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Main article: Renaissance art The Renaissance is characterized by a focus on the arts of Ancient Greece and Rome, which led to many changes in both the technical aspects of painting and sculpture, as well as to their subject matter. It began in Italy, a country rich in Roman heritage as well as material prosperity to fund artists. During the Renaissance, painters began to enhance the realism of their work by using new techniques in perspective, thus representing three dimensions more authentically. Artists also began to use new techniques in the manipulation of light and darkness, such as the tone contrast evident in many of Titian's portraits and the development of sfumato and chiaroscuro by Leonardo da Vinci. Sculptors, too, began to rediscover many ancient techniques such as contrapposto. Following with the humanist spirit of the age, art became more secular in subject matter, depicting ancient mythology in addition to Christian themes. This genre of art is often referred to as Renaissance Classicism. In the North, the most important Renaissance innovation was the widespread use of oil paints, which allowed for greater colour and intensity.
 From Gothic to the Renaissance
During the late 13th and early 14th centuries, much of the painting in Italy was Byzantine in Character, notably that of Duccio of Siena and Cimabue of Florence, while Pietro Cavallini in Rome was more Gothic in style. In 1290 Giotto began painting in a manner that was less traditional and more based upon observation of nature. His famous cycle at the Scrovegni Chapel, Padua, is seen as the beginnings of a Renaissance style. Other painters of the 14th century were carried the Gothic style to great elaboration and detail. Notable among these painters are Simone Martini and Gentile da Fabriano. In the Netherlands, the technique of painting in oils rather than tempera, led itself to a form of elaboration that was not dependant upon the application of gold leaf and embossing, but upon the minute depiction of the natural world. The art of painting textures with great realism evolved at this time. Dutch painters such as Jan van Eyck and Hugo van der Goes were to have great influence on Late Gothic and Early Renaissance painting.
 Early Renaissance
The ideas of the Renaissance first emerged in the city-state of Florence. The sculptor Donatello returned to classical techniques such as contrapposto and classical subjects like the unsupported nude — his second sculpture of David was the first free-standing bronze nude created in Europe since the Roman Empire. The sculptor and architect Brunelleschi studied the architectural ideas of ancient Roman buildings for inspiration. Masaccio
perfected elements like composition, individual expression, and human form to paint frescoes, especially those in the Brancacci Chapel, of surprising elegance, drama, and emotion. A remarkable number of these major artists worked on different portions of the Florence Cathedral. Brunelleschi's dome for the cathedral was one of the first truly revolutionary architectural innovations since the Gothic flying buttress. Donatello created many of its sculptures. Giotto and Lorenzo Ghiberti also contributed to the cathedral.
 High Renaissance
High Renaissance artists include such figures as Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo Buonarroti, and Raffaello Santi. The 15th-century artistic developments in Italy (for example, the interest in perspectival systems, in depicting anatomy, and in classical cultures) matured during the 16th century, accounting for the designations “Early Renaissance” for the 15th century and “High Renaissance” for the 16th century. Although no singular style characterizes the High Renaissance, the art of those most closely associated with this Period—Leonardo daVinci, Raphael, Michelangelo, and Titian—exhibits an astounding mastery, both technical and aesthetic. High Renaissance artists created works of such authority that generations of later artists relied on these artworks for instruction. These exemplary artistic creations further elevated the prestige of artists. Artists could claim divine inspiration, thereby raising visual art to a status formerly given only to poetry. Thus, painters, sculptors, and architects came into their own, successfully claiming for their work a high position among the fine arts. In a sense, 16th- century masters created a new profession with its own rights of expression and its own venerable character. .
 Northern Renaissance
Another equally important but less well known figure of the Renaissance is Jan van Eyck (1366-1441), a Flemish painter often attributed with "bringing the Renaissance North." (see: Early Renaissance paintings). Hieronymus Bosch (1450?-1516), a Dutch painter, is another important figure in the Northern Renaissance. In his paintings, he used religious themes, but combined them with grotesque fantasies, colourful imagery, and peasant folk legends. His paintings often reflect the confusion and anguish associated with the end of the Middle Ages. Northern Renaissance art was not as concerned with perspective and the figure as that of the Italian Renaissance. The cornerstone of the Northern Renaissance was the development of oil painting. Time Period:
Italian Renaissance — Late 14th century to Early 16th century
Northern Renaissance — 16th century
 Mannerism, Baroque and Rococo
Main articles: Mannerism, Baroque, and Rococo In European art, Renaissance Classicism spawned two different movements— Mannerism and the Baroque. Mannerism, a reaction against the idealist perfection of Classicism, employed distortion of light and spatial frameworks in order to emphasize the emotional content of a painting and the emotions of the painter. The work of El Greco is a particularly clear example of Mannerism in painting during the late 16th, early 17th centuries. Baroque art took the representationalism of the Renaissance to new heights, emphasizing detail, movement, lighting, and drama in their search for beauty. Perhaps the best known Baroque painters are Rembrandt, Peter Paul Rubens, Diego Velázquez, and Caravaggio. Baroque art is often seen as part of the Counter-Reformation— the artistic element of the revival of spiritual life in the Roman Catholic Church. Additionally, the emphasis that Baroque art placed on grandeur is seen as Absolutist in nature. Louis XIV said, "I am grandeur incarnate", and many Baroque artists served kings who tried to realize this goal. However, the Baroque love for detail is often considered overly-ornate and gaudy, especially as it developed into the even more richly decorated style of Rococo. This can also be seen in the ornate styles of lineography. After the death of Louis XIV, Rococo flourished for a short while, but soon fell out of favor. Indeed, disgust for the ornateness of Rococo was the impetus for Neoclassicism. Time Period:
• • •
Mannerism — 16th century Baroque — 17th century to 18th century Rococo — Mid-18th century
 Neoclassicism, Romanticism, Academism and Realism
Main articles: Neoclassicism, Romantic art, Academic art, and Realism (arts) As time passed, many artists were repulsed by the ornate grandeur of these styles and sought to revert to the earlier, simpler art of the Renaissance, creating Neoclassicism. Neoclassicism was the artistic component of the intellectual movement known as the Enlightenment, which was similarly idealistic. Ingres, Canova, and Jacques-Louis David are among the best-known neoclassicists. Just as Mannerism rejected Classicism, so did Romanticism reject the ideas of the Enlightenment and the aesthetic of the Neoclassicists. Romantic art focused on the use of color and motion in order to portray emotion, but like classicism used Greek and Roman
mythology and tradition as an important source of symbolism. Another important aspect of Romanticism was its emphasis on nature and portraying the power and beauty of the natural world. Romanticism was also a large literary movement, especially in poetry. Among the greatest Romantic artists were Eugène Delacroix, Francisco Goya, J.M.W. Turner, John Constable, Caspar David Friedrich, Thomas Cole, and William Blake. Most artists attempted to take a centrist approach which adopted different features of Neoclassicist and Romanticist styles, in order to synthesize them. The different attempts took place within the French Academy, and collectively are called Academic art. Adolphe William Bouguereau is considered a chief example of this stream of art. In the early 19th century the face of Europe, however, became radically altered by industrialization. Poverty, squalor, and desperation were to be the fate of the new working class created by the "revolution." In response to these changes going on in society, the movement of Realism emerged. Realism sought to accurately portray the conditions and hardships of the poor in the hopes of changing society. In contrast with Romanticism, which was essentially optimistic about mankind, Realism offered a stark vision of poverty and despair. Similarly, while Romanticism glorified nature, Realism portrayed life in the depths of an urban wasteland. Like Romanticism, Realism was a literary as well as an artistic movement. The great Realist painters include Jean Baptiste Siméon Chardin, Gustave Courbet, Jean-François Millet, Camille Corot, Honoré Daumier, Edouard Manet, Edgar Degas (both considered as Impressionists), and Thomas Eakins, among others. The response of architecture to industrialisation, in stark contrast to the other arts, was to veer towards historicism. Although the railway stations built during this period are often considered the truest reflections of its spirit – they are sometimes called "the cathedrals of the age" – the main movements in architecture during the Industrial Age were revivals of styles from the distant past, such as the Gothic Revival. Related movements were the PreRaphaelite Brotherhood, who attempted to return art to its state of "purity" prior to Raphael, and the Arts and Crafts Movement, which reacted against the impersonality of mass-produced goods and advocated a return to medieval craftsmanship. 2
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This article is about the European Renaissance of the 14th-17th centuries. For the earlier European Renaissance, see Renaissance of the 12th century. For other uses, see Renaissance (disambiguation).
