TIMELINE OF WORLD HISTORY
 

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  Art Timeline  
 
 
  1 c. 15000 - 5000 BC Prehistoric Art
  2 5000 BC - 5ОО BC The Art of the Ancient Kingdoms of Egypt - Aegean Art
  3-4 5ОО вс - 12th century The Art of the Greeks
  5-6 5ОО вс - 12th century Italic Art
  7-8-9 12th century (1100-1199) The Early Christians  Art - Byzantine Art
  10-11 13th century (1200-1299) Gothic Art
  12 14th century (1300-1399) Gothic Art - International Style
  13 15th century (1400-1499) The Early Renaissance
  14 16th century (1500-1599) The High Renaissance
  15-16 16th century (1500-1599) Mannerism
  17-18-19-20 17th century (1600-1699) Baroque
  21-22 18th century (1700-1799) Rococo
  23-24-25-26-27-28-29 19th century(1800–1899) Neoclassical - Romanticism
    19th century (1863-1899) Impressionism Timeline
    19th century (1860-1899) Simbolism
    20th century(1900-1999) ART OF THE 20TH CENTURY
 
 
 
 
CONTENTS
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16th century (1500-1599)

Mannerism
 
 
     
  Late Gothic & Early Renaissance

Architecture  Sculpture  Painting
     
 
 
15th century (1400-1499)
 
Late Gothic & Early Renaissance
 
Jacopo Bellini
Stefan Lochner
Konrad Witz
Hans Multscher
Rogier van der Weyden
Luca Della Robbia
Filarete
1401
Masaccio
Bernardo Rossellino
Leon Battista Alberti
1406
Fra Filippo Lippi
Donatello
Bernardo Rossellino
Vecchietta
Dieric Bouts
Jaume Huguet
Jean Malouel
Agostino Di Duccio
Filippo Brunelleschi
1415
Piero della Francesca
Jean Fouquet
Bertoldo di Giovanni
Nanni di Banco
Antonio Rossellino
Bernat Martorell
1428
Giovanni Bellini
Mino da Fiesole
Andrei Rublev
Desiderio da Settignano
Antonello da Messina
Andrea Mantegna
Antonio del Pollaiuolo
1430
Hans Memling
Pietro Lombardo
Andrea della Robbia
Niccolo dell’Arca
Nicolas Froment
Andrea del Verrocchio
Michael Pacher
Jacopo della Quercia
Francesco di Giorgio
Colantonio
1440
Hugo van der Goes
Derick Baegert
Bartolome Bermejo
Fernando Gallego
Benedetto da Maiano
Giuliano da Sangallo
1445
Sandro Botticelli
Donato Bramante
Barthelemy d'Eyck
Martin Schongauer
Israhel van Meckenem
Luca Signorelli
Pietro Perugino
Biagio Rossetti
Giovanni Antonio Amadeo
Domenico Ghirlandaio
1450
Hieronymus Bosch
Pedro Berruguete
Heinrich Isaac
1452
Leonardo da Vinci
Antonio da Sangallo the Elder
Paolo Uccello
Filippino Lippi
Antonio Lombardo
Gerard David
Tullio Lombardo
1465
Hans Holbein the Elder
Quentin Massys
Andrea Sansovino
Master E. S.
Giovanni della Robbia
1471
Albrecht Durer
1475
Michelangelo
Baldassarre Peruzzi
1483
Raphael
Antonio da Sangallo the Younger
Sebastiano del Piombo
Andrea del Sarto
1488
Titian
Dosso Dossi
Barthel Bruyn
Correggio
Francesco da Sangallo
Rosso Fiorentino
Lucas van Leyden
Pontormo
Carlo Crivelli
Tilman Riemenschneider
1497
Hans Holbein the Younger
 
 
 
16th century (1500-1599)
 
 
     
 
The High Renaissance & Mannerism
 
     
 
 
The High Renaissance & Mannerism
 
Giorgio Vasari "Lives of the Most Eminent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects"
 
