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This (Mannerism/Art) escaped me earlier in the exchange over the Baroque. I think this author's approach is best characterized by the sentence:

"Art began to realize

own value." I suppose I can guess what that is supposed to mean - Art for art's sake? It fits with the rest of the article, seeing a 16th century style MAINLY in terms of paving the way for 20th century styles like Expressionism! Aaack! Mannerism had its own value, and MERE paradox was not it. It was abstruse, but decipherable. Whoever was doing those "Name Your Art Style" / Subpage entries was addicted to a bad survey text. *sigh*. --MichaelTinkler

This article is full of the pretentious artspeak that has alienated the average person from the fine arts. Now, I have attended a first-year art theory course so I know what "Agnolo Bronzino pushed the envelope, showing that which was condemned as attractive" means, but even I cannot understand what "He adored the paradox when a single truth had disintegrated" is supposed to mean. Corvus 18:31, 30 May 2005 (UTC)

I'll second that: I didn't want to throw it out when I was making a definition of Mannerism. Give us some better explanation of an illustration that really shows what's Mannerist about it. --Wetman 22:52, 30 May 2005 (UTC)
I've just read the article and I still have no idea what Mannerism was all about. 08:10, 7 May 2006 (UTC)

Mannerism outside art[edit]

Mannerism is also used as a term for a defining personality trait. Currently the page does not mention this at all, so I'd recommend a disambiguation at the top and a stub for the new page. -- 03:39, 28 March 2006 (UTC)

Mannerism is a self-applied label[edit]

"Like "modernism", the term is one of the few style designations whose label was self-applied

If this is true, then who were the first to self-apply it? I thought it was a label tought up by Burckhardt, Wölfflin et al.

I am referring to this phrase

"Mannerism" was initially a contentious stylistic label among art historians when it resurfaced before World War I, first used by German art historians like Heinrich Wölfflin

The only self-applied labels I can readily think of is Dada, Surrealism, Futurism, Impressonism and Decadent as in decadent art. The latter two were at first contentious labels by adverseries, but taken up by the offended as badges of pride. I can not even see Modernism as a self-applied label (maybe because I do not know the history involved) --Jahsonic 21:19, 23 October 2005 (UTC)

Perhaps Vasari's usage of 'maniera" should be discussed instead. "Artists developed a new movement called the bella maniera ('beautiful style')" a 2003 Getty Museum exhibition introduction remarks [1] The "-ism" may indeed be an adaptation of 19th century, the age of "isms". The contrast is with style designations like "Baroque' or "Rococo", never employed by baroque or rococo artists themselves. How can this useful though minor point be made with accuracy and neutrality? --Wetman 01:58, 24 October 2005 (UTC)
How can this useful though minor point be made with accuracy and neutrality?
Thanks for the clarification. I think this point can best be made in an article describing the process of "naming" cultural and artistic movements, pointing out the difference between self-applied and other labels. I feel uncomfortable and confused with a reference to Modernism in an article on a 16th century art movement. --Jahsonic 06:26, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

How can Mannerism be both a self-applied label and a label that was contentious when it surfaced among art historians? It doesn't make sense.(Anon.)

When it resurfaced among late nineteenth-century art historians, it was resisted at first by English writers. There was a similar initial resistance to "Baroque" as a style designation. --Wetman 01:14, 17 March 2007 (UTC)

Giorgone was not Mannerist[edit]

Giorgione's Tempest is an atypical painting. I would not label it as mannerist due to its timing. Overall Giorgone has high renaissance classicism. I vote deleting that sentence.

I'd agree that Giorgione's mysterious painting we call The Tempest does not have vivid enough Mannerist characteristics to be mentioned as part of a useful definition of "mannerist". That's the reason for not mentioning it in this article. Because we've decided that Giorgione is not a "Mannerist artist" or because the painting is too early to fall within a "Mannerist period"—these are not good reasons for deleting it. Parmigianino's paintings are not Mannerist because Parmigianino is a "Mannerist artist" and they were painted in the "Mannerist period." They have certain stylistic characteristics that are usefully described as "Mannerist." Surely we all understand these distinctions.--Wetman 05:32, 21 November 2005 (UTC)
I'd also like to raise the point of Tintoretto's work being labeled Mannerist. Why? A lot of the examples in this article are poor. Even El Greco being labeled a Mannerist is disputed among art historians. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:48, 8 May 2008 (UTC)
Giorgione was highly influential on Titian. He worked with Titian primarily in Venice while Mannerism truly florished in Rome and perhaps Florence. Also Giorgione died quite young and well befor eMannerism started. Giorgione was a break through artist who was not afraid to cross boundaries. He may be similar to what Gustave Courbet was to Impressionists (though Courbet clearly was not an Imprissionist) an influence on Mannerist paintors. His Tempest is indeed a complete challenge to the styles of his time. Helena Churchill (talk) 21:53, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
Please note that any discussion of Giorgione as a Mannerist has not been in this article for quite a while and was correctly deleted at some point in the past. --Stomme (talk) 22:25, 24 November 2008 (UTC)

