Dictionary of Art and Artists



 

 


History of

Architecture and Sculpture

 
 

 

 
 

 
 

CONTENTS:

 
 

PART ONE
THE ANCIENT WORLD
PREHISTORIC ART
EGYPTIAN ART

ANCIENT NEAR EASTERN ART
AEGEAN ART
GREEK ART
ETRUSCAN ART
ROMAN ART
EARLY CHRISTIAN AND BYZANTINE ART

PART TWO
THE MIDDLE AGES
EARLY MEDIEVAL ART
ROMANESQUE ART
GOTHIC ART

PART THREE
THE RENAISSANCE THROUGH THE ROCOCO
LATE GOTHIC
THE EARLY RENAISSANCE IN ITALY
THE HIGH RENAISSANCE IN ITALY
MANNERISM AND OTHER TRENDS
THE RENAISSANCE IN THE NORTH
THE BAROQUE IN ITALY AND SPAIN
THE BAROQUE IN FLANDERS AND HOLLAND
THE BAROQUE
THE ROCOCO

PART FOUR
THE MODERN WORLD
NEOCLASSICISM AND ROMANTICISM
REALISM AND IMPRESSIONISM
POST-IMPRESSIONISM, SYMBOLISM, AND ART NOUVEAU

PART FIVE
TWENTIETH-CENTURY
TWENTIETH-CENTURY SCULPTURE
TWENTIETH-CENTURY ARCHITECTURE


INDEX
FIGURES
 

 
 

 
 

CHAPTER FOUR

 

MANNERISM AND OTHER TRENDS
 

PAINTING
SCULPTURE - Part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11
ARCHITECTURE - Part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
 

 


ARCHITECTURE
 

Mannerism

The term Mannerism was first coined to describe painting of the period. We have not encountered any difficulty in applying it to sculpture. But can it be usefully extended to architecture as well? And if so, what qualities must we look for? These questions have proved surprisingly difficult to answer precisely. The reasons are all the more puzzling, because the important Mannerist architects were leading painters and sculptors. Reflecting our dilemma, only a few structures are generally acknowledged today as Mannerist. Such a building is the Palazzo del Òå, Mantua, by Giulio Romano (c. 1499-1566), Raphael's chief assistant. The courtyard facade (fig. 698) features unusually squat proportions and coarse rustication. The massive, and utterly useless, keystones of the windows have been "squeezed" up by the force of the triangular lintelsan absurd impossibility, since there are no true arches except over the central doorway, which is surmounted by a pediment in violation of classical canon. Even more bizarre is how the metope midway between each pair of columns "slips" downward in defiance of all logic and accepted practice, creating the uneasy sense that the frieze might collapse before our eyes.

The reliance on idiosyncratic gestures that depart from Renaissance norms does not in itself provide a viable definition of Mannerism as an architectural period style. What, then, are the qualities we must look for? Above all, form is divorced from content for the sake of surface effect. The emphasis instead is on picturesque devices, especially encrusted decoration, with the occasional distortion of form and novel, even illogical, rearrangement of space. Thus Mannerist architecture lacks a consistent integration between elements.


698. Giulio Romano. Courtvard, Palazzo del Òå, Mantua. 1527-34




698. Giulio Romano. Courtvard, Palazzo del Òå, Mantua. 1527-34

 

 


Giulio Romano

Giulio Romano, original name Giulio Pippi, in full Giulio di Pietro di Filippo de’ Gianuzzi (born 1492/99, Rome [Italy]—died Nov. 1, 1546, Mantua, Duchy of Mantua), late Renaissance painter and architect, the principal heir of Raphael, and one of the initiators of the Mannerist style.

Giulio was apprenticed to Raphael as a child and had become so important in the workshop that by Raphael’s death, in 1520, he was named with G. Penni as one of the master’s chief heirs; he also became his principal artistic executor. After Raphael’s death, Giulio completed a number of his master’s unfinished works, including the Transfiguration. In his original work from these years, such as the Madonna and Saints (c. 1523) and the Stoning of St. Stephen (1523), Giulio developed a highly personal, anticlassical style of painting.

In 1524 Giulio left Rome for Mantua, where he remained until his death, completely dominating the artistic affairs of that duchy. The most important of all his works is the Palazzo del Te, on the outskirts of Mantua, begun in 1525 or 1526 and built and decorated entirely by him and his pupils. This palace is almost a parody of the serene classicism of Donato Bramante while retaining the forms of Roman antiquity. The building consists of a square block around a central court with a garden opening off at right angles to the main axis—in itself characteristic of the way in which all the elements are slightly different from what would be expected. The design is particularly famous for its capricious misuse of ancient Greek and Roman ornamental motifs.

