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Renaissance North Mannerist Review. “Extreme Renaissance”. • What happened after the High Renaissance? • Time of crisis that gave rise to competing tendencies (kind of like today)

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Renaissance North

Mannerist Review

“Extreme Renaissance”


• What happened after the High Renaissance?

• Time of crisis that gave rise to competing tendencies (kind of like today)

• Originally “Mannerism” was a negative term- used for mid-16th century painters whose style was artificial but now seen as a group of artists who looked inward instead of at the natural world for their vision

• Rebel in Florence!

• Unreal light, disquieting and creepy

• Figures are agitated yet rigid

Florentino, Descent From the Cross, 1521


• Distortions are scientifically based

• Showed that inner views are skewed-there is no single correct reality

Parmigianino, Self Portrait, 1524


• Influenced by Raphael’s paintings

• His style changed to elongated figures, very smooth- ideal beauty does not copy nature

• Artificial background- nothing is based on reality, unearthly perfection

Parmgianino, The Madonna with the Long Neck, 1535


• First woman artist example since Greece!

• First widely recognized celebrity woman artist

Sofonisba Anguissola, Portrait of the Artist’s Sister Minerva, 1559


Tintoretto, The Maundy (Christ Washing The Feet of His Disciples), 1547

• Jacobo Titntoretto, Venetian, 1518-94

• Very emotional, unreal light, sudden lights and darks

• Michelangeloesque figures


• Correggio was seen as a “Proto-Baroque” Artist

• Northern Italian but was influenced by the Renaissance masters

• For him, spiritual and physical ecstasy were one and the same

• Uses Leonardo’s sfumato

• Beautiful sense of color like the Venetians (Titian)

• Artist had no immediate successors but his work was widely appreciated unlike the mannerists

Correggio, Jupiter and Antiope, 1523


• The most important sculptor in Florence in the latter half of the 16th c.

• Was untitled- the artist just wanted to show three figures in physical turmoil- critics gave it its name

• Not really concerned with subject matter

• Purpose was to solve a formal problem

• Looks like choreography rather than pathos

Bologna, Rape of the Sabine Woman, 1583


• Not really a lot of new sculptor talent in the later 16th c.- perhaps because of Michelangelo

• Florentine goldsmith and sculptor

• Salt from the sea, pepper from the land-shows Neptune and mother earth

• Represents four seasons

• Skill is impressive in such as small object

• Figures similar to Parmigianino

Cellini, Saltcellar of Francis I 1539-43


Palladio, Villa Rotunda, 1567-70

• Mannerist architecture is hard to define

• Palladio was 2nd only to Michelangelo during this time period

• Thought that architecture should be governed by reason and by certain universal rules perfected during ancient times

• Believed in cosmic significance of numerical rations-practiced classicism

• Villa Rotunda is a residence, shaped like a temple (he was convinced that Roman buildings were also shaped like this)


Palladio, S. Giorgio Maggiore, Venice, 1565

• Made a classically integrated façade on a basilican church

• Integrated a tall and a wide temple design

  • Spain at this time was the dominant European power. The Hapsburg rule of Spain and Europe as well as the New World enabled Spain to support the most powerful military force in Europe and to use it very effectively in supporting the policies of the Church. Although not a Spaniard, Domenikos Theotokopoulos or El Greco depicted the Spanish heart and soul in his work.

• Domenikos Theotocopoulos (1541-1614), worked in Venice

• Settled in Spain, but saw the great works of the High Renaissance

• Counter Reformation, which was intense in Spain effected his emotional work

• Count Orgaz was a medieval benefactor of the church

• Represented as a contemporary event

• Top of painting- figures are sweeping and flamelike

El Greco, Burial of Count Orgaz, 1586


• Color and texture rivals Titian

• Painting fills an entire wall of a chapel

• Below the painting is a box that looks like a coffin- meant to show that action continues- unites the visual world with the real world


• Master at portraiture

• Religious leaders were seen as mystics and intellectuals at the same time

El Greco, Portrait of a Cardinal, 1600

renaissance north
Renaissance North

This is the period of the re-configuration of Europe. Burgundian Netherlands disappears and the Holy Roman Empire, mostly Germany, expands gaining new territories. Spain through a series of carefully conceived marriages and successful military campaigns became the dominant European power. The power of the papacy was rapidly diminishing and European monarchs were gradually increasing their hegemony, both as independent rulers and power brokers. This was the period of the Reformation, a reaction to the excesses of the Church. The period brought about the division within Europe: Protestant and Catholic. This division also led to war and civil war within these countries and without.