Leonardo da Vinci
Donato Bramante
Michelangelo
Raphael
Giorgione
Titian
Filippino Lippi
Andrea Sansovino
Giovanni della Robbia
Baldassarre Peruzzi
Sebastiano del Piombo
Andrea del Sarto
Matthias Grunewald
Albrecht Durer
Dosso Dossi
Carlo Crivelli
Lucas Cranach the Elder
Lorenzo Lotto
Albrecht Altdorfer
Hans Baldung Grien
Hans Holbein the Younger

1500
Benvenuto Cellini
Nicholas Hilliard

Jan Gossaert (Mabuse)
Joachim Patinir
1503
Agnolo Bronzino
Barthel Bruyn
Lucas van Leyden

Rosso Fiorentino
Pontormo
Parmigianino
Federico Barocci
1508
Pieter Aertsen
1511
Giorgio Vasari
Sofonisba Anguissola
1515
Francois Clouet

1518
Jacopo Tintoretto
Girolamo Savoldo
Jacopo Bassano

Correggio
Alonzo Sanchez Coello
Hans Burgkmair
1525
Pieter Brueghel the Elder
Jean Goujon

Germain Pilon
Tilman Riemenschneider
1527
Arcimboldo
Adriaen de Vries

Alonso Berruguete
Baccio Bartolommeo
1528
Benedetto Briosco

1528
Paolo Veronese

Primaticcio
Leone Leoni
Pompeo Leoni
Alessandro Vittoria
Giovanni da Bologna
Hector Sohier
Pierre Lescot
Giulio Romano
Pirro Ligorio
Bartolomeo Ammanati
Jacopo Sansovino
Andrea Palladio
Giacomo Vignola
1540
Giacomo della Porta

1541
El Greco
Pinturicchio
Vittore Carpaccio
Francesco del Cossa
Vincenzo Foppa
Lorenzo Costa
Francesco Francia
Bernardino Luini
Joos van Cleve
 
 
 
Mannerism
 
 
 
Mannerism

Italian Manierismo (from maniera, “manner,” or “style”), artistic style that predominated in Italy from the end of the High Renaissance in the 1520s to the beginnings of the Baroque style around 1590. The Mannerist style originated in Florence and Rome and spread to northern Italy and, ultimately, to much of central and northern Europe.
Mannerism originated as a reaction to the harmonious classicism and the idealized naturalism of High Renaissance art as practiced by Leonardo, Michelangelo, and Raphael in the first two decades of the 16th century. In the portrayal of the human nude, the standards of formal complexity had been set by Michelangelo, and the norm of idealized beauty by Raphael. But in the work of these artists' Mannerist successors, an obsession with style and technique in figural composition often outweighed the importance and innate meaning of the subject matter. The highest value was instead placed upon the apparently effortless solution of intricate artistic problems, such as the portrayal of the nude in complex and artificial poses.

Mannerist artists evolved a style that is characterized by artificiality and artiness, by a thoroughly self-conscious cultivation of elegance and technical facility, and by a sophisticated indulgence in the bizarre. The figures in Mannerist works frequently have graceful but queerly elongated limbs, small heads, and stylized facial features, while their poses seem difficult or contrived. The deep, linear perspectival space of High Renaissance painting is flattened and obscured so that the figures appear as a decorative arrangement of forms in front of a flat background of indeterminate dimensions. Mannerists sought a continuous refinement of form and concept, pushing exaggeration and contrast to great limits. The results included strange and constricting spatial relationships, jarring juxtapositions of intense and unnatural colours, an emphasis on abnormalities of scale, a sometimes totally irrational mix of classical motifs and other visual references to the antique, and inventive and grotesque pictorial fantasies.

