The Triumph of the City
 










The High Renaissance
 
&

Mannerism
   




(Renaissance  Art Map)







 



Girolamo Savoldo

Pirro Ligorio






see collection:


Giulio Romano



Dosso Dossi


Domenico Beccafumi


Moretto


 

 

Mannerism

The diversity of Italian High Renaissance art was remarkable. Artistic trends merged, crossed over, and pulled away from each other, enriching the style of individual artists and exerting a profound influence on the main artistic centres of Rome, Venice, Florence, Bologna, and Milan. An early 16th-century traveller to the Italian peninsula seeking to admire the revival of classical style in the works of Raphael and Michelangelo would have been shocked to see the daring experimentation being carried out by Correggio in Parma and Pontormo and Rosso Fiorentino (c.1495-1540) in Florence. In 1520, Raphael died, and seven years later Rome was sacked. The entire decade was beset with catastrophe, from plagues and famine to sieges and battles. Its effect on the artistic world was the dispersal of artists, particularly those who had learnt their skills from Raphael.

Polidoro da Caravaggio moved to Naples and then to Sicily; Giulio Romano went to Mantua; Berruguete to Spain; and Rosso Fiorentino and Sebastiano Serlio (1475-1554) to France. As a result, the "modern" style became diluted, re-interpreted by some and refuted by others. This was the start of the period in art labelled Mannerism - from the Italian maniera, meaning "style" - the precise definition and boundaries of which remain the subject of debate. The most widely held opinion is that it originated in a crisis of the Renaissance and marked a break with classicism. Indeed, the first signs of an anti-Renaissance direction can be seen in the work of Piero di Cosimo during the late 15th century. Another point of view regards it as regional, evolving from the art produced in Milan and Venice during the 1520s and 1530s.

  
 

Unfortunately, most artists' biographies do not record periods of crisis, with the exception of cases such as Pontormo, who Vasari suspected of heresy or madness at the time of his frescos in San Lorenzo, Florence (1546-1551), and Michelangelo, who left an extraordinary testimony of his spiritual torment in his poetry. Current interpretations of Mannerism concentrate on the anti-classical feeling that rose up in the early 1500s. Following this point of view, the work of artists such as Dosso Dossi (c.1489-1542) in Emilia and Pontormo, Rosso Fiorentino, and Domenico Beccafumi (1485-1551) in Tuscany can be interpreted as experimental, challenging classical rules and often introducing elements of northern European art. However, a continuing debt to the "masters" of the High Renaissance is also evident in their work. For example, while Pontormo clearly borrowed elements of Michelangelo's style, he took them to the limits of licence and subjectivity. Soon after, in Venice, Tintoretto, Veronese, and the Spanish artist El Greco (1541-1614), would in their own styles conclude this fullness of Renaissance harmony. It seems most likely, as Vasari suggests, that Mannerism was both born out of the Renaissance and was a fundamental part of it - a modern style in which the artist's own interpretation superseded the imitation of nature. Vasari recognized a substantial balance between Mannerism and realism - a "spontaneity which, although based on correct measurement, goes beyond it" -even though he personally preferred the individual approach, provided it was supported by good judgment. Seen in this way, Mannerism is both the main variant within the culture of Renaissance art. and a protagonist in the debate between subjectivity and objectivity, between the individual and reality. Humanism - a secular cultural and intellectual movement during the Renaissance that interested itself in the literature, art, and civilization of ancient Greece and Rome - had already addressed this duality. After the brief, but intense period when Raphael and Bramante were in Rome, when art seemed to reach the pinnacle of harmony and grace, the two poles of the argument soon revealed themselves as extremes in a very difficult relationship. An examination of Michelangelo's work, starting with the Doni Tondo (c.1503) and the Sistine Chapel (1508-12) and culminating in the Medici tombs in Florence (1520-34) and the Last Judgment (1536-41), reveals how much he had contributed to this development. There are also different interpretations on the impact on art and architecture of religious upheavals both before and after the Council of Trent (a council of the Catholic Church that met between 1545 and 1563 to address the powers of the Papacy and the role of bishops). Apart from contact documented between certain artists and Lutheran circles, including Michelangelo himself, the strong individualism of Protestant thought and the intellectualism of certain of its aristocratic followers found favour with the more emotive and sophisticated artistic trends of the time. In response, the Catholic Church encouraged a popular form of art through commissions that concentrated on making the content and meaning of its teachings clear and effective. The confident tone of Gaudenzio Ferrari, as well as the nobler, more imposing style of Titian in the years of the Madonna of the House of Pesaro, were used by the Catholic Church to support its cause. Moreover, a new sense of realism emerged in the painting of the Brescian artists Girolamo Savoldo (c.1480-after 1548) and Moretto (1498-1554), which emphasized the devotional aspects of their subjects, strengthening and enobling the emotive content with deep colour and dazzling patches of light - glimpses of the future style of Caravaggio.
A very different style can be found in the formalism of Parmigianino. His elegant, rarefied figures, from his Madonna of the Long Neck (1534-40) to the frescos for the semi-dome and vault of the high altar of Santa Maria della Steccata in Parma (commissioned 1531). were based not on Renaissance principles of balance, but on Mannerist tensions. A younger contemporary of Correggio, Parmigianino left Parma for Rome in 1524 and was probably familiar with the developing Tuscan Mannerist style. His idealized paintings are full of artifice and refined compositional elements. Raphael's pupil. Giulio Romano, produced similarly-provocative results in Mantua. His architecture and decoration of the fantastic Palazzo Te for Federigo Gonzaga - built and decorated at great speed between 1527 and 1534 - deliberately go against rules of style and measurement in an attempt to capture the most vital and basic aspects of nature. This is not a place of tranquil symmetry but the subject of experimentation and ambiguity, where the distinction between architectural space and decoration is unclear. Such ideas were highly successful in Protestant Flanders and Germany, where convention was periodically challenged by outbursts of interest in diversity and misrepresentation.

