Mannerism Movement Overview

Mannerism in art characterized by the distortion of elements such as proportion and space, in general Mannerist artists took the classical or idealized forms developed by Italian Renaissance artist of the early 16th century, but exaggerated or used these forms in unconventional ways in order to heighten tension, power, emotion, or elegance. Italian artist in Florence and Rome were the first ones to begin working in the Mannerist style around 1520. Mannerist typically painted figures using contorted or twisting poses and foreshortening, a technique for achieving the illusion of forms projecting into space.
In many Mannerist painting proportions appear stretched, so that figures have elongated torsos, necks, or other features, and the illusion of space is unrealistic, with sharp jumps from foreground to background rather than gradual transition. Some examples of Mannerist are the portraits by Bronzino that are distinguished by chilly elegance, perfunctory realism, and meticulous attention to detail. Another example is from Jacopo Tintoretto’s Last Supper by taking Jesus and the table out of the middle of the room.
He showed all that was happening. In sickly, disorienting colors he painted a scene of confusion that somehow separated the angels from the real world. He had removed the world from God’s reach. Mannerist is related to Catholic religion, the religious turmoil caused by Martin Luther’s Protestant Reformation was one of the factors that served to indirectly stimulate Mannerism in the late Renaissance. I think Mannerism is a good thing because painters can express what they feel and project that in a painting or a building.


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