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Word Count: 609
What are characteristics of Italian Mannerism in sixteenth-century painting In By the mid 1520s Italian art reached what many then believed to be its zenith Genius artists like Michelangelo Rafael and Titian dominated which left little to be improved upon in the High Renaissance Masters like these set to conquer what pervious generations set out to do Combining beauty harmony and balance these masters as many had thought even surmounted the greatest accomplishments of Greek and Roman antiquities Now a crisis had arisen in Renaissance art It seemed that the next generation of artist could do little more then mimic those prior for one cannot exceed perfection Yet there were those of this new generation who intended to do just that if not in handling of human form then in matters of inventions What had been done before was to be carried to new levels by artists such as Parmigianino Romano and Bronzino The most graceful forms and poses were taken to complexity and dynamism The once limpid and intelligible themes were then driven to obscurity Perfection it seemed was pushed to its limits to the stylistic movement called Italian Mannerism The word Mannerism is derived from the Italian word manirea Italian Mannerism is a desire to express the human form and the spirit within mannered as both harmonious exaggerated and contorted poses made graceful distorted and elongated bodies that seem both beautiful yet eccentric In painting the unnatural color use fashioned as natural This blending of contradictions is often accented by a complexity of subject Each is often charged with hidden meaning and symbolism the individual is not so much human but more represents what is human both light and dark Italian Mannerism does not merely try to reproduce the physical world instead attempts to capture an underlying spirit a human ideal that is imposed by the mind onto the physical world In Parmigianinos Madonna with the Long Neck 1534-40 exhibits all classical examples
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