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The Renaissance (from French Renaissance, meaning "rebirth"; Italian: Rinascimento, from re- "again" and nascere "be born") was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th through the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of western Europe. It encompassed a revival of learning based on classical sources, the development of linear perspective in painting, and educational reform. The Renaissance saw developments in most intellectual pursuits, but is perhaps best known for its artistic aspect and the contributions of such polymaths as Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo, who have inspired the term "Renaissance men". There is a general — though by no means unchallenged — consensus that the Renaissance began in Tuscany in the fourteenth century. Various theories have been
proposed to account for its origins and characteristics, focusing on a variety of factors, including the social and civic peculiarities of Florence at this time, its political structure, and the patronage of its dominant family, the Medici. The Renaissance received a major boost in the 15th century, when the Fall of Constantinople and the closing of its university by the Ottoman Turks forced thousands of Greek scholars to flee to Italy bringing with them the majority of the texts of Hellenic and Roman literature and law, that survive today. The Renaissance has a long and complex historiography, and there has always been debate among historians as to the usefulness of the Renaissance as a term and as a historical age. Some have called into question whether the Renaissance really was a cultural "advance" from the Middle Ages, instead seeing it as a period of pessimism and nostalgia for the classical age. While nineteenth-century historians were keen to emphasise that the Renaissance represented a clear "break" from medieval thought and practice, some modern historians have instead focused on the continuity between the two eras. Indeed, it is now usually considered incorrect to classify any historical period as "better" or "worse", leading some to call for an end to the use of the term, which they see as a product of presentism. The word Renaissance has also been used to describe other historical and cultural movements, such as the Carolingian Renaissance and the Twelfthcentury Renaissance.
1 Overview o 1.1 Assimilation of Greek and Arabic knowledge o 1.2 Social and political structures in Italy o 1.3 The Black Death o 1.4 Cultural conditions in Florence 2 The Renaissance's characteristics o 2.1 Humanism o 2.2 Art o 2.3 Science o 2.4 Religion o 2.5 Renaissance self-awareness 3 The Renaissance spreads o 3.1 The Northern Renaissance 4 The Renaissance's historiography o 4.1 Conception o 4.2 For better or for worse? 5 Other Renaissances 6 References and sources o 6.1 References and notes o 6.2 Sources
7 See also o 7.1 Internal Links
7.2 External links
Leonardo da Vinci's Vitruvian Man shows clearly the effect writers of antiquity had on Renaissance thinkers. Based on the specifications in Vitruvius's De architectura, da Vinci tried to draw the perfectly proportioned man. The Renaissance was a cultural movement that profoundly affected European intellectual life in the early modern period. Beginning in Italy, and spreading to the rest of Europe by the 16th century, its influence was felt in literature, philosophy, art, politics, science, religion, and other aspects of intellectual enquiry. Renaissance scholars employed the humanist method in study, and searched for realism and human emotion in art. Renaissance thinkers sought out learning from ancient texts, typically written in Latin or ancient Greek. Scholars scoured Europe's monastic libraries, searching for works of antiquity which had fallen into obscurity. In such texts they found a desire to improve and perfect their worldly knowledge; an entirely different sentiment to the transcendental spirituality stressed by medieval Christianity. They did not reject Christianity; quite the contrary, many of the Renaissance's greatest works were devoted to it, and the Church patronized many works of Renaissance art. However, a subtle shift took place in the way that intellectuals approached religion that was reflected in many other areas of cultural life. Artists such as Masaccio strove to portray the human form realistically, developing techniques to render perspective and light more naturally. Political philosophers, most famously Niccolò Machiavelli, sought to describe political life as it really was, and to improve government on the basis of reason. In addition to studying classical Latin and
Greek, authors also began increasingly to use vernacular languages; combined with the invention of printing, this would allow many more people access to books, especially the Bible. In all, the Renaissance could be viewed as an attempt by intellectuals to study and improve the secular and worldly, both through the revival of ideas from antiquity, and through novel approaches to thought.
Assimilation of Greek and Arabic knowledge
Cicero Further information: Greek scholars in the Renaissance and Latin translations of the 12th century The Renaissance was so called because it was a "rebirth" of certain classical ideas that had long been lost to Western Europe. It has been argued that the fuel for this rebirth was the rediscovery of ancient texts that had been forgotten by Western civilization, but were preserved in the Eastern Roman Empire, some monastic libraries and in the Islamic world, and the translations of Greek and Arabic texts into Latin. Renaissance scholars such as Niccolò de' Niccoli and Poggio Bracciolini scoured the libraries of Europe in search of works by such classical authors as Plato, Cicero and Vitruvius. Additionally, as the reconquest of the Iberian peninsula from Islamic Moors progressed, numerous Greek and Arabic works were captured from educational institutions such as the library at Córdoba, which claimed to have 400,000 books. The works of ancient Greek and Hellenistic writers (such as Plato, Aristotle, Euclid, Ptolemy, and Plotinus) and Muslim scientists and philosophers (such as Geber, Abulcasis, Alhacen, Avicenna, Avempace, and Averroes), were reintroduced into the Western world, providing new intellectual material for European scholars. Particularly in the case of mathematical knowledge, some of the work of Muslim scholars was itself a compilation or translation of the earlier work of Indian mathematicians. Greek and Arabic knowledge was not only assimilated from Spain, but also directly from the Greek and Arab speaking world. The study of mathematics was flourishing in the Middle East, and mathematical knowledge was brought back by crusaders in the 13th century. The decline of the Byzantine Empire after 1204 - and its eventual fall in 1453 accompanied by the closure of its universities by the Ottoman Turks- led to a sharp increase in the exodus of Greek scholars to Italy and beyond. These scholars brought with them texts and knowledge of the classical Greek civilization which had been lost for centuries in the West. and they transmitted the art of exegesis. The majority of the works of Greek Classical literature and Roman Law that survive to this day did so through Byzantium.
