1.3.2.3 – Mannerism A (1514-1577)

Forward to 1.3.2.3 Mannerism B
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QUICK LINKS
Visitation of the Virgin and St Elizabeth, Pontormo
Joseph in Egypt, Pontormo
Madonna with Child, Pontormo
Apennine Colossus
Cosimo Medici, Pontormo
Self Portrait, Parmigianino
Deposition, Pontormo
Madonna Child Saints, Parmigianino
Visitation 1528, Pontormo
Mystic Marriage, Parmigianino
Madonna long neck, Parmigianino
Venus Cupid, Bronzino
Bia de Medici, Bronzino
Nymph Fontainebleau, Cellini
Salt Cellar, Cellini
Perseus Medusa, Cellini
Adam and Eve, Tintoretto
Maria de Medici, Allori
Susanna Elders, Allori
Holy Family, Fenzoni
Samson Philistine, Giambologna
Wedding at Cana, Veronese
Mad Meg, Bruegel Elder
Mercury, Giambologna
Crucifixion, Tintoretto
Massacre Innocents, Bruegel Elder
Parable Blind, Bruegel Elder
Feast Levi, Veronese
Christ Healing Blind, El Greco

Mannerism launched a highly imaginative period in art following the climax of perfection that naturalistic painting had reached in Renaissance Italy. Artists in 16th century Florence and Rome started to veer from classical influences and move toward a more intellectual and expressive approach. This ushered in a veer from authentic portrayals of figures and subjects, a rejection of harmony, and the development of a dramatic new style unconfined by the pictorial plane, reality, or literal correctness. Radical asymmetry, artifice, and the decorative also informed this movement. New discoveries in science had led society away from Humanist ideals and paintings no longer posited man as the center of the universe, but rather as isolated, peripheral participants in the great mysteries of life.

[Source: theartstory.org]

[1323-38]


Image source: wga.hu
Typical of Visitation scenes, this work shows the moment when St. Elizabeth (pregnant with John the Baptist) visits the Virgin Mary (pregnant with Jesus) thus symbolizing the future importance of the relationship between the two unborn children.
This early painting is in fact one of two Visitation scenes Pontormo painted, the second completed a little over a decade later. Comparison between the two works demonstrate the significant shift made by Pontormo from Renaissance modes of representation toward Mannerism.
See below that Pontormo revisited the theme.
[Source: theartstory.org]
TITLE:YEAR:FORM:GENRE:
Visitation of the Virgin and St Elizabeth1514-6FrescoHistory Painting
ARTIST:DATES:ORIGIN:MOVEMENT:
Pontormo, Jacopo da1494-1557, aged 62Italian painter FlorenceMannerism
LOCATION:SIZE (cms):[1323-10]

Basilica della Santissima Annunziata, Florence392 x 337
Joseph in Egypt was the latest and most advanced of a series of panels that were made to decorate the bedchamber of the Florentine banker Pierfrancesco Borgherini on the occasion of his marriage in 1515. The paintings, commissioned by Pierfrancesco’s father, tell the Old Testament story of Joseph. Five other panels from the series are in the National Gallery’s collection.

In this picture (which may not have been part of the original commission) the concluding episodes of the story of Joseph and Jacob are ingeniously condensed. There are four separate moments combined here: Joseph introducing his father Jacob to the Pharaoh of Egypt; Joseph on a chariot, hearing a petition from the victims of famine; Joseph with his sons climbing the staircase to visit the dying Jacob; and Jacob blessing Joseph’s sons.
[Source: nationalgallery.org.uk]

Image source: Wikimedia commons
TITLE:YEAR:FORM:GENRE:
Joseph in Egypt1515-8Oil/WdHistory Painting
ARTIST:DATES:ORIGIN:MOVEMENT:
Pontormo, Jacopo da1494-1557, aged 62Italian painter FlorenceMannerism
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): [1323-11]

National Gallery, London UK44 x 49  

Image source: Wikimedia commons
The work was commissioned by Francesco Pucci, a collaborator of the House of Medici and a justice gonfaloniere. 

