzo del Te, Mantua (1526-34)”

      Link: Miami University: “The Palazzo del Te, Mantua (1526-34)” (HTML)

      Instructions: Please read this introduction to Giulio Romano’s “Palazzo del Te,” a mannerist masterpiece of architecture built as a summer palace for the duke of Mantua, Federico Gonzaga.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use of the webpage above. 

    • Web Media: Williams College: “Palazzo del Te Virtual Reality Tour”

      Link: Williams College: “Palazzo del Te Virtual Reality Tour” (HTML, Quicktime)

      Instructions: Please click on “Enter” to begin the tour, and then click on the rooms within the floor plan in order to get a better sense for the building in its entirety.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 4.3 Sculpture  

  • 4.3.1 Benvenutto Cellini  

    • Lecture: SmartHistory.org’s “Benvenuto Cellini, Perseus with the Head of Medusa, c. 1554”

      Link: SmartHistory.org’s “Benvenuto Cellini, Perseus with the Head of Medusa, c. 1554”  (YouTube)

      Instructions: Listen to this lecture in its entirety (about 13 minutes). In this video, Dr. David Dorgin and Dr. Beth Harris discuss a Mannerist sculpture by Benvenutto Cellini, the artist that wrote the autobiography from which you read in the introduction to this unit. As well as noting the specifics on the context of the commission of the work and its iconography, make sure to remember in what ways mannerism can take effect in the media of sculpture.
                
      Terms of Use: This open educational resource is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike License.

  • 4.3.2 Giovanni Bologna  

    • Reading: The Wallace Collection: “Treasure of the Month-May 2006: Venus after her Bath, Giovanni Bologna”

      Link: The Wallace Collection: “Treasure of the Month-May 2006: Venus after her Bath, Giovanni Bologna” (PDF)

      Instructions: Please read this short passage, which will serve as a biographical survey of Giovanni Bologna’s life and introduce you to a couple of his pieces.

      Terms of Use: The materials above have been reposted with permission for educational use and is attributed to The Wallace Collection. It can be viewed in its original form here (HTML).

    • Web Media: Wikimedia: Images of sculpture by Giovanni Bologna

      Link: Wikimedia: Images of sculpture by Giovanni Bologna: “Giambologna” (PDF)

      Instructions: Please follow the link to see images of sculpture by Giovanni Bologna. 

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Reading: The Victoria and Albert Museum: Charles Avery’s “Giambologna’s Samson and Philistine”

      Link: The Victoria and Albert Museum: Charles Avery’s “Giambologna’s Samson and Philistine” (HTML)

      Instructions: Please read this article for information on a sculpture by Giambologna.  Note the importance of Michelangelo for the Mannerist movement.

      Terms of Use: Pease respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.