Social and political structures in Italy
A political map of the Italian Peninsula circa 1494. The unique political structures of late Middle Ages Italy have led some to theorize that its unusual social climate allowed the emergence of a rare cultural efflorescence. Italy did not exist as a political entity in the early modern period. Instead, it was divided into smaller city states and territories: the kingdom of Naples controlled the south, the Republic of Florence and the Papal States the center, the Genoese and the Milanese the north and west, and the Venetians the east. Fifteenth-century Italy was one of the most urbanised areas in Europe. Many of its cities stood among the ruins of ancient Roman buildings; it seems likely that the classical nature of the Renaissance was linked to its origin in the Roman Empire's heartlands. Italy at this time was notable for its merchant Republics, including the Republic of Florence and the Republic of Venice. Although in practice these were oligarchical, and bore little resemblance to a modern democracy, the relative political freedom they afforded was conducive to academic and artistic advancement. Likewise, the position of Italian cities such as Venice as great trading centres made them intellectual crossroads. Merchants brought with them ideas from far corners of the globe, particularly the Levant. Venice was Europe's gateway to trade with the East, and a producer of fine glass, while Florence was a capital of silk and jewelry. The wealth such business brought to Italy meant that large public and private artistic projects could be commissioned and individuals had more leisure time for study.
The Black Death
One theory that has been advanced is that the devastation caused by the Black Death in Florence (and elsewhere in Europe) resulted in a shift in the world view of people in 14th century Italy. Italy was particularly badly hit by the plague, and it has been speculated that the familiarity with death that this brought thinkers to dwell more on their lives on Earth, rather than on spirituality and the afterlife. It has also been argued that the Black Death prompted a new wave of piety, manifested in the sponsorship of religious works of art. However, this does not fully explain why the Renaissance occurred specifically in Italy in the 14th century. The Black Death was a pandemic that affected all of Europe in the ways described, not only Italy. The Renaissance's emergence in Italy was most likely the result of the complex interaction of the above factors.
Cultural conditions in Florence
Lorenzo de' Medici, ruler of Florence and patron of arts. It has long been a matter of debate why the Renaissance began in Florence, and not elsewhere in Italy. Scholars have noted several features unique to Florentine cultural life which may have caused such a cultural movement. Many have emphasized the role played by the Medici family in patronizing and stimulating the arts. Lorenzo de' Medici devoted huge sums to commissioning works from Florence's leading artists, including Leonardo da Vinci, Sandro Botticelli, and Michelangelo Buonarroti. The Renaissance was certainly already underway before Lorenzo came to power; indeed, before the Medici family itself achieved hegemony in Florentine society. Some historians have postulated that Florence was the birthplace of the Renaissance as a result of luck, i.e. because "Great Men" were born there by chance. Da Vinci, Botticelli and Michelangelo were all born in Tuscany. Arguing that such chance seems improbable, other historians have contended that these "Great Men" were only able to rise to prominence because of the prevailing cultural conditions at the time.
The Renaissance's characteristics
Main article: Renaissance humanism Humanism was not a philosophy per se, but rather a method of learning. In contrast to the medieval scholastic mode, which focused on resolving contradictions between authors, humanists would study ancient texts in the original, and appraise them through a combination of reasoning and empirical evidence. Humanist education was based on the study of poetry, grammar, ethics and rhetoric. Above all, humanists asserted "the genius of man... the unique and extraordinary ability of the human mind." Humanist scholars shaped the intellectual landscape throughout the early modern period. Political philosophers such as Niccolò Machiavelli and Thomas More revived the ideas of
Greek and Roman thinkers, and applied them in critiques of contemporary government. Theologians, notably Erasmus and Martin Luther, challenged the Aristotelian status quo, introducing radical new ideas of justification and faith (for more, see Religion below).
Main articles: Italian Renaissance painting, Renaissance painting, and Renaissance architecture
Raphael's The School of Athens depicts illustrious contemporaries as Classical scholars, with Leonardo central as Plato. One of the distinguishing features of Renaissance art was its development of highly realistic linear perspective. Giotto di Bondone (1267-1337) is credited with first treating a painting as a window into space, but it was not until the writings of architects Filippo Brunelleschi (1377-1446) and Leon Battista Alberti (1404–1472) that perspective was formalized as an artistic technique. The development of perspective was part of a wider trend towards realism in the arts (for more, see Renaissance Classicism). To that end, painters also developed other techniques, studying light, shadow, and, famously in the case of Leonardo da Vinci, human anatomy. Underlying these changes in artistic method was a renewed desire to depict the beauty of nature, and to unravel the axioms of aesthetics, with the works of Leonardo, Michelangelo and Raphael representing artistic pinnacles that were to be much imitated by other artists. Other notable artists include Sandro Boticceli, working for the Medici in Florence, Donatello another Florentine and Titian in Venice, among others. Concurrently, in the Netherlands, a particularly vibrant artistic culture developed, the work of Hugo van der Goes and Jan van Eyck having particular influence on the development of painting in Italy, both technically with the introduction of oil paint and canvas, and stylistically in terms of naturalism in representation. (for more, see Renaissance in the Netherlands). Later, the work of Pieter Brueghel the Elder would inspire artists to depict themes of everyday life. In architecture, Filippo Brunelleschi was foremost in studying the remains of ancient Classical buildings, and with rediscovered knowledge from the 1st century writer Vitruvius and the flourishing discipline of mathematics, formulated the Renaissance style which emulated but most importantly improved on classical forms. Brunelleschi's major feat of engineering was the building of the dome of Florence Cathedral. The first building to demonstrate this is claimed to be the church of St. Andrew built by Alberti in
Mantua. The outstanding architectural work of the High Renaissance was the rebuilding of St. Peter's Basilica, combining the skills of Bramante, Michelangelo, Raphael, Sangallo and Maderno. The Roman orders types of columns are used: Tuscan, Doric, Ionic, Corinthian and Composite. These can either be structural, supporting an arcade or architrave, or purely decorative, set against a wall in the form of pilasters. During the Renaissance, architects aimed to use columns, pilasters, and entablatures as an integrated system. One of the first buildings to use pilasters as an integrated system was in the Old Sacristy (1421–1440) by Filippo Brunelleschi. Arches are semi-circular or (in the Mannerist style) segmental, are often used in arcades, supported on piers or columns with capitals. There may be a section of entablature between the capital and the springing of the arch. Alberti was one of the first to use the arch on a monumental. Renaissance vaults do not have ribs. They are semi-circular or segmental and on a square plan, unlike the Gothic vault which is frequently rectangular.