It portrays numerous figures. Saint Joseph, on the left, is holding Jesus (a role usually fulfilled by the Madonna). The presence of Saint Joseph is explained by the fact that the Gospel of James deals with Christ’s childhood and praises Joseph’s paternal cares. Saint Francis is connected to name of the committant and the devotion of his order towards Jesus. It is housed in the church of San Michele Visdomini in Florence.
[Source: Wikimedia commons]
TITLE:YEAR:FORM:GENRE:
Madonna with Child and Saints (aka Pucci Altarpiece)1518Oil/PaperHistory Painting
ARTIST:DATES:ORIGIN:MOVEMENT:
Pontormo, Jacopo da1494-1557, aged 62Italian painter FlorenceMannerism
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): [1323-37]

San Michele Visdomini, Florence214 x 195  

Image source: Wikimedia commons
The brooding sculpture of ‘Appennino’, aka the Appenine Colossus, sculpted by Giambologna. It originally seemed to emerge from the rockwork niche that once surrounded him. Multiple grottoes with water-driven automata, a water organ, and surprise jets that drenched visitors’ finery. It offered striking juxtapositions of Art with imitations of rugged Nature.

It is located in Villa di Pratolino, Pratolino, Florence Italy.
TITLE:YEAR:FORM:GENRE:
Apennine Colossus1518Sculpture
ARTIST:DATES:ORIGIN:MOVEMENT:
Giambologna1529-1608, aged 79Italian sculptorMannerism
LOCATION:SIZE (cms):[1323-12]

Florida, Italy1067
The picture’s subject is Cosimo the Elder, founder of the House of Medici who had died over fifty years earlier. The work was commissioned by Goro Gheri, who from September 1519 onwards was responsible for the extraordinary administration of Florence, possibly at the instigation of Giovanni de’ Medici, later to become Pope Leo X. He had begun his career as secretary to Lorenzo, Duke of Urbino, killed the previous May, thus extinguishing the ‘di Cafaggiolo’ line, the main Medici line.

Their fortunes revived that June when a new male heir was born to Giovanni delle Bande Nere (member of the “popolano” branch) and Maria Salviati (daughter of Lucrezia, the future pope’s sister) – this heir would be named Cosimo after the dynasty’s founder.
[Source: Wikimedia commons]

Image source: Wikimedia commons
TITLE:YEAR:FORM:GENRE:
Portrait of Cosimo di Giovanni de’ Medici il Vecchio1518-9Oil/WoodPortrait
ARTIST:DATES:ORIGIN:MOVEMENT:
Pontormo, Jacopo da1494-1557, aged 62Italian painter FlorenceMannerism
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): [1323-13]

Uffizi Gallery,  Florence Italy65 x 86  

Image source: Wikimedia commons
This artist, who came from Parma, is considered one of the most progressive painters in the 1st half of the 16th century in Upper Italy, Parmigianino’s work provides a transition from the Renaissance to Mannerism, and the effects of his delicate and extravagant formal language were still being felt in the art of Rudolf II’s court in Prague (ca. 1600).

Parmigianino presented this self-portrait, painted on a convex wooden surface, along with two other small-format works to Pope Clement VII in the summer of 1524. He was ultimately unsuccessful in this attempt to gain prestigious and lucrative commissions from the Vatican, but even in the 16th century this unusual portrait was a widely recognised testimony to his talent.
[Source: artsandculture.google.com]
TITLE:YEAR:FORM:GENRE:
Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror1524Oil/Convex PanelPortrait
ARTIST:DATES:ORIGIN:MOVEMENT:
Parmigianino (Francesco Mazzola)1503 – 1540, aged 37Italian artistMannerism
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): [1323-14]

Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna Austria24 (dia)  
The Deposition from the Cross is an altarpiece, completed in 1528. Pontormo’s undulating mannerist contortions have been interpreted as intending to express apoplectic and uncontrolled spasms of melancholy.[1] The Virgin, larger than her counterparts, swoons sideways inviting the support of those behind her; the Swoon of the Virgin was a controversial moment at the time. The assembly looks completely interlocked, as if architecturally integrated. Legend has it that Pontormo set himself in self-portrait at the extreme right of the canvas; but ultimately, the most compelling and empathic figure is the crouching man in the foreground, whose expression mixes the weight of the cadaver and the weight of melancholy.
[Source: Wikimedia commons]

