, , , , , , ,

So this week’s main subject matter is about mannerism and I had to do my research on this artistic movement because I did not know anything about it. I didn’t even know this artistic movement, period, and/or style existed. I still don’t know if it is an art movement or time period or style because throughout my research it seemed that it is a debated topic of what it is considered to be. However through my research I did learn what makes certain art pieces classified as Mannerism. Stylistically, Mannerism encompassed a variety of approaches, that where influenced by the harmonious ideals and restrained naturalism associated with artists such as Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, and Michelangelo. It is notable for its intellectual sophistication as well as its artificial qualities with in the artwork.


After learning more in depth about what Mannerism in tells I took a while and studied all three works of art we had to choose from and took my time to choose the two I felt best fit the Mannerism mold. My first choice was Bronzino’s oil painting called “Allegory with Venus and Cupid.” As the book mentions, this painting contains all the formal, iconographical, and psychological characteristics of Mannerist art. This piece is so strong and the fact is this piece is good enough to stand alone as a summary of the movement. For my second piece I had a hard time choosing but I decided to look more in depth in the Parmigianino’s oil painting called “Madonna With the Long Neck.” I chose this piece because it is considered to be unfinished in the eyes of art historians. This painting leaves the view very unsettled and I find it astonishing.


With Bronzino’s painting of “Allegory With Venus and Cupid”, we see seven figures, a dove in the bottom left corner, and two masks in the bottom right corner; and how this all goes together I personally don’t see it. It feels as there is chaos in this painting and that the Bronsino painting individual items and them pasted them all to a panel; like a collage. This painting is very complex and has a lot going on within it.  There is so much that is unsettling about how Venus is kissing Cupid; which in mythology Cupid is the son of Venus. This turn of event of a mother and son sharing a very sexually intimate moment with one another is not accepted in today’s standards. A lot of these figures seem to be naturalistic looking but some proportions seem to be off and the colors seem to be a little off as well. Over all this painting just fits the Mannerist art movement because it has a sense of a naturalistic feel but everything else seems so unnatural and unsettling.


Looking at Parmigianino’s painting of  “Madonna With the Long Neck” about the only natural looking thing we can see is the color of the skin and the hair on the figures bodies; beyond that things become exaggerated and weird. Lets just first and full most point out the obvious of how the baby in her lap is just enormous. This infant is by far extremely out of proportion and to me seems alien like because of his size. It is very unsettling for me. From there we move to Madonna’s lap and it is a huge lap as well it does not match proportionally with the rest of her body. She has these huge legs but narrow shoulders. It just does not play right in my mind when envisioning her standing. Next we notice her next has been stretched and I’m not sure why this was done but it also seems very alien like to me, and disturbing how her neck is bent. I then noticed the leg on one of the boys to the left f Madonna. Yes I said boys; at least that is what the experts believe they are. To me not only is this leg extremely long but also seem very feminine and sexual. I find this very odd and disturbing. I would have to say one that I didn’t notice until the book pointed out to me was that Madonna has this sitting position but there is no chair or throne seen in the painting and this maybe because Parmigianino did not get a chance to finish. I find it weird how I did not notice and maybe I am not the only one but I felt a little silly that I didn’t notice it. Lastly another proportion trouble is we see this man in the bottom right hand corner opening a scroll next to a huge whit column; which is not supporting anything. Odd? Yes well at least to me it is.


After studying this art movement I learned so much about it. I really enjoyed these oddities and how some historians consider them some of the greats. This art movement really just has a weird twist and strong presence in history.