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Mannerism

by John Shearman

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art history
  Denbo.Library | Jan 27, 2020 |
Mannerism is a controversial term in Art History, though its characteristics are easy to recognise – exaggerated elegance, variation in posture and decoration, and asymmetry. As a period in Art History, Mannerism developed as a reaction against the classical values of antiquity and the Renaissance, mediating the transition into the Baroque period with which it has far more in common.
Two factors in its development were the fashion of the court (the source of many of the artists' commissions), where elegance was almost a competitive sport, as well as the scope that mannerism afforded the artist for showing off his virtuosity in executing difficult poses and complicated compositions. This went very much against the formalised composition and natural poses favoured in antiquity and the Renaissance. Much of what was good in the mannerist period was taken forward into the Baroque, made less frivolous and more genuinely theatrical and emotional (instead of vapid), before much of the superficiality and exaggerated style of mannerism was reverted to in the late Baroque or Rococo period.
While mannerism is often used as a derogatory term, this book gives a balanced view of both its qualities and deficiencies. It not only covers mannerism in painting and sculpture, but also in literature and architecture. There are a good number of illustrations which are appropriate to the points being made in text.
If mannerism is often overlooked as being equivalent to the light-weight Instagram age of its day, falling between more serious periods, this book not only explains the historical conditions behind this phenomenon, but does justice to the sometimes overlooked quality of many of the works, and their lasting influence. As the previous reviewer has noted, there is probably much here for both the reader with a general interest in art as well as the art history student. Overall a great introduction to this work, and recommended reading to anyone with a passing interest in art. ( )
  P_S_Patrick | Jan 11, 2019 |
This short overview does a great job of defining the Mannerist style in art, architecture, literature, theater, music, and design. It's written for the amateur but it's substantial enough for art history students. The illustrations are small and black and white, but I'm not complaining because I could actually take this with me to read wherever I went. ( )
  giovannigf | Oct 19, 2012 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
John Shearmanprimary authorall editionscalculated
Cinamon, GeraldBook Designer.secondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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