Image source: pinterest
TITLE:YEAR:FORM:GENRE:
Deposition from the Cross, The1525-8Oil/CanvasHistory Painting
ARTIST:DATES:ORIGIN:MOVEMENT:
Pontormo, Jacopo da1494-1557, aged 62Italian painter FlorenceMannerism
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): [1323-15]

Church of Santa Felicita, Florence313 x 192  

Image source: Wikimedia commons
This altarpiece was commissioned for a burial chapel in San Salvatore in Lauro Rome. However, the political turmoil following the Sack of Rome in 1527 meant that it was never installed there.

According to the art biographer Vasari, Parmigianino was working on this picture when imperial troops burst into his workshop but ’seeing him [and] stupefied at this work… they let him pursue it’.

It is a jarring, unusual, eye-catching composition. Saint John the Baptist dominates the foreground, staring at us intently. With his exaggeratedly long finger he points upwards to the Virgin and Child, seated in a burst of light against dark grey storm clouds. The Christ Child mischievously kicks his foot out of the painting towards us.

Saint Jerome lies sleeping on the ground, exhausted from his vigils in the wilderness, clutching a cross with the crucified Christ.

The unsettling spatial organisation is typical of Parmigianino’s self-consciously artificial style and is characteristic of the work of other contemporary artists, since commonly described as Mannerists.
[Source: nationalgallery.org.uk]
TITLE:YEAR:FORM:GENRE:
Madonna and Child with Saints John the Baptist and Jerome, The (Vision of St Jerome)c1526Oil/WoodHistory Painting
ARTIST:DATES:ORIGIN:MOVEMENT:
Parmigianino (Francesco Mazzola)1503 – 1540, aged 37Italian artistMannerism
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): [1323-16]

National Gallery, London343 x 149  
Visitation of the Virgin and St Elizabeth: Pontoro completed this in 1528 and it adorns the altar of a side chapel in a small church called the Pieve di San Michele in Carmignano, a town west of Florence. 
The visitation is Virgin Mary calling on her pregnant but aged cousin Elisabeth who was the wife of Zacharias.  The two figures in the painting with their interlinked arms form a lozenge shape, one of Pontormo’s trademarks as was the way he makes the characters seem to be almost floating.  The two main characters, Elizabeth and Mary, painted in profile, gracefully embrace each other as they exchange glances of mutual affection.  They dominate the canvas as they stand on the threshold of Zacharias’s house.
[Source: mydailyartdisplay.wordpress.com]

Image source: easyreadnews.com
TITLE:YEAR:FORM:GENRE:
Visitation of the Virgin and St. Elizabeth, The1528-9Oil/WoodHistory Painting
ARTIST:DATES:ORIGIN:MOVEMENT:
Pontormo, Jacopo da1494-1557, aged 62Italian painter FlorenceMannerism
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): [1323-17]

Carmignano Church, Florence202 x 156  

Image source: Wikimedia commons
The infant Christ places a ring on Saint Catherine’s finger in her vision of a ‘mystic marriage’. Parmigianino has positioned the gold ring with a blue stone at the very centre of the painting. Beside Saint Catherine is the spiked wheel upon which she was tortured for her Christian faith.

The identity and significance of the pair of figures in the distant room is unclear. The placement of the large male head in profile in the lower left corner is also very odd; the halo suggests he is Saint Joseph.

Parmigianino was influenced by a painting of the same subject by Correggio (Museo Nazionale di Capodimonte, Naples). However, Parmigianino has created a more mysterious and consciously ‘artificial’ image.

This work may have been painted in Bologna after the artist fled from Rome in 1527, when the city was sacked by the troops of Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor.
[Source: nationalgallery.org.uk]
TITLE:YEAR:FORM:GENRE:
Mystic Marriage of St Catherinec1529PanelHistory Painting
ARTIST:DATES:ORIGIN:MOVEMENT:
Parmigianino (Francesco Mazzola)1503 – 1540, aged 37Italian artistMannerism
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): [1323-18]

National Gallery, London74 x 57  
Parmigianino was commissioned to paint the Madonna with the long neck in 1534 by Elena Baiardi Tagliaferri for the church of Santa Maria dei Servi in Parma. In the commissioning contract, the artist undertook to finish the painting in five months, but when he died in 1540, the altarpiece was in his study, still unfinished.