Mannerist elements are already present in some of Raphael's later paintings done in Rome, notably the “Transfiguration” (1517–20; Vatican Museum). In the period from 1515 to 1524 the Florentine painters Rosso Fiorentino and Jacopo da Pontormo broke away from Renaissance classicism and evolved an expressive, emotionally agitated style in their religious compositions. Among the most notable of these early Mannerist works are Pontormo's Visdomini altarpiece (1518; Church of S. Michele Visdomini, Florence) and Rosso's “Deposition” (1521; Pinacoteca Comunale, Volterra). In the early 1520s Rosso journeyed to Rome, where he joined the artists Giulio Romano, Perino del Vaga, and Polidoro da Caravaggio, who had all been followers of Raphael in his work for the Vatican. The Mannerist style completely emerged in the paintings of these artists as well as in those of Parmigianino. The latter's “Madonna with the Long Neck” (1534; Uffizi, Florence), Rosso's “Dead Christ with Angels” (c. 1526; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston), and Pontormo's “Deposition” (1525–28; churchof Sta. Felicità, Florence) are preeminent works of Mannerism's maturity. Michelangelo's huge fresco “The Last Judgment” (1533–41; Sistine Chapel, Vatican) shows strong Mannerist tendencies in its agitated composition, formless and indeterminate space, and in the tortured poses and exaggerated musculature of its bunches of nude figures.

The sophisticated Mannerism that developed in Rome before 1527 became the chief formative influence on the styles of a number of younger Italian painters who were active during the 1530s, '40s, and '50s. Among them were Giorgio Vasari, Daniele da Volterra, Francesco Salviati, Domenico Beccafumi, Federico Zuccari, Pellegrino Tibaldi, and most notably Il Bronzino, who was the pupil of Pontormo and who became the most important Mannerist painter in Florence at this time. Meanwhile, Mannerism had begun to spread outside Italy; Rosso took the style to France in 1530 and was followed there two years later by Francesco Il Primaticcio, who evolved an important French variant of Mannerism in his decorations done at the French royal court at Fontainebleau. Mannerism was transplanted and disseminated throughout central and northern Europe around mid-century through large numbers of engravings of Italian paintings and through the visits of northern artists to Rome to study. Bartholomaeus Spranger, Hendrik Goltzius, and Hans von Aachen became important Mannerist painters. Although the Dutch cities of Haarlem and Amsterdam became centres of the new style, the most ambitious patronage was practiced at Prague by the Emperor Rudolf II; Spranger and others who worked for Rudolf evolved a rather bizarre and exotic Mannerism that occasionally degenerated into the merely grotesque and inexplicable.

In sculpture, the serpentine complexity of Michelangelo's late sculptures, as epitomized in the sinuously spiraling form of his “Victory” (1532–34; Palazzo Vecchio, Florence), dominated Mannerist aspirations in this medium. The sculptors Bartolommeo Ammannati, Benvenuto Cellini, and, most importantly, Giambologna became the principal practitioners of Mannerism with their graceful and complexly posed statues.

Mannerism retained a high level of international popularity until the paintings of Annibale Carracci and of Caravaggio around 1600 brought the problematic style to an end and ushered in the long ascendancy of the Baroque. Mannerism was for long afterward looked down upon as a decadent and anarchic style that simply marked a degeneration of High Renaissance artistic production. But in the 20th century the style came to be appreciated anew for its technical bravura, elegance, and polish. Mannerism's spiritual intensity, its complex and intellectual aestheticism, its experimentation in form, and the persistent psychological anxiety manifested in it made the style attractive and interesting to the modern temperament, which saw affinities between it and modern expressionist tendencies in art.

Encyclopaedia Britannica

 
 
 
 
Italian Mannerism and Late Renaissance

I

The hallmarks of Mannerism

The first reaction against Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael, and Andrea del Sarto occurred in Florence between 1515 and1524, during which time the painters Giovanni Battista (called Rosso Fiorentino) and Jacopo Carrucci Pontormo decisively broke away from the harmony and naturalism of the High Renaissance style. Their movement, particularly what might be called their aesthetic anarchy, attracted the sympathetic attention of some 20th-century art historians, largely because of affinities such art historians saw between their work and modern trends, particularly Expressionism. After the lead given by the German art historian Max Dvorak in his book Uber Greco und der Manierismus (1921), these 16th-century nonconformists came to be known as Mannerists. Recent historians have suggested, however, that the term Mannerism can more accurately be applied to a very different style initiated in Rome about 1520. Roman Mannerism, which subsequently spread throughout Europe, is characterized by a display of the artificiality of art, a thoroughly self-conscious cultivation of elegance and facility, and a sophisticated delight in the bizarre.