Main article: History of science in the Renaissance The upheavals occurring in the arts and humanities were mirrored by a dynamic period of change in the sciences. Some have seen this flurry of activity as a "scientific revolution," heralding the beginning of the modern age. Others have seen it merely as an acceleration of a continuous process stretching from the ancient world to the present day. Regardless, there is general agreement that the Renaissance saw significant changes in the way the universe was viewed and the methods with which philosophers sought to explain natural phenomena. Science and art were very much intermingled in the early Renaissance, with artists such as Leonardo da Vinci making observational drawings of anatomy and nature. Yet the most significant development of the era was not a specific discovery, but rather a process for discovery, the scientific method. This revolutionary new way of learning about the world focused on empirical evidence, the importance of mathematics, and discarding the Aristotelian "final cause" in favor of a mechanical philosophy. Early and influential proponents of these ideas included Copernicus and Galileo. The new scientific method led to great contributions in the fields of astronomy, physics, biology, and anatomy. With the publication of Vesalius's De humani corporis fabrica, a new confidence was placed in the role of dissection, observation, and a mechanistic view of anatomy.
Alexander VI, a Borgia pope infamous for his corruption. Main articles: Protestant Reformation and Counter-Reformation It should be emphasized that the new ideals of humanism, although more secular in some aspects, developed against an unquestioned Christian backdrop, especially in the Northern Renaissance. Indeed, much (if not most) of the new art was commissioned by or in dedication to the Church. However, the Renaissance had a profound effect on contemporary theology, particularly in the way people perceived the relationship between man and God. Many of the period's foremost theologians were followers of the humanist method, including Erasmus, Zwingli, Thomas More, Martin Luther, and John Calvin. The Renaissance began in times of religious turmoil. The late Middle Ages saw a period of political intrigue surrounding the Papacy, culminating in the Western Schism, in which three men simultaneously claimed to be true Bishop of Rome. While the schism was resolved by the Council of Constance (1414), the fifteenth century saw a resulting reform movement know as Conciliarism, which sought to limit the pope's power. Although the papacy eventually emerged supreme in ecclesiastical matters by the Fifth Council of the Lateran (1511), it was dogged by continued accusations of corruption, most famously in the person of Pope Alexander VI, who was accused variously of simony, nepotism and fathering four illegitimate children whilst Pope, whom he married off to gain more power. Churchmen such as Erasmus and Luther proposed reform to the Church, often based on humanist textual criticism of the New Testament. Indeed, it was Luther who in October 1517 published the 95 Theses, challenging papal authority and criticizing its perceived corruption, particularly with regard to its sale of indulgences. The 95 Theses led to the Reformation, a break with the Roman Catholic Church that previously claimed hegemony in Western Europe. Humanism and the Renaissance therefore played a direct role in sparking the Reformation, as well as in many other contemporaneous religious debates and conflicts.
By the fifteenth century, writers, artists and architects in Italy were well aware of the transformations that were taking place and were using phrases like modi antichi (in the antique manner) or alle romana et alla antica (in the manner of the Romans and the ancients) to describe their work. The term "la rinascita" first appeared, however, in its broad sense in Giorgio Vasari's Vite de' più eccellenti architetti, pittori, et scultori Italiani (The Lives of the Artists, 1550, revised 1568). Vasari divides the age into three phases: the first phase contains Cimabue, Giotto, and Arnolfo di Cambio; the second phase contains Masaccio, Brunelleschi, and Donatello; the third centers on Leonardo da Vinci and culminates with Michelangelo. It was not just the growing awareness of classical antiquity that drove this development, according to Vasari, but also the growing desire to study and imitate nature.
The Renaissance spreads
In the 15th century the Renaissance spread with great speed from its birthplace in Florence, first to the rest of Italy, and soon to the rest of Europe. The invention of the printing press allowed the rapid transmission of these new ideas. As it spread, its ideas diversified and changed, being adapted to local culture. In the twentieth century, scholars began to break the Renaissance into regional and national movements, including:
• • • • • • • • •
The Italian Renaissance The English Renaissance The German Renaissance The Northern Renaissance The French Renaissance The Renaissance in the Netherlands The Polish Renaissance The Spanish Renaissance Renaissance architecture in Eastern Europe
The Northern Renaissance
Main article: Northern Renaissance
The Arnolfini Portrait, by Jan van Eyck, painted 1434 The Renaissance as it occurred in Northern Europe has been termed the "Northern Renaissance". It arrived first in France, imported by King Charles VIII after his invasion of Italy. Another factor that promoted the spread of secularism was the Church's inability to offer assistance against the Black Death. Francis I imported Italian art and artists, including Leonardo Da Vinci, and built ornate palaces at great expense. Writers such as François Rabelais, Pierre de Ronsard, Joachim du Bellay and Michel de Montaigne, painters such as Jean Clouet and musicians such as Jean Mouton also borrowed from the spirit of the Italian Renaissance. In the second half of the 15th century, Italians brought the new style to Poland and Hungary. After the marriage in 1476 of Matthias Corvinus, King of Hungary, to Beatrix of Naples, Buda became the one of the most important artistic centres of the Renaissance north of the Alps. The most important humanists living in Matthias' court were Antonio Bonfini and Janus Pannonius. In 1526 the Ottoman conquest of Hungary put an abrupt end to the short-lived Hungarian Renaissance. An early Italian humanist who came to Poland in the mid-15th century was Filip Callimachus. Many Italian artists came to Poland with Bona Sforza of Milano, when she married King Zygmunt I of Poland in 1518. This was supported by temporarily strengthened monarchies in both areas, as well as by newly-established universities. The spirit of the age spread from France to the Low Countries and Germany, and finally by the late 16th century to England, Scandinavia, and remaining parts of Central Europe. In these areas humanism became closely linked to the turmoil of the Protestant Reformation, and the art and writing of the German Renaissance frequently reflected this dispute. In England, the Elizabethan era marked the beginning of the English Renaissance with the work of writers William Shakespeare, Christopher Marlowe, John Milton, and
Edmund Spenser, as well as great artists, architects (such as Inigo Jones), and composers such as Thomas Tallis, John Taverner, and William Byrd.