Two years later, a decision was made to place it on the altar for which it had been destined, and the following inscription was added to the base of the column to justify its incomplete state: ‘Adverse destiny prevented Francesco Mazzola from Parma from completing this work’.

A Virgin with a statuesque figure reminiscent of Michelangelo, but with unnaturally elongated forms, contemplates the Divine Infant, who is asleep on her lap. The Child’s slumber prefigures his death on the cross, as the image of the Crucifixion is reflected in the urn that the angel is showing to the Virgin. The column on Mary’s left highlights the suppleness of her bust and neck, but it could also be reference to the incorruptible purity of the Virgin sung about in the Marian hymn Collum tuum ut columna: ‘Your neck is like a column’.

The small figure at the bottom on the right is St Jerome, who is unrolling his scroll as he turns towards an unfinished figure, St Francis (the artist only had time to paint one of his feet). The presence of St Francis could be a reference to the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, the cult of which was diffused by the Franciscan order.
[Source: uffizi.it]

Image source: Wikimedia commons
TITLE:YEAR:FORM:GENRE:
Madonna with the long neck (Madonna dal Collo Longo)c1535OilHistory Painting
ARTIST:DATES:ORIGIN:MOVEMENT:
Parmigianino (Francesco Mazzola)1503 – 1540, aged 37Italian artistMannerism
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): [1323-19]

Uffizi Gallery,  Florence Italy   

Image source: Wikimedia commons
 This is one of Bronzino’s most complex and enigmatic paintings. It contains a tangle of moral messages, presented in a sexually explicit image.

Venus, goddess of love, steals an arrow from her son Cupid’s quiver as she kisses him on the lips. Cupid fondles Venus‘ breast, his bare buttocks provocatively thrust out as he returns her kiss and attempts to steal her crown.

The masks at Venus’ feet suggest that she and Cupid exploit lust to mask deception. The howling figure on the left may be Jealousy; the boy scattering roses and stepping on a thorn could be Folly or Pleasure; the hybrid creature with the face of a girl, Fraud or Deceit.

Winged Father Time battles with mask-like Oblivion to either reveal or conceal the scene.

The picture was probably sent to King Francis I of France as a gift from Cosimo I de’ Medici, ruler of Florence, who employed Bronzino as a court painter.
[Source: nationalgallery.org.uk]
TITLE:YEAR:FORM:GENRE:
Venus, Cupid, Folly and Time1540-6OilHistory Painting
ARTIST:DATES:ORIGIN:MOVEMENT:
Bronzino, Agnolo1503-1572, aged 69Italian painter, FlorenceMannerism
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): [1323-20]

National Gallery, London UK146 x 116  
 
In the late 19th century, this painting was identified as a portrait of the ‘natural daughter of the Duke’, Cosimo, and born before his marriage in 1539: the little Bianca, known as Bia.

In 1560, Francesco Maria II della Rovere’s ambassador to Tuscany, Simone Fortuna wrote in a letter that Cosimo in his first years as duke, had, by a noblewoman of Florence, a girl who was baptised in the name of His Illustrious Excellence, and called Bia. And the Lady Duchess, finding her in her home, was raising the girl lovingly, as she was born to her husband before she became his wife.

The young girl was therefore brought up, as often happened, alongside the legitimate children of the household, surrounded by the affection of Eleanor of Toledo and her grandmother, Maria Salviati, with whom she spent a great deal of time and who was particularly fond of her. 