The term Mannerism is ultimately derived from the Italian word maniera (literally “style”). It was in the 16th century that maniera was first consistently used in art criticism to indicate a definable quality—that of stylishness. Giorgio Vasari, who is known chiefly for his biographies of artists (some of whom were his contemporaries) but who was also an architect and painter, indeed a Mannerist himself, attributed this absolute quality of stylishness to Leonardo, Michelangelo, and Raphael, and, above all, to artists of his own day who had learned their styles from studying these great masters. Standing at the head of the enormous representational discoveries of the Renaissance and with an increased knowledge of antiquity, Vasari was convinced that his contemporaries were in a position to understand the secret of true artistic style. This was the maniera.

Taking Vasari's quality of maniera as the key to Mannerism, it is possible to outline some of its hallmarks. In figure style, the standard of formal complexity had been set by Michelangelo and that of idealized beauty by Raphael. In the art of their followers, obsession with style in figure composition often outweighed the importance of the subject matter. The highest value was placed upon the apparently effortless solution of considerable artistic problems, such as the portrayal of the nude figure in complex poses. Specifically, the finished work was not supposed to betray signs of the labour that lay behind it.

While depending heavily upon ancient Roman art for many of its decorative motifs and for many of its standards of design, Mannerist style commonly exploited a certain degree of license within the classical vocabulary—what Vasari and contemporary literary theorists called “a departure from the normal usage.”

It was in the intellectualizing atmosphere of the Italian courts that Mannerism met with the greatest favour. There the conscious intricacies of Mannerist compositions and the eloquent quotations from antiquity were well appreciated; court literature of this period displayed many analogous features. Mannerism was first and foremost a connoisseur's art—certainly not one that appealed to a churchman. It is not surprising that the later Mannerist painters were censured by the church during the Counter-Reformation for painting altarpieces that were intended to demonstrate the virtuosity of their creators rather than illustrate a religious story. Even Michelangelo was attacked, one critic calling him “the inventor of obscenities, who cultivated art at the expense of devotion.”

Factors such as these caused the style to fall into general disrepute, and, when in 1662 the French writer on architectural theory Freart de Chambray coined the word Manieriste (translated six years later as “Mannerist” by the English diarist John Evelyn), he applied it in disparaging fashion to Vasari and his contemporaries, the practitioners of the maniera. If, therefore, Mannerism is identified with the maniera, it can be historically related to a particular 16th-century style; but if it is applied strictly to early Rosso and Pontormo, as it was by Dvorak, it has no firm grounding in the way people in the 16th century thought about painting.

 
 
II

Mannerist painters in Florence and Rome

During the second decade of the 16th century, Andrea del Sarto had emerged as the foremost practitioner of High Renaissance naturalism in Florence. The subtle and ambiguous emotional tension present beneath the harmony of Andrea's forms and colours was greatly accentuated by one of his pupils, Jacopo Carrucci Pontormo. In Pontormo's Visdomini altarpiece (1518), the tension approaches the breaking point; the composition is vertical and lacking in a sense of space; and a host of similar but clashing centres of action create an impression of agitation. Pontormo persistedwith this expressive style, becoming increasingly influenced by the angular forms of Albrecht Durer's German engravings and by the more tortured aspects of Michelangelo's figure style. Vasari made it quite clear that Pontormo's development was in direct contradiction to the later ideals of Mannerism.

The second of Andrea's important pupils, Rosso Fiorentino, began in a not dissimilar spirit of expressive rebellion. His highly unconventional “Madonna with SS. John the Baptist, Anthony Abbot, Jerome and Stephen” for Santa Maria Nuova (1518; Uffizi) displays an aesthetic anarchy bolder than anything by Pontormo, and by the 1520s he was creating works of savage emotionality (e.g., the Volterra “Deposition,” 1521). In 1523 Rosso journeyed to Rome. There he was overwhelmed by three experiences: Michelangelo's ceiling in the Sistine Chapel, the late style of Raphael, and the art of the newly arrived Parmigianino.