• More jubilant mood

• Light is extremely bold, full of vibrant energy

• Color is rich and full

• Knowledge of perspective came from Italy

• Psychologically impacted by the Renaissance in Italy

Grunewald, The Resurrection, 1510-15


Renaissance North

• Italian ideas swept north around 1500

• Germany had two masters- Grunewald and Durer

• Grunewald remained relatively unknown

• Main work was The Isenheim Altarpiece

• Seen as the most impressive crucifixion ever painted

• Grief shown is very Medieval

• Jesus is both human and monumental

Fig. 23-1 Matthias Grunewald, The Crucifixion

(closed), 1510

• Crucifixion is taken out of its familiar surroundings-in darkness yet bathed in bright light- symbolic and realistic at the same time


• First artist to be fascinated with his own image

• Christ-like pose- showing not conceit, but how seriously Durer regarded his mission as artistic reformer

• Invented a devise for producing an image by mechanical means to demonstrate the validity of perspective- first step towards the principle of the camera

Durer, Self Portrait, 1500


• Albrecht Durer 1471-1528

• Greatest printmaker of his time

• Visited Italy and bought into the Artist as Genius idea and the rational rules of Renaissance art

• Subject of the Four Horsemen suggests the work of Schoengauer, but figures are Renaissance-based

• This is a woodcut, but the medium has become as expressive as engraving

Durer, The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, 1497-8


Involving the Past to Alter the Future: Albrecht Altdorfer's The Battle of Issus shows the defeat of Darius in 333 B.C. by Alexander the Great at Arbela on the Issus River. Seen from a bird's eye view, the battle takes place within a vast panoramic landscape.

• Very far from the classical ideal

• The tablet tells us that this is about Alexander’s defeat of Darius but in a contemporary way- armor and town are 16th century

• The sky raises the subject to the cosmic level (like Grunewald)

• Human figure is incidental

Altdorfer, The Battle of Issus, 1529



Hans HolbeinFrench Ambassadors 1533 (23–11)


• Went to England and became court painter of Henry VIII

• Immobile pose, air of unaproachability

• Precisely rendered jewelry and costume

• Molded British aristocracy’s taste for decades

Holbein, Henry VIII, 1540


• Hans Holbein the Younger 1497-1543

• Continued the portrait tradition of Durer

• Lived in Switzerland (German born)

• Memorable image of a true Renaissance man

Holbein the Younger, Erasmus of Rotterdam, 1523


• In the Netherlands, there were less and less commissions for religious paintings because of the strictness of the atmosphere (counter reformation)

• Landscape, still-life, and Genre scenes became important

• Meat stall- a completely secular picture- no interest in formal arrangements-just heaps of meat (mmm!)

• Meant to impress us with its detail (4’X12’)

Pieter Aertsen, The Meat Stall, 1551


Fig. 23-20

Caterina van Hemessen a Netherlands artist, she has caught herself at her work in Self-Portrait


Fig 23-23 Netherlandish Proverbs1559 , Oil on oak panel, 117 x 163 cm; Staatliche Museen zu Berlin - Gemaldegalerie, Berlin


Bruegel the Elder, Peasant Wedding, c.1565

• Crude, heavy people yet respected in Bruegel’s view

• Limited modeling and flat colors, space is in linear perspective-attention to detail makes the event seem as important as a biblical scene- maybe because peasant life is the ideal life for him?


Bruegel The Elder, The Return of the Hunters, 1565

• Explored landscapes and peasant life- know little about him.

• Very educated, a humanist, never worked for the Church

• Visited Italy, but was not impressed with the masters- returned with landscape drawings instead

• This painting is a descendant of Lindbourg’s February- landscape is more important than the people- rhythm of nature is the subject matter


Bruegal the Elder, Fall of Icarus

What is the philosophy behind this painting- What is Bruegal trying to say?


Chateau of Chambord, 1519

• France had a hard time adopting classical architecture- took a while for Gothic traditions to change

• Based on Gothic design on the outside, but its plan is much more geometric and regular- more Italian


Pierre Lescot, Square Court of the Louvre, 1546

• Lescot was very influenced by Bramante and his ideas

• This design is a blending of Italian and French ideas -can you pick each influence out?


• Also a combination of the classicism of the Italian tradition with the slenderness and delicate nature of French Gothic

Jean Goujon, Fontaine Des Innocents, 1548-9


23-13 ROSSO FIORENTINO and FRANCESCO PRIMATICCIO, ensemble of architecture, sculpture, and painting, Gallery of King Francis I, Fontainebleau, France, ca. 1530–1540.