Unfortunately, at the age of about five, Bia suddenly fell ill towards the end of January 1542 and died within a few weeks.
The duke was distraught and had a plaster funeral mask cast of the child. The portrait of Bia by Bronzino was mentioned by Giorgio Vasari in his biography of the artist. Some scholars have advanced the theory that Bronzino did not paint the child while she was alive, but that he took the mask as his model.
[Source: uffizi.it]

Image source: uffizi.it
TITLE:YEAR:FORM:GENRE:
Bia de Medici, Portrait of1542Oil/WoodPortrait
ARTIST:DATES:ORIGIN:MOVEMENT:
Bronzino, Agnolo1503-1572, aged 69Italian painter, FlorenceMannerism
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): [1323-21]

Uffizi Gallery,  Florence Italy64 x 48  

Image source: Wikimedia commons
 The earliest surviving monumental piece by Cellini is this bronze lunette for the Porte Dorée at Fontainebleau. The relief, the only extant part of his portal decoration, illustrates a variant of the legend of Fontainebleau – a hunting dog discovered a spring and its goddess in the forest, from a lost fresco by Rosso.

A nymph reclines like a Classical river god, her arm around the stag with a three-dimensional head is flanked by hunting dogs and boars. Her large form, against a foil of intricate details, demonstrates that articulating the body on a large scale was not Cellini’s forte.
[Source: wga.hu]
TITLE:YEAR:FORM:GENRE:
Nymph of Fontainebleauc1543BronzeSculpture
ARTIST:DATES:ORIGIN:MOVEMENT:
Cellini, Benvenito1500 – 1571, aged 70Italian sculptorMannerism
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): [1323-22]

Musée du Louvre, Paris France205 x 409  

Image source: tuttartpitturasculturapoesiamusica.com
 The Cellini Salt Cellar is a part-enamelled gold table sculpture. It was completed in 1543 for Francis I of France, from models that had been prepared many years earlier for Cardinal Ippolito d’Este.

The cellar is the only remaining work of precious metal which can be reliably attributed to Cellini. It was created in the Mannerist style and allegorically portrays Terra e Mare (Land and Sea).

In Cellini’s description, the sea was represented by a male figure reclining beside a ship for holding the salt; the earth he “fashioned like a woman” and placed a temple near her to serve as a receptacle for pepper. The gold was not cast in a mould but hammered by hand into its delicate shape.
[Source: Wikimedia commons]
TITLE:YEAR:FORM:GENRE:
Cellini Salt Cellar1543Ivory, rolled gold, and vitreous enamel Sculpture
ARTIST:DATES:ORIGIN:MOVEMENT:
Cellini, Benvenito1500 – 1571, aged 70Italian sculptorMannerism
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): [1323-23]

Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna26 x 34  
Perseus with the Head of Medusa is a bronze sculpture that stands on a square base which has bronze relief panels depicting the story of Perseus and Andromeda, similar to a predella on an altarpiece.

The second Florentine duke, Duke Cosimo I de’ Medici, commissioned the work with specific political connections to the other sculptural works already in the Piazza della Signoria in Florence, Italy; it was placed in the Loggia dei Lanzi.

When the piece was revealed to the public on 27 April 1554, Michelangelo‘s David, Bandinelli’s Hercules and Cacus, and Donatello‘s Judith and Holofernes were already installed in the piazza.
[Source: Wikimedia commons]

Image source: Wikimedia commons
TITLE:YEAR:FORM:GENRE:
Perseus with the head of Medusa1545-54BronzeSculpture
ARTIST:DATES:ORIGIN:MOVEMENT:
Cellini, Benvenito1500 – 1571, aged 70Italian sculptorMannerism
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): [1323-24]

Piazza della Signoria, Florence 50122, Italy519  

Image source: Wikimedia commons
Adam and Eve are depicted not in a landscape thrown into confusion by the hand of the Creator, but in a more serene, more human dimension. In the leafy arbour the two nude figures moving around the trunk of the tree form the parallel diagonals of the composition.

A strong light gives a sculptural effect to their ivory-pink flesh. But in the background, on the right, the tranquillity of the foreground scene gives way to the tumultuous epilogue to the fact of human disobedience to Divine will. With rapid brushstrokes Tintoretto evokes the fiery angel who drives Adam and Eve out into the distant desolate hills and plains.

Eve, temptation personified, is pressing close to the tree of knowledge; her arms prolong the line of the serpent thrusting down from above.