 
   
   
Giovanni Girolamo Savoldo

( fl 1506–48).

Italian painter. Although called ‘da Brescia’ by himself and others, he is not known to have lived in Brescia, and the term may indicate his family origin or he may just have left the city in his youth. From at least 1521 until his death he lived in Venice and is thus regarded stylistically as a painter of Venice, rather than of Brescia. More than any of his contemporaries, he specialized in pictures of single figures, both sacred and secular. Their imposing volume, which sometimes almost fills the frame, harks back to the 15th century, but they are made modern and animated by the use of vivid colours (often in masses of a single hue) and the importance given the environment by subtle lighting. He also painted wide-format portraits, which would have appeared similarly modern to his contemporaries. After his death, he sank into total obscurity and has been reinstated as one of the masters of the High Renaissance only in the 20th century.


Elijah Fed by the Raven
c. 1510

                      
 


St Anthony Abbot and St Paul

c. 1510
Oil on canvas, 165 x 137 cm
Gallerie dell'Accademia, Venice

             


Bust of a Youth

c. 1530
Oil on canvas
Galleria Borghese, Rome


Shepherd with a Flute
1525

 

                     
 


Portrait of a Knight
1525

                  


Tobias and the Angel

c. 1530
Oil on canvas
Galleria Borghese, Rome
 

 

 

 


St. Mary Magdalen
1530

 

 


The Adoration of the Shepherds
1530

 


Adoration of the Shepherds

c. 1540
Wood
Pinacoteca Tosio-Martinengo, Brescia
 

                      
          
          


Michelangelo
Dome of St. Peter's
Vatican City, Rome
1546-64

THE VATICAN GARDEN HOUSE AND THE DOME OF ST PETER'S

The architecture of the High Renaissance took a variety of forms. The Raphaelesque and classical culture produced a naturalistic and pictorial type of architecture, sumptuously interpreted by Pirro Ligorio (1510-83) in the gardens of the Vatican. The crucial role played by Michelangelo in architectural works for the papacy led him to adopt an increasingly individual and subjective understanding of structures and the orders, transforming them into dynamic new forms. Pirro Ligorio, the architect of the Villa d'Este at Tivoli, built the casino (garden house) for Pius IV in the Vatican Gardens in accordance with the humanist ideal of man's harmony with nature. The structure is on the slope of a hill and is .surrounded by flights of steps, niches, courtyards, and loggias. The whole of the facade is decorated with classical motifs and mythological scenes, which continue even more abundantly on the interior. At about the same time. Michelangelo was working on a model for the dome of St Peter's, the final part of his design for the basilica. Rejecting Antonio da Sangallo the Younger's wild Mannerist design, he reinstated some of Bramante's original features, but he kept the Florentine ribbed dome in preference to Bramante's hemisphere. When he died in 1564 the drum, with its system of butressing consisting of projecting paired columns alternating with large windows, was under construction. Another of his designs that he never saw completed was the magnificent entrance hall of the Laurentian Library in Florence. This was built from a model produced in f 1557.
   

 

        
Pirro Ligorio
garden house of Pope Pius IV, facade, Vatican City, Rome
1558-62
    

Pirro Ligorio

(b Naples, c. 1513; d Ferrara, 26 Oct 1583).

Italian architect, painter, draughtsman and antiquary. He is best known for his designs for the Casino of Pius IV in the Vatican and his gardens for the Villa d’Este at Tivoli, which greatly influenced Renaissance garden design. His work reflects his interest in the reconstruction of Classical antiquity, although this was sometimes based on fragmentary information, and his painting and architecture are closely dependent on classicism with a richness of detail associated with Roman Imperial art.


Palazzina of Pius IV Rome, Lazio, Italy

                     


Ceiling Casina of Pius IV (Villa Pia) Vatican,
Vatican, Holy See


Ceiling Casina of Pius IV (Villa Pia) Vatican,
Vatican, Holy See

 

                       


Casina of Pius IV (Villa Pia) Vatican, Vatican, Holy See
1558-1562

   


Parco dei Mostri (Parco degli Orsini; Sacro Boscro) Bomarzo, Lazio, Italy


Sculpture Parco dei Mostri (Parco degli Orsini; Sacro Boscro) 
Bomarzo, Lazio, Italy

                
see collection:


Giulio Romano


Dosso Dossi


Domenico Beccafumi


Moretto


 

 

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