Poznań City Hall rebuilt from the Gothic style by Giovanni Batista di Quadro (15501555). The Renaissance arrived in the Iberian peninsula through the Mediterranean possessions of the Aragonese Crown and the city of Valencia. Early Iberian Renaissance writers include Ausiàs March, Joanot Martorell, Fernando de Rojas, Juan del Encina, Garcilaso de la Vega, Gil Vicente and Bernardim Ribeiro. The late Renaissance in Spain saw writers such as Miguel de Cervantes, Lope de Vega, Luis de Góngora and Tirso de Molina, artists such as El Greco and composers such as Tomás Luis de Victoria. In Portugal writers such as Sá de Miranda and Luís de Camões and artists such as Nuno Gonçalves appeared. While Renaissance ideas were moving north from Italy, there was a simultaneous southward spread of innovation, particularly in music. The music of the 15th century Burgundian School defined the beginning of the Renaissance in that art and the polyphony of the Netherlanders, as it moved with the musicians themselves into Italy, formed the core of what was the first true international style in music since the standardization of Gregorian Chant in the 9th century. The culmination of the Netherlandish school was in the music of the Italian composer, Palestrina. At the end of the 16th century Italy again became a center of musical innovation, with the development of the polychoral style of the Venetian School, which spread northward into Germany around 1600. The paintings of the Italian Renaissance differed from those of the Northern Renaissance. Italian Renaissance artists were among the first to paint secular scenes, breaking away from the purely religious art of medieval painters. At first, Northern Renaissance artists remained focused on religious subjects, such as the contemporary religious upheaval portrayed by Albrecht Dürer. Later on, the works of Pieter Bruegel influenced artists to paint scenes of daily life rather than religious or classical themes. It was also during the northern Renaissance that Flemish brothers Hubert and Jan van Eyck perfected the oil
painting technique, which enabled artists to produce strong colors on a hard surface that could survive for centuries. A distinctive feature of the Northern Renaissance was its use of the vernacular in place of Latin or Greek, which allowed greater freedom of expression. The spread of the technology of the printing press, also invented in the North, gave a major boost to the Renaissance, first in Northern Europe and then elsewhere.
The Renaissance's historiography
The term was first used retrospectively by the Italian artist and critic Giorgio Vasari (1511-1574) in his book The Lives of the Artists (published 1550). In the book Vasari was attempting to define what he described as a break with the barbarities of gothic art: the arts had fallen into decay with the collapse of the Roman Empire and only the Tuscan artists, beginning with Cimabue (1240-1301) and Giotto (1267-1337) began to reverse this decline in the arts. According to Vasari, antique art was central to the rebirth of Italian art. However, it was not until the nineteenth century that the French word Renaissance achieved popularity in describing the cultural movement that began in the late 13th century. The Renaissance was first defined by French historian Jules Michelet (17981874), in his 1855 work, Histoire de France. For Michelet, the Renaissance was more a development in science than in art and culture. He asserted that it spanned the period from Columbus to Copernicus to Galileo; that is, from the end of the fifteenth century to the middle of the seventeenth century. Moreover, Michelet distinguished between what he called, "the bizarre and monstrous" quality of the Middle Ages and the democratic values that he, as a vocal Republican, chose to see in its character. A French nationalist, Michelet also sought to claim the Renaissance as a French movement. The Swiss historian Jacob Burckhardt (1818-1897) in his Die Kultur der Renaissance in Italien, by contrast, defined the Renaissance as the period between Giotto and Michelangelo in Italy, that is, the 14th to mid-16th centuries. He saw in the Renaissance the emergence of the modern spirit of individuality, which had been stifled in the Middle Ages. His book was widely read and was influential in the development of the modern interpretation of the Italian Renaissance. However, Buckhardt has been accused of setting forth a linear Whiggish view of history in seeing the Renaissance as the origin of the modern world. More recently, historians have been much less keen to define the Renaissance as a historical age, or even a coherent cultural movement. As Randolph Starn has put it,
Rather than a period with definitive beginnings and endings and consistent content in between, the Renaissance can be (and occasionally has been) seen as a movement of practices and ideas to which specific groups and identifiable persons variously responded in different times and places. It would be in this sense a network of diverse, sometimes converging, sometimes conflicting cultures, not a single, time-bound culture.
For better or for worse?
Painting of the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre, an event in the French Wars of Religion, by François Dubois. Much of the debate around the Renaissance has centered around whether the Renaissance truly was an "improvement" on the culture of the Middle Ages. Both Michelet and Burckhardt were keen to describe the progress made in the Renaissance towards the "modern age". Burckhardt likened the change to a veil being removed from man's eyes, allowing him to see clearly. On the other hand, many historians now point out that most of the negative social factors popularly associated with the "medieval" period — poverty, warfare, religious and political persecution, for example — seem to have worsened in this era which saw the rise of Machiavelli, the Wars of Religion, the corrupt Borgia Popes, and the intensified witch-hunts of the 16th century. Many people who lived during the Renaissance did not view it as the "golden age" imagined by certain 19th-century authors, but were concerned by these social maladies. Significantly, though, the artists, writers, and patrons involved in the cultural movements in question believed they were living in a new era that was a clean break from the Middle Ages. Some Marxist historians prefer to describe the Renaissance in material terms, holding the view that the changes in art, literature, and philosophy were part of a general economic trend away from feudalism towards capitalism, resulting in a bourgeois class with leisure time to devote to the arts.
In the Middle Ages both sides of human consciousness--that which was turned within as that which was turned without-- lay dreaming or half awake beneath a common veil. The veil was woven of faith, illusion, and childish prepossession, through which the world and history were seen clad in strange hues. Jacob Burckhardt, The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy
Johan Huizinga (1872–1945) acknowledged the existence of the Renaissance but questioned whether it was a positive change. In his book The Waning of the Middle Ages, he argued that the Renaissance was a period of decline from the High Middle Ages, destroying much that was important. The Latin language, for instance, had evolved greatly from the classical period and was still a living language used in the church and elsewhere. The Renaissance obsession with classical purity halted its further evolution and saw Latin revert to its classical form. Robert S. Lopez has contended that it was a period of deep economic recession. Meanwhile George Sarton and Lynn Thorndike have both argued that scientific progress was perhaps less original than has traditionally been supposed. Historians have begun to consider the word Renaissance as unnecessarily loaded, implying an unambiguously positive rebirth from the supposedly more primitive "Dark Ages" (Middle Ages). Many historians now prefer to use the term "Early Modern" for this period, a more neutral designation that highlights the period as a transitional one between the Middle Ages and the modern era.
The term Renaissance has also been used to define time periods outside of the 15th and 16th centuries. Charles H. Haskins (1870–1937), for example, made a convincing case for a Renaissance of the 12th century. Other historians have argued for a Carolingian Renaissance in the eighth and ninth centuries, and still later for an Ottonian Renaissance in the tenth century. Other periods of cultural rebirth have also been termed "renaissances", such as the Bengal Renaissance or the Harlem Renaissance.
References and sources
References and notes
1. 2. 3. 4.