Tintoretto confidently shows that he has now perfectly mastered not only the sculptural structure of a muscular, sinewy male body (a particular strength of Florentine painters, especially of Michelangelo) but also the reproduction of female grace and tenderness (the domain of Venetian artists, particularly Titian).
[Source: wga.hu]
TITLE:YEAR:FORM:GENRE:
Temptation of Adam and Eve, The1550Oil/CanvasHistory Painting
ARTIST:DATES:ORIGIN:MOVEMENT:
Tintoretto, Jacopo (Jacopo Robusti)1518-1594, aged 76Italian painter VeniceMannerism
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): [1323-25]

Gallerie dell’Accademia, Venice Italy150 x 220  
Maria deMedici (1540 – 1557) was the eldest legitimate daughter of Cosimo I de’ Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany and Eleonora di Toledo​. She is shown here portray here around fifteen years old. She had already been betrothed to Alfonso II d’Este and she had become Duchess of Ferarra. She died when she was seventeen years old, probably caused by malaria.
[Source: Wikimedia commons]

Image source: Wikimedia commons
TITLE:YEAR:FORM:GENRE:
Maria de Medicic1555Oil/WoodPortrait
ARTIST:DATES:ORIGIN:MOVEMENT:
Allori, Alessandro1535-1607, aged 72Italian painter, FlorenceMannerism
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): [1323-26]

Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna115 x 90  

Image source: Wikimedia commons
This frequently painted subject is taken from an appendix to the Book of Daniel. The two elders, obsessed by the beauty of a young woman called Susanna, decide to surprise her while she is bathing in her garden, saying that she enticed them, and thus ruin her reputation. The painter has dramatised the scene: Suzanne is in danger of being raped, as we can see from the lustful expression of the old men and the crude brutality of their gestures. The young woman’s refusal can be seen in her terrified look, the tension in her face and the energy in her hands as she pushes the aggressors away.
[Source: en.musee-magnin.fr]
TITLE:YEAR:FORM:GENRE:
Susanna and the Elders1561Oil/CanvasHistory Painting
ARTIST:DATES:ORIGIN:MOVEMENT:
Allori, Alessandro1535-1607, aged 72Italian painter, FlorenceMannerism
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): [1323-27]

Musée Magnin, Dijon France202 x 117  
Comparatively little is known of Fenzoni’s early training. The first recorded works by him date from the late 1580s when he was in Rome, and where he painted his most important commission for the small chapel of San Francesco in the church of Santa Maria in Trastevere. By 1593 Fenzoni was in Todi where he completed the fresco of the Last Judgement, reminiscent of Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel, and later settled in his home town of Faenza in 1599, where he married and remained until his death. Fenzoni’s distinctive style is characterized by his description of light and the way in which he renders the landscape and sunlight.
[Source: Bonhams.com]

The Museo del Prado has a Parmigiano version of the subject. The Hermitage has a Rembrandt with the same title.

Image source: bonhams.com
TITLE:YEAR:FORM:GENRE:
Holy Family with an Angel, The1562-1645Oil/CanvasHistory Painting
ARTIST:DATES:ORIGIN:MOVEMENT:
Fenzoni, Ferraù 1562 – 1645, aged 83Italian painterMannerism
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): [1323-28]

National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa Canada82 x 65  

Image source: vam.ac.uk
Samson Slaying a Philistine was carved by Giambologna, a Flemish sculptor who worked for the Medici family in Florence.

Giambologna was commissioned by Prince Francesco de’ Medici, the second Grand Duke of Tuscany, to make this larger-than-life-size piece. The earliest of the great marble groups by Giambologna, it originally formed the top element of a fountain for the Giardino dei Semplici, the Medicis’ botanical gardens.