Parmigianino brought with him from Parma three sample pictures to display his virtuosity to Roman patrons. His style,based originally upon that of Correggio, already possessed much of the attenuated elegance for which he became famous. In Rome Parmigianino was hailed as the new Raphael and specifically as a painter capable of reproducing the sophisticated grace of Raphael's late “St. Michael” (Louvre). Raphael had died in 1520, but his most authoritative late work in the Vatican stanze (papal apartments) was continued and developed by his foremost pupils, Giulio Romano (who left for Mantua in 1524) and Perino del Vaga. Their Roman styles rely upon a direct though refined use of the art of classical antiquity as a source of inspiration and upon an ingenious exploitation of different levels of pictorial reality within a single decorative scheme. The underlying artificiality of their manner was reinforced by the latent academicism of Michelangelo's Sistine ceiling nudes.

Rosso's encounter with the latest painting Rome offered resulted in a radical realignment of his style. His “Dead Christ with Angels” (c. 1526; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston), a subject that he would earlier have been inclined to treat with exceptional angularity of form, is executed with a new feeling for rarefied beauty. Emotion is now expressed less overtly, and his handling of paint is less aggressive. Rosso, Parmigianino, and Raphael's pupils undoubtedly influenced each other during the mid-1520s, but in 1527 Rome was sacked, and the artists of Pope Clement VII's court became scattered. Parmigianino fled to Bologna, returning after four years to his native Parma, where he continued to develop his personal form of mannered beauty (e.g., “Madonna of the Long Neck,” Uffizi). Perino found employment with the ruling family at Genoa, and Rosso visited a number of Italian cities before settling in France.

The sophisticated Mannerism that evolved in Rome before 1527 became the chief formative influence upon the styles of a number of important younger artists. Vasari and Francesco Salviati had passed their period of apprenticeshipin Andrea del Sarto's Florence. They parted in 1527 but resumed their close acquaintance in Rome (1531), and it wasthe Roman style that influenced their subsequent development. Vasari, Salviati, and Jacopino del Conte, who worked with Salviati on the frescoes for San Giovanni Decollato, Rome, attempted to combine the formal and narrative artifice of the late Raphael decorations with the complex figure style of Michelangelo. The result in Vasari's case is undeniably eclectic, but Salviati created an individual maniera of enormous facility and inventiveness (e.g., “Peace,” Palazzo Vecchio, Florence). The Raphaelesque element in the Roman style was reinforced by Perino's return to Rome in about 1538.

Salviati's career was unsettled—he worked in Florence, Rome, Venice, and France—but Vasari returned to Florence to the court of the Medici duke Cosimo I, who had replaced in 1537 the unpopular (and assassinated) Alessandro de' Medici. Cosimo and his Spanish wife, Eleonora de Toledo, whose formal Iberian tastes influenced the artistic life of the court, shrewdly embarked on an ambitious series of propagandistic projects to consolidate his political position. Vasari became the “stage manager” for much Medicean propaganda. His success as a painter and architect after 1555 was considerable, but his most important contribution to Mannerism was undoubtedly his advocacy of Mannerist ideals in his Lives , first published in 1550 and revised and extended in 1568. As Vasari realized, the most important painter in Cosimo's court was Il Bronzino, a pupil of Pontormo.

Bronzino had, from the first, reduced the emotional content that had been an important feature of Pontormo's style, and, during the 1530s in Florence, he began to establish a reputation as a court portrait painter. His mature portraits are elegant, perfectly finished, ingenious in detail, and aloofly formal, reflecting the Spanish etiquette of Cosimo's court. Bronzino was adopted as favourite artist by Eleonora, receiving the commission to decorate her small private chapel in the Palazzo Vecchio. The resulting frescoes are in no sense spiritually expressive, but they are brilliantly stylish, with references to antiquity, which displayed the erudition of both artist and sitter, and to Raphael and Michelangelo. Bronzino was later influenced by the teachings of the Counter-Reformation, adopting a more modest narrative style, but his underlying aesthetic art remained a sense of maniera.