^ Renaissance, Online Etymology Dictionary ^ BBC Science & Nature, Leonardo da Vinci (Retrieved on May 12, 2007) ^ BBC History, Michelangelo (Retrieved on May 12, 2007) ^ P. Burke, The European Renaissance: Centre and Peripheries (Blackwell, Oxford 1998) 5. ^ a b c Strathern, Paul The Medici: Godfathers of the Renaissance (2003) 6. ^ Encyclopedia Britannica, Renaissance, 2008, O.Ed. 7. ^ a b Michael H. Harris, History of Libraries in the Western World, Scarecrow Press Incorporate, 1999, ISBN0810837242
8. ^ a b John Julius Norwich, A Short History of Byzantium, 1997, Knopf, ISBN0679450882 9. ^ a b c d J. Brotton, The Renaissance: A Very Short Introduction (OUP, 2006) 10. ^ a b Johan Huizinga, The Waning of the Middle Ages (1919, trans. 1924) 11. ^ a b c Randolph Starn, "Renaissance Redux" The American Historical Review Vol.103
No.1 p.124 (Subscription required for JSTOR link)
12. ^ The Idea of the Renaissance, Richard Hooker, Washington State University Website
(Retrieved on May 2, 2007) 13. ^ a b M. Perry, Humanities in the Western Tradition, Ch. 13 14. ^ a b c d Open University, Looking at the Renaissance: Religious Context in the Renaissance (Retrieved on May 10, 2007) 15. ^ Open University, Looking at the Renaissance: Urban economy and government (Retrieved May 15, 2007) 16. ^ Hugh Bibbs, The Islamic Foundation of the Renaissance, (Northwest and Pacific, 1999) (Retrieved on 10-05-2007) 17. ^ The Islamic World to 1600, University of Calgary Website (Retrieved on May 10, 2007) 18. ^ History of Medieval Mathematics University of South Australia Website (Retrieved on May 10, 2007) 19. ^ History of the Renaissance, HistoryWorld (Retrieved on May 10, 2007) 20. ^ Julius Kirshner, "Family and Marriage: A socio-legal perspective" Italy in the Age of the Renaissance: 1300-1550, ed. John M. Najemy (Oxford University Press, 2004) p.89 (Retrieved on 10-05-2007) 21. ^ Jacob Burckhardt, "The Revivial of Antiquity," The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy (trans. by S.G.C. Middlemore, 1878) 22. ^ a b Jacob Burckhardt, "The Republics: Venice and Florence," The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy (trans. by S.G.C. Middlemore, 1878) 23. ^ For more, see Barbara Tuchman's book, A Distant Mirror 24. ^ The End of Europe's Middle Ages: The Black Death University of Calgary website. (Retrieved on 5 April 2007) 25. ^ a b Jacob Burckhardt, "The Development of the Individual," The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy (trans. by S.G.C. Middlemore, 1878) 26. ^ J. Stephens, "Individualism and the cult of creative personality", The Italian Renaissance (New York, 1990) pp. 121 27. ^ As asserted by Gianozzo Manetti in On the Dignity and Excellence of Man. Cited in Clare, J, Italian Renaissance. 28. ^ John D. Clare & Dr. Alan Millen, Italian Renaissance (London, 1994) p14 29. ^ David G. Stork, Optics and Realism in Renaissance Art (Retrieved on May 10, 2007) 30. ^ Giorgio Vasari, Lives of the Artists, trans. George Bull, Penguin Classics,(1965), ISBN 0-14-044-164-6 31. ^ Peter Brueghel Biography, Web Gallery of Art (Retrieved on May 10, 2007) 32. ^ Richard Hooker, Architecture and Public Space (Retrieved on May 10, 2007) 33. ^ Herbert Butterfield, The Origins of Modern Science, 1300-1800, p. viii 34. ^ Steven Shapin, The Scientific Revolution, (Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Pr., 1996), p. 1. 35. ^ a b c J. Brotton, "Science and Philosophy", The Renaissance: A Very Short Introduction (OUP 2006) 36. ^ Catholic Encyclopedia, Western Schism (Retrieved on May 10, 2007) 37. ^ Catholic Encyclopedia, Alexander VI (Retrieved on May 10, 2007)
38. ^ a b Erwin Panofsky, Renaissance and Renascences in Western Art, (New York: Harper
and Row, 1960)
39. ^ The Open University Guide to the Renaissance, Defining the Renaissance (Retrieved
on May 10, 2007) 40. ^ Philip Sohm, Style in the Art Theory of Early Modern Italy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001) 41. ^ a b Lóránt Czigány, A History of Hungarian Literature, "The Renaissance in Hungary" (Retrieved on May 10, 2007) 42. ^ History of Poland on Polish Government's website (Retrieved on April 4-2007) 43. ^ For example, the re-establishment of Jagiellonian University in 1400. 44. ^ Review of Lewis Spitz, The Religious Renaissance of the German Humanists. Review by Gerald Strauss, English Historical Review, Vol. 80, No. 314, p.156. Available on JSTOR (subscription required). 45. ^ a b Paul Henry Láng, "The So Called Netherlands Schools," The Musical Quarterly, Vol. 25, No. 1. (Jan., 1939), pp. 48-59. (Subscription required for JSTOR link.) 46. ^ Painting in Oil in the Low Countries and Its Spread to Southern Europe, Metropolitan Museum of Art website. (Retrieved April 5-2007) 47. ^ Defining the Renaissance, Open University 48. ^ Jules Michelet, History of France, trans. G. H. Smith (New York: D. Appleton, 1847) 49. ^ Jacob Burckhardt, The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy (trans. S.G.C Middlemore, London, 1878) 50. ^ Peter Gay, Style in History. (New York: Basic Books 1974). 51. ^ Savonarola's popularity is a prime example of the manifestation of such concerns. Other examples include Phillip II of Spain's censorship of Florentine paintings, noted by Edward L. Goldberg, "Spanish Values and Tuscan Painting", Renaissance Quarterly (1998) p.914 52. ^ Renaissance Forum at Hull University, Autumn 1997 (Retrieved on 10-05-2007) 53. ^ Lopez, Robert S., and Miskimin, Harry A., 'The Economic Depression of the Renaissance', Economic History Review, 2nd ser., 14 (1962), pp.408-26. Available on JSTOR (subscription required) 54. ^ Thorndike, Lynn (1943) 'Renaissance or Prenaissance?' in "Some Remarks on the Question of the Originality of the Renaissance", Journal of the History of Ideas Vol. 4, No. 1, Jan. 1943. Available on JSTOR (subscription required) 55. ^ S. Greenblatt, Renaissance Self-Fashioning: From More to Shakespeare (University of Chicago Press, 1980) 56. ^ Charles Homer Haskins. The Renaissance of the Twelfth Century. (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1927). 57. ^ Jean Hubert. L’Empire Carolingien (English: The Carolingian Renaissance, Translated by James Emmons (New York: G. Braziller, 1970).
