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Readings in Italian Mannerism

with a Foreword by Craig Hugh Smyth- Second Printing


Edited By Liana De Girolami Cheney

The aim of this book is to focus on the origin of the historiography of the terms Mannerism and Maniera in paintings and drawings of the sixteenth-century in Italy. The articles herewith presented fall into two categories. The first group explains the definition of the terms Mannerism and Maniera, their periodicity, and their sources as illustrated by Giorogio Vasari, John Shearman, Craig Hugh Smyth, and Sydney Freedberg. The second deals with the polemic associated with the usage of the term and historiography and its application as voiced by Walter Friedlaender, Max Dvorak, Ernst Gombrich, Henri Zerner, David Summers, Malcolm Campbell, and Iris Cheney.


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INTRODUCTION STYLISTIC PROBLEMS IN MANNERISM ANDMANIERA Liana De Girolami Cheney In the twentieth century there has arisen an interest in re- evaluating the history of the sixteenth century in terms of its periodization, definition, and interpretation. The long-held view that Italian Renaissance culture ended in 1530 has been challenged and extension of the period until the end of the sixteenth century is now being considered. The period between 1530 and 1600 has been dubbed Anti-Renaissance, Late Renaissance, Counter-Renaissance, Pre-Baroque and Mannerism-the last term being preferred now. Parallel to these historical studies, art historians have been concerned to extend their grasp of early twentieth century movements such as Expressionism, Cubism, and Surrealism. Studies on these styles indicate the radical changes that occur in form and content in terms of the use of color for emotional moods, abstraction and decomposition of the form for artificiality, and esoteric subject matter for intellectualism. I In order to evaluate these contemporary artistic changes, the twentieth century art historian has undertaken the task of re-evaluating artistic periods in which analogous stylistic changes have taken place, and found that the art of the Cinquecento illustrates these similarities. These two contemporary pursuits-the study of sixteenth century history and the study of P10vements in twentieth century art- have resulted in a new awareness of the so-called Late Renaissance art, Anti-Classical style, or Mannerism. Today, when studying the periodicity of Italian art history, the movement that follows the High Renaissance and precedes the Baroque period is labeled Mannerism. 2 The...

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