A number of later Mannerists responded similarly to the Counter-Reformation—Santi di Tito is particularly important in this respect—but it was only with Federico Barocci that the ideals of Mannerism were abandoned in favour of an all-pervasive piety in religious painting. Barocci's attractively fluent and softly coloured style, based largely upon Correggio, may be considered as an exceptional precursor of the Baroque style. Barocci abandoned his Roman Mannerism as early as 1575, but the majority of his contemporaries in Rome and Florence continued to develop the eclectic aspects of the original maniera. Daniele da Volterra and Pellegrino Tibaldi painted in an explicitly Michelangelesque manner, while Cavaliere d'Arpino (Giuseppe Cesari) and Federico Zuccari, at the end of the century, investigated the complex intellectual conceits of the Raphael studio style. Zuccari—a painter, designer, and theorist—is the most representative figure of this late phase, and his travels (to Rome, Venice, Spain, England, France, and Antwerp) underline the internationalism of late Mannerist style.

Outside Florence and Rome, many of the major Italian cities succumbed to the spreading influence of Mannerism after 1527. Siena, under the lead of Domenico Beccafumi, developed a bizarre form of emotional Mannerism, but only Venice maintained a steady, independent Mannerism. Venice was certainly receptive to Mannerist influence—as seen in the works of Titian after 1530, Tintoretto, and Veronese—but, with the exception of Andrea Meldolla (Schiavone), Venetian painting continued to be dominated by non-Mannerist ideas in colouring and expression. Vasari's disparaging remarks about Tintoretto's lack of good design show clearly that the differences between Romano-Florentine and Venetian painting remained fundamental.

The early and High Renaissance style as developed in Italy did not immediately dominate all European painting. A few northern artists adopted Renaissance motifs but used them in a piecemeal manner without full comprehension of Italian compositional methods. After 1520, however, northern and Spanish artists came increasingly to understand and adopt Mannerist ideas, and highly individual schools of Mannerism began to appear in various centres outside Italy. Regional styles of considerable decorative flamboyance resulted from the fusion of the intricacies of the late Gothic style with the complexities of Mannerism.

Encyclopaedia Britannica

 
 
 
 
Niccolo dell' Abbate

born c. 1512, , Modena, Duchy of Modena
died 1571, Fontainebleau, Fr.

Abbate also spelled Abate painter of the Bolognese school who, along with others, introduced the post-Renaissance Italian style of painting known as Mannerism to France and helped to inspirethe French classical school of landscape painting.

He began his career in Modena as a student of the sculptor Antonio Begarelli. His “Martyrdom ofSt. Peter and St. Paul” in the church of S. Pietro, Modena (1547), probably established his reputation. During his stay in Bologna (1548–52), his style matured, influenced by his contemporaries Correggio and Parmigianino. His stucco-surface landscapes in the Poggi (now Palazzo dell'Università) survive to show his understanding of nature.

In 1552 Abbate was called to the court of the king of France, Henry II, at Fontainebleau, and remained in France for the rest of his life. With Francesco Primaticcio he composed immense murals, most of them later lost. His easel works, which included an enormous number of lyrical landscapes based upon pagan themes, were burned in 1643 by the Austrian regent, Anna. Among his later paintings executed for Charles IX were a series of landscapes with mythologies that influenced the 17th-century French painters Claude Lorrain and Nicolas Poussin. He also designed a series of tapestries, “Les Mois arabesques,” and some of his designs were adopted by the painted enamel industry of Limoges. His last works are believed to be 16 murals (1571) in which he was assisted by his son, Giulio Camillo. His work in Franceis recognized as a principal contribution to the first significant, wholly secular movement in French painting, the Fontainebleau style.