Sources • • • •
Brotton, Jerry, The Renaissance: A Very Short Introduction ISBN 0-19-280163-5 Burckhardt, Jacob (1878), The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy, trans S.G.C Middlemore, republished in 1990 ISBN 0-14-044534-X Burke, P, The European Renaissance: Centre and Peripheries ISBN 0-63119845-8 The Cambridge Modern History. Vol 1: The Renaissance (1902)
• • • • • • • • •
Cronin, Vincent (1967), The Florentine Renaissance, ISBN 0-00-211262-0; (1969), The Flowering of the Renaissance, ISBN 0-7126-9884-1; (1992), The Renaissance, ISBN 0-00-215411-0 Ergang, Robert (1967), The Renaissance, ISBN 0-442-02319-7 Ferguson, Wallace K.] (1962), Europe in Transition, 1300-1500, ISBN 0-04940008-8 Haskins, Charles Homer (1927), The Renaissance of the Twelfth Century, ISBN 0674-76075-1 Huizinga, Johan (1924), The Waning of the Middle Ages, republished in 1990 ISBN 0-14-013702-5 Jensen, De Lamar (1992), Renaissance Europe, ISBN 0-395-88947-2 Lopez, Robert S. (1952), Hard Times and Investment in Culture Strathern, Paul (2003), The Medici: Godfathers of the Renaissance, ISBN 1-84413098-3 Stephens, John, The Italian Renaissance: The Origins of Intellectual and Artistic Change before the Renaissance ISBN 0-582-49337-4 Thorndike, Lynn (1943) 'Renaissance or Prenaissance?' in "Some Remarks on the Question of the Originality of the Renaissance", Journal of the History of Ideas Vol. 4, No. 1, Jan. 1943 (Subscription required for JSTOR link.) Weiss, Roberto (1969) The Renaissance Discovery of Classical Antiquity, ISBN 1-597-40150-1
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Notable Medeival and Renaissance Women Ancient and Renaissance women by Dr. Deborah Vess Renaissance Style Guide. British Galleries. Victoria and Albert Museum. Retrieved on 2007-07-16. Interactive Resources o Interactive Glossary of Terms Relating to the Renaissance o Florence: 3D Panoramas of Florentine Renaissance Sites(English/Italian) o Multimedia Exploration of the Renaissance o Virtual Journey to Renaissance Florence o RSS News Feed: Get an entry from Leonardo's Journal delivered each day Lectures and Galleries o The Bagatti Valsecchi Museum o The Idea of the Renaissance o The Islamic Foundation of the Renaissance o Leonardo da Vinci, Gallery of Paintings and Drawings o Renaissance in the "History of Art" o The Society for Renaissance Studies
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In Parmigianino's Madonna with the Long Neck (1534-40), Mannerism makes itself known by elongated proportions, affected poses, and unclear perspective. Mannerism is a period of European painting, sculpture, architecture and decorative arts lasting from the later years of the Italian High Renaissance around 1520 until the arrival of the Baroque around 1600. Stylistically, it identifies a variety of individual approaches influenced by, and reacting to, the harmonious ideals associated with Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, and early Michelangelo. Mannerism is notable for its intellectual as well as its artificial (as opposed to naturalistic) qualities. The term is also applied to some Late Gothic painters working in northern Europe from about 1500 to 1530, especially the Antwerp Mannerists and some currents of seventeenth-century literature, especially poetry.
1 Nomenclature o 1.1 Anti-Classical o 1.2 Maniera o 1.3 Mannerisms 2 History o 2.1 Giorgio Vasari o 2.2 Gian Paolo Lomazzo 3 Some mannerist examples o 3.1 Jacopo da Pontormo
• • • •
3.2 Rosso Fiorentino 3.3 School of Fontainebleau 3.4 Agnolo Bronzino 3.5 Alessandro Allori 3.6 Jacopo Tintoretto 3.7 El Greco 3.8 Benvenuto Cellini 4 Mannerist architecture 5 Mannerism in literature and music 6 Notes
o o o o o o o
7 Further reading
The word derives from the Italian maniera, or "style," which corresponds to an artist's characteristic "touch" or recognizable "manner". Artificiality, as opposed to Renaissance and Baroque naturalism, provides one of the common features of mannerist art. The lasting influence of the Italian Renaissance, as transformed by succeeding generations of artists, is another. As a stylistic label, "Mannerism" is not easily pigeonholed. It was first popularized by German art historians in the early twentieth-century to categorize the seemingly uncategorizable art of the Italian sixteenth century—art that was no longer perceived to exhibit the harmonious and rational approaches associated with the High Renaissance. The term is applied differently to a variety of different artists and styles.
The early Mannerists—especially Jacopo da Pontormo and Rosso Fiorentino in Florence, Raphael's student in Rome Giulio Romano and Parmigianino in Parma—are notable for elongated forms, exaggerated, out-of-balance poses, manipulated irrational space, and unnatural lighting. These artists matured under the influence of the High Renaissance, and their style has been characterized as a reaction or exaggerated extension of it. Therefore, this style is often identified as "anti-classical" mannerism.
Late Mannerism: fountain by Giambologna's successor, Pietro Tacca, 1629 (Piazza Santissima Annunziata, Florence)
Subsequent mannerists stressed intellectual conceits and artistic ability, features that led early critics to accuse them of working in an unnatural and affected "manner" (maniera). These artists held their elder contemporary Michelangelo as their prime example. Giorgio Vasari, as artist and architect, exemplifies this strain of Mannerism lasting from about 1530 to 1580. Based largely at courts and in intellectual circles around Europe, it is often called the "stylish" style or the Maniera.
After 1580 in Italy, a new generation of artists, including the Carracci, Caravaggio and Cigoli, reemphasized naturalism. Walter Friedlaender identified this period as "antimannerism", just as the early mannerists were "anti-classical" in their reaction to the High Renaissance. Outside of Italy, however, mannerism continued into the seventeenth century. Important centers include the court of Rudolf II in Prague, as well as Haarlem and Antwerp. Mannerism as a stylistic category is less frequently applied to English visual and decorative arts, where local categories such as "Elizabethan" and "Jacobean" are more common. Eighteenth-century Artisan Mannerism is one exception.
Historically regarded, Mannerism is a useful designation for sixteenth-century art that emphasizes artificiality over naturalism and reflects a growing self-consciousness of the artist.
The early Mannerists are usually set in stark contrast to High Renaissance conventions; the immediacy and balance achieved by Raphael's School of Athens, no longer seemed relevant or appropriate. Mannerism developed among the pupils of two masters of the classical approach, with Raphael's assistant Giulio Romano and among the students of Andrea del Sarto, whose studio produced the quintessentially Mannerist painters Pontormo and Rosso Fiorentino. Michelangelo displayed tendencies towards Mannerism, notably in his vestibule to the Laurentian Library and the figures on his Medici tombs.
Mannerism at the English court: Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, painted in 1546 Mannerist centers in Italy were Rome, Florence and Mantua. Venetian painting, in its separate "school," pursued a separate course, represented in the long career of Titian. In the mid to late 1500s Mannerism flourished at European courts, where it appealed to knowledgeable audiences with its arcane iconographic programs and sense of an artistic "personality". It reflects a growing trend in which a noticeable purpose of art was to inspire awe and devotion, and to entertain and educate.
