with a Foreword by Craig Hugh Smyth- Second Printing
Edited By Liana De Girolami Cheney
MANNERISM AND ANTI-MANNERISM IN ITALIAN PAINTING: Walter F. Friedlaender 143
MANNERISM AND ANTI-MANNERISM IN ITALIAN PAINTING Walter F. Friedlaender In his life of Jacopo da Pontormo, Vasari speaks approximately as follows of the frescoes in the Certosa: "For Pontormo to have imitated Durer in his motifs (invenzioni) is not in itself reprehensible. Many painters have done so and still do. In this he certainly did not go astray. However, it is extremely regrettable that he took over the German manner lock, stock, and barrel, down to the facial expression and even in movement. For through this infiltration of the German manner his original early manner, which was full of beauty and grace and which with his innate feeling for beauty he had completely mastered, was transformed from the ground up and utterly wiped out. In all his works under the influence of the German manner, only slight traces are recognizable of the high quality and the grace which had previously belonged to his figures." As an artist Vasari is a mannerist of a strict Michelangelesque vein. But as a writer he is for the most part nonpartisan and in general much more benevolent than critical. His harsh words against Pontormo's imitation of Durer are surely an expression not only of his own opinion, but also of the general opinion of the public. There was a feeling abroad, quite aside from any nationalism, that a major step had been taken here, one fraught with consequences. Vasari saw perfectly correctly that the imitation of Diirer on Pontormo's part involved not merely single...
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