Since it was imported to the UK from Italy as a diplomatic gift in the early 17th century, this monumental piece has helped set the bar for aesthetic achievement and technical skill, and both inspired and challenged many generations of British sculptors.
[Source: vam.ac.uk]
TITLE:YEAR:FORM:GENRE:
Samson slaying a Philistinec1562MarbleSculpture
ARTIST:DATES:ORIGIN:MOVEMENT:
Giambologna (Giovanni of Bologna)1529-1608, aged 79Italian sculptorMannerism
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): [1323-29]

Victoria and Albert Museum, London UK210 (h)  
Ranked among the leading Old Masters of Mannerist painting, Paolo Veronese is noted in particular for his enormous banquet-scenes, such as: Supper in Emmaus, Wedding Feast at Cana, Feast in the House of Simon, Supper in the House of Gregory the Great, and Feast in the House of Levi.

These large decorative paintings – modern versions of the old “telero” or “scuola” paintings – gave Veronese opportunity to demonstrate his virtuoso figure painting and use of colour and established him as one of the great contributors to Venetian painting of the 16th century.
[Source: visual-arts-cork.com]

Image source: Wikimedia commons
TITLE:YEAR:FORM:GENRE:
Wedding Feast at Cana, The1562-3Oil/CanvasHistory Painting
ARTIST:DATES:ORIGIN:MOVEMENT:
Veronese, Paolo1528-1588, aged 60Italian painter VeniceMannerism
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): [1323-30]

Musée du Louvre, Paris France677 x 990  

Image source: Wikimedia commons
The painting takes its name from the woman running to the left at the bottom of the painting, wearing some kind of armour. Compared with everyone else, she looks like a giantess.

Mad Meg is running past the gaping mouth of hell. Behind her, women have apparently started pillaging. Male soldiers are entering the scene on the right and there are all kinds of bizarre monsters, strange creatures and weird structures. The horizon appears to be on fire.

You couldn’t call this fascinating work light-hearted –chaotic would be closer to the mark. Bruegel’s biographer described it thus, ‘Like a director of horror films, the painter tried to appeal to all the senses in order to arouse fear and create pleasure at the same time’.
[museummayervandenbergh.be]



TITLE:YEAR:FORM:GENRE:
Mad Meg (Dulle Griet)1563Oil/PanelGenre Painting
ARTIST:DATES:ORIGIN:MOVEMENT:
Bruegel the Elder, Pieterc1525-1569, aged 44Flemish painterMannerism
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): [1323-31]

Museum Mayer van den Bergh, Antwerp115 x 161  

Image source: pinterest
This bronze Mercury was sent to France from Florence in 1598, and is an example of a late type of Mercury evolved in Giambologna’s workshop in the 1590s.

Born in Flanders, Giambologna went to Rome to study antique sculpture from about 1550 to 1553. He then travelled through Florence where he was persuaded to stay.

He became sculptor to the Medici family and thus became one of the most influential sculptors of the late 16th and early 17th centuries. He drew attention to many artists from Northern Europe and disseminated his style mainly through small bronzes. He established an efficient and large workshop.
[Source: vam.ac.uk]
TITLE:YEAR:FORM:GENRE:
Mercury  1564-80BronzeSculpture
ARTIST:DATES:ORIGIN:MOVEMENT:
Giambologna (Giovanni of Bologna) 1529-1608, aged 79Italian sculptorMannerism
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): [1323-32]

Museo Nazionale del Bargello, Florence Italy95 (h)  

Image source: Wikimedia commons
Tintoretto’s Crucifixion, in the Sala dell’Albergo of the Scuola Grande di San Rocco Venice, presents a panorama of Golgotha populated by a crowd of soldiers, executioners, horsemen, and apostles.

At the left the cross of the penitent thief is being partly lifted, partly tugged into place by ropes; at the right the impenitent thief is about to be tied to his cross. A soldier on a ladder behind Christ reaches down to take the reed with the sponge soaked in vinegar from another soldier on the ground.

The tumult of the crowd, the grief of the apostles, and the yearning of the penitent thief seem to come to a focus in the head of Christ.