Giorgio Vasari, frontispiece to Lives of the Artists, 1568
 Giorgio Vasari
Giorgio Vasari's opinions about the "art" of creating art come through in his praise of fellow artists in the great book that lay behind this frontispiece: he believed that excellence in painting demanded refinement, richness of invention (invenzione), expressed through virtuoso technique (maniera), and wit and study that appeared in the finished work, all criteria that emphasized the artist's intellect and the patron's sensibility. The artist was now no longer just a craftsman member of a local Guild of St Luke. Now he took his place at court with scholars, poets, and humanists, in a climate that fostered an appreciation for elegance and complexity. The coat-of-arms of Vasari's Medici patrons appear at the top of his portrait, quite as if they were the artist's own. The framing of the engraved frontispiece to Mannerist artist Giorgio Vasari's Lives of the Artists (illustration, left) would be called "Jacobean" in an English-speaking context. In it, Michelangelo's Medici tombs inspire the anti-architectural "architectural" features at the top, the papery pierced frame, the satyr nudes at the base. In the vignette of Florence at the base, papery or vellum-like material is cut and stretched and scrolled into a cartouche (cartoccia). The design is self-conscious, overcharged with rich, artificially "natural" detail in physically improbable juxtapositions of jarring scale changes, overwhelming as a mere frame: Mannerist.
 Gian Paolo Lomazzo
Another literary source from the period is Gian Paolo Lomazzo, who produced two works —one practical and one metaphysical—that helped define the Mannerist artist's selfconscious relation to his art. His Trattato dell'arte della pittura, scoltura et architettura (Milan, 1584) is in part a guide to contemporary concepts of decorum, which the Renaissance inherited in part from Antiquity but Mannerism elaborated upon. Lomazzo's
systematic codification of esthetics, which typifies the more formalized and academic approaches typical of the later 16th century, controlled a consonance between the functions of interiors and the kinds of painted and sculpted decors that would be suitable. Iconography, often convoluted and abstruse, is a more prominent element in the Mannerist styles. His less practical and more metaphysical Idea del tempio della pittura ("The ideal temple of painting", Milan, 1590) offers a description along the lines of the "four temperaments" theory of the human nature and personality, containing the explanations of the role of individuality in judgment and artistic invention.
 Some mannerist examples
Mannerist portraits by Bronzino are distinguished by chilly elegance, perfunctory realism, and meticulous attention to detail.
 Jacopo da Pontormo
Jacopo da Pontormo's Joseph in Egypt stood in what would have been considered contradicting colors and disunified time and space in the Renaissance. Neither the clothing, nor the buildings— not even the colors— accurately represented the Bible story of Joseph. It was wrong, but it stood out as an accurate representation of society's feelings.
 Rosso Fiorentino
Rosso Fiorentino, who had been a fellow-pupil of Pontormo in the studio of Andrea del Sarto, brought Florentine mannerism to Fontainebleau in 1530, where he became one of the founders of the French 16th century Mannerism called the "School of Fontainebleau".
 School of Fontainebleau
The examples of a rich and hectic decorative style at Fontainebleau transferred the Italian style, through the medium of engravings, to Antwerp and thence throughout Northern Europe, from London to Poland, and brought Mannerist design into luxury goods like
silver and carved furniture. A sense of tense controlled emotion expressed in elaborate symbolism and allegory, and elongated proportions of female beauty are characteristics of his style.
 Agnolo Bronzino
Alessandro Allori, Susanna and the elders Agnolo Bronzino's somewhat icy portraits (illustrated, to the left) put an uncommunicative abyss between sitter and viewer, concentrating on rendering of the precise pattern and sheen of rich textiles.
 Alessandro Allori
Alessandro Allori's (1535 - 1607) Susanna and the Elders (illustrated, right) uses artificial, waxy eroticism and consciously brilliant still life detail, in a crowded contorted composition.
 Jacopo Tintoretto
Jacopo Tintoretto's Last Supper (left) epitomizes Mannerism by taking Jesus and the table out of the middle of the room.
Tintoretto, Last Supper
He showed all that was happening. In sickly, disorienting colors he painted a scene of confusion that somehow separated the angels from the real world. He had removed the world from God's reach.
 El Greco
Baptism, by El Greco
Town Hall of Zamość by Bernardo Morando El Greco attempted to express the religious tension with exaggerated Mannerism. This exaggeration would serve to cross over the Mannerist line and be applied to Classicism. After the realistic depiction of the human form and the mastery of perspective achieved in high Renaissance Classicism, some artists started to deliberately distort proportions in disjointed, irrational space for emotional and artistic effect. There are aspects of Mannerism in El Greco (illustration, right), such as the jarring "acid" color sense, elongated and tortured anatomy, irrational perspective and light of his crowded composition, and obscure and troubling iconography.
 Benvenuto Cellini
Benvenuto Cellini created a salt cellar of gold and ebony in 1540 featuring Poseidon and Amphitrite (earth and water) in elongated form and uncomfortable positions. It is considered a masterpiece of Mannerist sculpture.
 Mannerist architecture
The porphyry portal of the "church house" at Colditz Castle, Saxony, designed by Andreas Walther II (1584), is a clear example of the exuberance of "Antwerp Mannerism". An example of mannerist architecture is the Villa Farnese at Caprarola in the rugged country side outside of Rome. The proliferation of engravers during the 16th century spread Mannerist styles more quickly than any previous styles. A center of Mannerist design was Antwerp during its 16th century boom. Through Antwerp, Renaissance and Mannerist styles were widely introduced in England, Germany, and northern and eastern Europe in general. Dense with ornament of "Roman" detailing, the display doorway at Colditz Castle (illustration, left) exemplifies this northern style, characteristically applied as an isolated "set piece" against unpretentious vernacular walling.
 Mannerism in literature and music
Main article: Metaphysical poets Main article: Ars subtilior In English literature, Mannerism is commonly identified with the qualities of the "Metaphysical" poets of whom the most famous is John Donne. The witty sally of a Baroque writer, John Dryden, against the verse of Donne in the previous generation, affords a concise contrast between Baroque and Mannerist aims in the arts: "He affects the metaphysics, not only in his satires, but in his amorous verses, where nature only should reign; and perplexes the minds of the fair sex with nice speculations of philosophy when he should engage their hearts and entertain them with the softnesses of love" (italics added). The word Mannerism has also been used to describe the style of highly florid and contrapuntally complex polyphonic music made in France in the late 14th century. This period is now usually referred to as the ars subtilior.
1. ^ W. Friedlaender, Mannerism and Anti-Mannerism in Italian Painting, New York, 1957. 2. ^ John Shearman, Mannerism, Harmondsworth, 1967 3. ^ W. Friedlaender, Mannerism and Anti-Mannerism in Italian Painting, New York, 1957. 4. ^ John Summerson, Architecture in Britain, New York, 1983, pp. 157-72. 5. ^ 'Nice' in the sense of 'finely reasoned.'
 Further reading
Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Mannerism
• • • •
John Shearman, 1967. Mannerism A classic summation. Franzsepp Würtenberger, 1963. Mannerism: The European Style of the Sixteenth Century (Originally published in German, 1962). Giuliano Briganti, 1962. Italian Mannerism (Originally published in Italian, 1961). Wylie Sypher, Four Stages of Renaissance Style: Transformations in Art and Literature, 1400-1700, 1955. A classic analysis of Renaissance, Mannerism, Baroque, and Late Baroque. Helen Gardner, Metaphysical Poets, Selected and Edited. Introduction. Essays on High Renaissance art and Mannerism by John Haber.
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