 
 
 


The Rape of Proserpine
Oil on canvas
Musee du Louvre, Paris
 
 
 


Deer Hunt
1550-52
Oil on canvas
Galleria Borghese, Rome
 
 
 


The Continence of Scipio
Oil on canvas
Musee du Louvre, Paris
 
 
 


Orpheus and Eurydice
Oil on canvas, 188 x 237 cm
National Gallery, London
 
 
 


Moise sauve des eaux
 
 
 


Portrait of a Gentleman with a Parrot
1552-55
oil on canvas
Art History Museum, Vienna
 
 
 
 
Giuseppe Arcimboldo

born c. 1527, , Milan [Italy] died 1593, Milan

Arcimboldo also spelled Arcimboldi Italian Mannerist painter whose grotesque compositions of fruits, vegetables, animals, books, and other objects were arranged to resemble human portraits. In the 20th century these double images were greatly admired by Salvador Dali and other Surrealist painters.

Beginning his career as a designer of stained glass windows for the Milan Cathedral, Arcimboldo moved to Prague, where he became one of the favourite court painters to the Habsburg rulers Maximilian II and Rudolph II. He also paintedsettings for the court theatre there and developed an expertise for illusionistic trickery. His paintings contained allegorical meanings, puns, and jokes that were appreciated by his contemporaries but lost upon audiences of a later date. His eccentric vision is epitomized in his portraits “Summer” and “Winter” (Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna).

Giuseppe Arcimboldo: Vertumnus

 
 

Giuseppe Arcimboldo
The Habsburg Emperor Rudolf II as Vertumnus
1590-91

 

Although they may seem like a parody of portraiture altogether to today's spectator, Giuseppe Arcimboldo's "teste composte" (composite heads), as a contemporary theoretician of art, Giovanni Paolo Lomazzo, called them, were generally given a positive reception when they were first shown. Partly, they were viewed as "grilli", as jokes, capriccios, or "chimaera". Set in relation to Horace's basic precept of "delectare et prodesse" (to be pleasing and useful), they could have a deeper meaning, too, making their apparent banality the object of scholarly discourse. Futhermore, many of these heads, although composed as accurately observed collections of different bits and pieces of reality (thus: personifications of the seasons, of the elements, of various professions), were actually intended as portraits and bore considerable resemblance to their sitters. In so doing, however, they were not thought disrespectful, but often viewed as acts of homage to the emperors Arcimboldo served as "court counterfeiter". (He was responsible, too, for the design of sets for courtly festivals and theatre productions). The "M" "embroidered" in the stawcoat worn by the allegorical figure of Winter, for example - like the Summer painting, this was signed in 1563 - is a reference to Emperor Maximilian II, who was crowned King of Bohemia and Hungary in the same year. The personification of Fire, executed in 1566, consisting of a match, an oil-lamp, a flint, a candle, burning wood, barrels of cannon and mouths of flintlocks, also contains an allusion to the Emperor. Hung over a coat-of-arms (showing the twin eagles of the Habsburgs) on the end of a bejewelled necklace around the figure's neck, is a Golden Fleece, an order founded by the Burgundian Philip the Good, an ancestor of the Habsburgs. The portrait's intention is even more pronounced in Arcimboldo's Vertumnus. The god of vegetation referred to here is Rudolf II who, according to Lomazzo, had asked the artist to make something amusing for him. The protean versatility which mythology ascribed to Vertumnus is attributed in this act of homage to the Emperor, with his vast variety of different fields of influence and activity. At the same time, the painting refers us to a principle of aesthetic metamorphosis which Comanini explains in 257 lines of verse in his somewhat verbose "Canzoniere" (1609). Here, Vertumnus calls himself a picture of deformity, bound to make people laugh. But paradox has it that ugliness of this kind is more beautiful than beauty itself. The chaos of the composition, it is said, relates to primaeval chaos, in which everything was mixed up. Arcimboldo, whose art, according to Comanini, outdoes even that of the antique painter Zeuxis, creates the illusion that we are looking at parts of the body when he is really showing us spiked ears of June corn, summer fruits etc. In this sense, the apparent chaos of the composition forms a unity, just as Rudolf II comprises many different things in one person. The ugliness of the figure is compared to that of the "Silen" admired by Plato (Socrates, in other words), who was apparently a "monster" on the outside, but whose inward qualities were quite magnificent.