The principal rooms of the Palazzo del Te are the Sala di Psiche, with erotic frescoes of the loves of the gods; the Sala dei Cavalli, with life-size portraits of some of the Gonzaga horses; and the fantastic Sala dei Giganti. This showpiece of trompe l’oeil (illusionistic) decoration is painted from floor to ceiling with a continuous scene of the giants attempting to storm Olympus and being repulsed by the gods. On the ceiling, Jupiter hurls his thunderbolts, and the spectator is made to feel that he, like the giants, is crushed by the mountains that topple onto him, writhing in the burning wreckage. Even the fireplace was incorporated into the decoration, and the flames had a part to play. This room was completed by 1534, with much help from Rinaldo Mantovano, Giulio’s principal assistant. The colour is very crude; the subject is suited to facile virtuosity and tends to bring out the streak of cruelty and obscenity that runs just below the surface in much of Giulio’s painting.

In Mantua itself he did a great deal of work in the huge Reggia dei Gonzaga. The decorations of the Sala di Troia are particularly noteworthy in that they look forward to the illusionistic ceiling decorations of the Baroque; this style was probably inspired by the presence in Mantua of the Camera degli Sposi by Andrea Mantegna. Giulio also built for himself a Mannerist version of the House of Raphael (1544–46) and began the rebuilding of the cathedral (1545 onward).

Encyclopædia Britannica
 

 



VASARI.

The Palazzo degli Uffizi in Florence, by Giorgio Vasari, whom we have already encountered as a painter and biographer, consists of two long wings
originally intended, as the name Uffizi suggests, for officesfacing each other across a narrow court and linked at one end by a loggia (fig. 699). Vasari's inspiration is not far to seek: the "tired" scroll brackets and the peculiar combination of column and wall have their source in the vestibule of the Laurentian Library. We will recall Vasari's praise for Michelangelo's unorthodox use of the classical vocabulary. Does this mean that the Laurentian Library itself is Mannerist? The case can be argued both ways. On the one hand, Michelangelo's design is as willful a subversion of High Renaissance classicism as Rosso's Descent from the Cross (see fig. 675); on the other, these devices serve a powerful expressive purpose in the Laurentian Library that responds to the imperative of Michelangelo's genius, whereas in Vasari's paraphrase they have been reduced to empty gestures. Whichever side one takes (they are not mutually exclusive), the differences in the results are plain enough. The Uffizi loggia lacks the sculptural power and eloquence of its model; rather, it forms a screen as weightless as the facade of the Pazzi Chapel (see fig. 583). What is tense in Michelangelo's design becomes merely ambiguous. The architectural members seem as devoid of energy as the human figures in Vasari's Perseus and Andromeda (fig. 681), and their relationships as studiedly "artificial."



699. Giorgio Vasari. Loggia of the Palazzo degli Uffizi, Florence (view from the Arno River). Begun 1560




Giorgio Vasari. The Uffizi colonnade and loggia
Giorgio Vasari. The Loggia of Vasari in Arezzo




The Vasari Corridor passing over the Ponte Vecchio
 

 


Giorgio Vasari

Giorgio Vasari, (born July 30, 1511, Arezzo [Italy]—died June 27, 1574, Florence), Italian painter, architect, and writer who is best known for his important biographies of Italian Renaissance artists.

When still a child, Vasari was the pupil of Guglielmo de Marcillat, but his decisive training was in Florence, where he enjoyed the friendship and patronage of the Medici family, trained within the circle of Andrea del Sarto, and became a lifelong admirer of Michelangelo. As an artist Vasari was both studious and prolific. His painting is best represented by the fresco cycles in the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence and by the so-called 100-days fresco, which depicts scenes from the life of Pope Paul III, in the Cancelleria in Rome. Vasari’s paintings, often produced with the help of a team of assistants, are in the style of the Tuscan Mannerists and have often been criticized as being facile, superficial, and lacking a sense of colour. Contemporary scholars regard Vasari more highly as an architect than as a painter. His best-known buildings are the Uffizi in Florence, begun in 1560 for Cosimo I de’ Medici, and the church, monastery, and palace created for the Cavalieri di San Stefano in Pisa. These designs show the influence of Michelangelo and are outstanding examples of the Tuscan Mannerist style of architecture.