Owing to Tintoretto’s light-on-dark technique, his figures sometimes have a tendency to look a bit ghostly, but the foreground figures in the Crucifixion, grouped in a massive pyramid at the base of the cross, are defined by vigorous contours and are modelled to create a strong sculptural effect. The little group, huddled as if for protection against the hostile crowds, form the base of the composition.
[Source: wga.hu]
TITLE:YEAR:FORM:GENRE:
Crucifixion, The1565-87Oil/CanvasHistory Painting
ARTIST:DATES:ORIGIN:MOVEMENT:
Tintoretto, Jacopo (Jacopo Robusti)1518-1594, aged 77Italian painter VeniceMannerism
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): [1323-33]

Scuola Grande di San Rocco, Venice Italy536 x 1224  
According to St Matthew’s Gospel, after hearing from the wise men of the birth of Jesus, King Herod ordered that all children in Bethlehem under the age of two be murdered. Bruegel set the story as a contemporary Flemish atrocity so that the soldiers wear the distinctive clothing of the Spanish army and their German mercenaries.

The artist also drew upon his experience of the exceptionally severe winter of 1564-5 to describe a village covered in snow, with icicles hanging from the rooftops and the pond in the foreground thickly frozen over.

Bruegel’s Massacre of the Innocents was a popular image, repeated numerous times mainly by the artist and by his son, Pieter Brueghel the Younger.
[Source: rct.uk]

Image source: rct.uk
TITLE:YEAR:FORM:GENRE:
Massacre of the Innocents1565-7Oil/WoodGenre Painting
ARTIST:DATES:ORIGIN:MOVEMENT:
Bruegel the Elder, Pieterc1525-1569, aged 44Flemish painterMannerism
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): [1323-34]

Royal Collection Trust, King’s Closet, Windsor Castle, Berkshire UK138 x 187  

Image source: Wikimedia commons
This Parable of the Blind depicts the Biblical story from the Gospel of Matthew 15:14, and is in the collection of the Museo di Capodimonte in Naples, Italy.

The painting reflects Bruegel’s mastery of observation. Each figure has a different eye affliction, including corneal leukoma, atrophy of globe and removed eyes. The men hold their heads aloft to make better use of their other senses.

The diagonal composition reinforces the off-kilter motion of the six figures falling in progression. It is considered a masterwork for its accurate detail and composition.

Bruegel painted this the year before his death. It has a bitter, sorrowful tone, which may be related to the establishment of the Council of Troubles in 1567 by the government of the Spanish Netherlands. The council ordered mass arrests and executions to enforce Spanish rule and suppress Protestantism.
[Source: Wikimedia commons]
TITLE:YEAR:FORM:GENRE:
The Blind leading the Blind, aka the Parable of the Blind1568Distemper/LinenCanvasGenre Painting
ARTIST:DATES:ORIGIN:MOVEMENT:
Bruegel the Elder, Pieterc1525-69, aged 44Flemish painterMannerism
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): [1323-35]

Museo di Capodimonte, Naples Italy86 x 154  

Image source: Wikimedia commons
 The Feast in the House of Levi was the last in a series of monumental banquet-paintings by Veronese. Painted for the dining hall of the Dominican monastery of Santi Giovanni e Paolo, it is one of the largest religious paintings of the cinquecento.
[Source: visual-arts-cork.com]
TITLE:YEAR:FORM:GENRE:
Feast in the House of Levi1573OilGenre Painting
ARTIST:DATES:ORIGIN:MOVEMENT:
Veronese, Paolo1528-1588, aged 60Italian painter VeniceMannerism
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): [1323-36]

Gallerie dell’Accademia, Venice Italy560 x 1309  
El Greco painted this masterpiece of dramatic storytelling either in Venice or in Rome, where he worked after leaving Crete in 1567 and before moving to Spain in 1576.

It illustrates the Gospel account of Christ healing a blind man by anointing his eyes. The two figures in the foreground may be the blind man’s parents. The upper left portion of the composition is unfinished. El Greco painted two other versions of the subject, and seems to have taken this one with him to Spain.
[Source: metmuseum.org]

Image source: Wikimedia commons
TITLE:YEAR:FORM:GENRE:
Christ Healing the Blind1577-79Oil/CanvasHistory Painting
ARTIST:DATES:ORIGIN:MOVEMENT:
El Greco (Domenkos Theotocopoulos)1541-1614, aged 72Spanish painter ToledoMannerism
LOCATION:SIZE (cms):  
Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY USA119 x 146  

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Back to 1.3.2 High Renaissance and Mannerism Index

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