Norbert Schneider

 
 
 
 
Jean Cousin the Elder

(b ?Souci, nr Sens, c. 1500; d ?Paris c. 1560).

He was from the region of Sens and started his career in that city. He is first documented in 1526 doing a land survey and again in 1530 designing fortifications for a village, fixing a clock and repairing and painting a statue for Sens Cathedral. By the later 1530s he must have been well established and affluent, since he was buying property. Before 1540 he moved to Paris, where he was employed at the end of 1539 on the decorations for the visit of Charles V. He was active there until his death but retained close ties with Sens, where he owned property and where he still worked periodically, as would his son.


The Rape of Europa
c. 1550
Oil on wood, 88 x 140 cm
Musee du Chateau, Blois

 
 
 
Toussaint Dubreuil

(b Paris, 1561; d Paris, 22 Nov 1602).

French painter and draughtsman. He was a pupil at Fontainebleau of Ruggiero de Ruggieri (d after 1597) and was also trained by Martin Freminet’s father Mederic Freminet, a rather mediocre painter in Paris. Dubreuil became Premier Peintre to Henry IV and is usually identified as a member of the so-called second Fontainebleau school, together with Ambroise Dubois and Martin Freminet. These artists were employed by the king to decorate the royal palaces, their functions being similar to those of Rosso Fiorentino and Primaticcio earlier at Fontainebleau under Francis I. Dubreuil’s death meant that many of the projects in which he was involved had to be completed by assistants. Despite this and the fact that the majority of his finished work has since been lost, he is considered an important link between the Mannerism of Primaticcio and the classicism of Nicolas Poussin and his contemporaries in the following century.



Angelique et Medor



Hyante et Climene a leur toilette
1594



Hyante et Climene offrant un sacrifice a Venus
1594


Portrait d'Henri IV en Hercule terrassant l'Hydre de Lerne




Dice offre un banquet a Francus

 
 
 
Daniele da Volterra

(b Volterra, 1509; d Rome, 4 April 1566).

Italian painter, stuccoist and sculptor. Much of the fascination of his career resides in the development of his style from provincial origins to a highly sophisticated manner, combining the most accomplished elements of the art of Michelangelo, Raphael and their Mannerist followers in a distinctive and highly original way. He provided an influential model for numerous later artists in Rome.


Daniele da Volterra
Madonna with Child, Sts Giovannino and Barbara
c. 1548
Oil on canvas
Private collection



Daniele da Volterra
Der Prophet Elias
ca.1550-1560




Daniele da Volterra
The Massacre of the Innocents
Oil on canvas
Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

 
 
 
Jacopo Bassano

(b Bassano del Grappa, c. 1510; d Bassano del Grappa, 13 Feb 1592).

Son of Francesco Bassano il vecchio. He was apprenticed to his father, with whom he collaborated on the Nativity (1528; Valstagna, Vicenza, parish church). In the first half of the 1530s Jacopo trained in Venice with Bonifazio de’ Pitati, whose influence, with echoes of Titian, is evident in the Flight into Egypt (1534; Bassano del Grappa, Mus. Civ.). He continued to work in the family shop until his father’s death in 1539. His paintings from those years were mainly altarpieces for local churches; many show signs of collaboration. He also worked on public commissions, such as the three canvases on biblical subjects (1535–6; Bassano del Grappa, Mus. Civ.) for the Palazzo Communale, Bassano del Grappa, in which the narrative schemes learnt from Bonifazio are combined with a new naturalism. From 1535 he concentrated on fresco painting, executing, for example, the interior and exterior decoration (1536–7) of S Lucia di Tezze, Vicenza, which demonstrates the maturity of his technique.


The Way to Calvary
c. 1540
Oil on canvas, 145 x 133 cm
National Gallery, London


Madonna and Child with Saints
1545-50
Oil on canvas, 191 x 134 cm
Alte Pinakothek, Munich

 
 
 


The Last Supper
1542
Oil on canvas
Galleria Borghese, Rome
 
 
 

 
 
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