Vasari’s fame rests on his massive book Le Vite de’ più eccellenti architetti, pittori, et scultori italiani… (1550, 2nd ed., 1568; Lives of the Most Eminent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects, 1850–52, trans. of the 2nd ed.), which was dedicated to Cosimo de’ Medici. In it Vasari offers his own critical history of Western art through several prefaces and a lengthy series of artist biographies. These discussions present three periods of artistic development: according to Vasari, the excellence of the art of classical antiquity was followed by a decline of quality during the Dark Ages, which was in turn reversed by a renaissance of the arts in Tuscany in the 14th century, initiated by Cimabue and Giotto and culminating in the works of Michelangelo. A second and much-enlarged edition of Lives, which added the biographies of a number of artists then living, as well as Vasari’s own autobiography, is now much better known than the first edition and has been widely translated.

Vasari’s writing style in the Lives is anecdotal and eminently readable. When facts were scarce, however, he did not hesitate to fill in the gaps with information of questionable veracity. His bias toward Italian (and more specifically Tuscan) art is also undeniable. Despite these flaws, Vasari’s work in Lives represents the first grandiose example of modern historiography and has proven to be hugely influential. The canon of Italian Renaissance artists he established in the book endures as the standard to this day. Moreover, the trajectory of art history he presented has formed the conceptual basis for Renaissance scholarship and continues to influence popular perceptions of the history of Western painting.
 

Encyclopædia Britannica
 

 


 

Pirro Ligorio.


The architecture of the High Renaissance took a variety of forms. The Raphaelesque and classical culture produced a naturalistic and pictorial type of architecture, sumptuously interpreted by Pirro Ligorio (1510-83) in the gardens of the Vatican. The crucial role played by Michelangelo in architectural works for the papacy led him to adopt an increasingly individual and subjective understanding of structures and the orders, transforming them into dynamic new forms. Pirro Ligorio, the architect of the Villa d'Este at Tivoli, built the casino (garden house) for Pius IV in the Vatican Gardens in accordance with the humanist ideal of man's harmony with nature. The structure is on the slope of a hill and is .surrounded by flights of steps, niches, courtyards, and loggias. The whole of the facade is decorated with classical motifs and mythological scenes, which continue even more abundantly on the interior. At about the same time. Michelangelo was working on a model for the dome of St Peter's, the final part of his design for the basilica. Rejecting Antonio da Sangallo the Younger's wild Mannerist design, he reinstated some of Bramante's original features, but he kept the Florentine ribbed dome in preference to Bramante's hemisphere. When he died in 1564 the drum, with its system of butressing consisting of projecting paired columns alternating with large windows, was under construction. Another of his designs that he never saw completed was the magnificent entrance hall of the Laurentian Library in Florence. This was built from a model produced in f 1557.

 


 


Pirro Ligorio

Pirro Ligorio, (born c. 1510, Naples—died October 1583, Ferrara [Italy]), Italian architect, painter, landscaper, and antiquarian who designed the Villa d’Este at Tivoli (1550–69), which still stands in its original state. Built for Ligorio’s patron, Cardinal Ippolito d’Este, the villa has a planted landscape and a vast terraced garden with spectacular fountains leading up to the huge house. Ligorio also built the Casino of Pope Pius IV (Casina di Pio IV) in the Vatican Gardens (1558–62) and the Rotunda with Baldassare Peruzzi (1481–1536). He decorated his works with profuse stucco ornament; the Casino is a good example of his decoration. Ligorio also published a work on Roman antiquities and compiled an influential collection of Roman inscriptions, many of which were later found to be fraudulent.
 

 



Pirro Ligorio. The lodge in the Belvedere courtyard, in Vatican Museums

 

 


Pirro Ligorio
Garden house of Pope Pius IV, facade, Vatican City, Rome
1558-62


Palazzina of Pius IV Rome, Lazio, Italy

         
           


Ceiling Casina of Pius IV (Villa Pia) Vatican,
Vatican, Holy See


Ceiling Casina of Pius IV (Villa Pia) Vatican,
Vatican, Holy See

 

 

 


In Rome, Ligorio created the Villa Julia's
nymph grotto.

 

Casina of Pius IV (Villa Pia) Vatican, Vatican, Holy See
1558-1562

 
 


Parco dei Mostri
(Parco degli Orsini; Sacro Boscro)
Bomarzo, Lazio, Italy


Sculpture Parco dei Mostri
(Parco degli Orsini; Sacro Boscro) 
Bomarzo, Lazio, Italy

 

 

Discuss Art

Please note: site admin does not answer any questions. This is our readers discussion only.

 
| privacy