Overall Tone is disputable[edit]

I think this article does not represent the issue of mannerism in the right way, to say in the way the latest research describes it. For instance John Shearman protests to the view that Mannerism is the art of a crisis in the renaissance world. This is what the article explicitly states. It is not objective. There is no proof whatsoever that the oddities of mannerist art were caused by the Sack of Rome or something. I also strongly protest the analogy that is drawn between avant garde (protest art) and mannerist art. And it is also untrue that ciniquecento-italians were using the term Mannerism, yes... they used 'maniera', but Mannerism is a 19th century invention. It can only properly be used in the context of John Shearman and other after-60's researchers. Both 19th century and Marxist (The Social History of Art - Hauser) are too preoccupied with their own theories and not with finding actual proof for their statements, and so is this article.

As I am writing the Dutch artricle on Mannerism now, it would result in the funny situation that in Holland and Flanders we will be much better informed about Italian Cinquecento :P

It would maybe also make sense to say something about other art-forms in the Cinquecento often labelled mannerist. I would say something about Tasso, Ariosto etc. would be nice. Maybe say something about Italian Madrigals in music. It's very strange now only some Engllish poets are discussed whilst nothing is said about the spread of mannerism througout Europe. There is a strong claim to make the Gerusalemme Liberata and Orlando Furioso are mannerist capolavori in poetry.

Niels B.

Categories like "Baroque" and "Mannerist", which were invented for painting and sculpture, extended easily to describe architecture. "Baroque" got applied to musical styles that were contemporaneous with Baroque architecture. But when "Baroque" and "Mannerist" are applied to literature, the stretch sometimes appears labored. And when one gets to talking about "Baroque science", readers' eyes start to roll up in their heads, and their eyelids flicker. It's probably best to start with critics' quotes employing the concepts applied to literature and stick quite close to them. "Mannerist" might help a reader understand certain aspects of Gerusalemme Liberata, say its elaborated metaphors. But Gerusalemme Liberata may not be an evocative and convincing example in the article on Mannerism. --Wetman 23:01, 24 August 2006 (UTC)

Well, I personally think that if one would define mannerism, as it should be, as an art for and by a cultured elite, who are able to 'read' its codes one could very easlily extend it to literature. And as literature is being discussed already, I'd rather have the Italian original in the text.

But my main point still stands. Especially the introduction of this article is much too 'flavoured', it borrows from literature than no art historian takes seriously anymore. Like Hauser, a marxist, or maybe some fine de siecle intellectuals. This point is very valuable if we discuss the reception-history of cinquecento art, but it shouldnt be put as some kind of truth.

There are some good ideas above. I am concerned that the introduction still seems to suggest that the Sack of Rome caused Mannerism. Even using 1527 as a starting date seems odd, since so-called "mannerist" elements enter Italian painting before then. I think a rather NPOV could be given to subsections of "types" of Mannerism: Courtly style, Tuscan "Anti-Classicism", Late Dutch and Flemish Mannerism, etc. All of these categories have problems, but they also reflect the reality of how mannerism is discussed (throughout Wikipedia and beyond). I am also wondering about the phrase, "it scarcely affected the popular arts". The examples given are rather Anglo-centric here, and I'm not sure I really understand how "popular arts" is even being used here. Can Benvenuto Cellini's Salt Cellar and various early Cabinets of curiosities or Kunstkammers be discussed as well--perhaps in relationship to "Decorative Arts" and other relevant categories. Overall, the section on painting seems too limited to Italian Mannerism, while the overall tone hints at the correct widespread and international nature of Mannerism.--Stomme 00:22, 17 March 2007 (UTC)

NPOV dispute [Mannerism][edit]

I guess mentioned reasons about neutrality speak for themselves. The main point of the introduction is totally unscientific and false. Mannerism was never a selfapplied label. Also can't it be regarded as a forerunner of modernism in any proper scientifically verified theory. Theorists who see 'mannerism' as a reaction on the post-sack of Rome crisis in Italy, the decline of humanism and so on, als well as a result of supposed mental ilnesses in the artists, usually have a hidden agenda. For instance Hauser, with his socialist ideas, or some people who are involved in the avant-garde movement who whish to claim mental forefathers. This is all very well, but it has nothing or little to do with Cinquecento art.

NPOV dispute [Mannerism][edit]

There appears to be a fierce attempt to install a POV in the lede of this article. I have therefore reverted to a previous edit. Please feel free to change, but take care to avoid POV e.g. comparison to decon, etc.Julie Martello 16:08, 9 November 2006 (UTC)

I removed reference to Mannerism being "an artistic style (usually painting), which emerged after the Sack of Rome (1527)" as this is just plain wrong (also in regards to the rest of the article). I also rid this of "neoclassical punctiliousness achieved in the Roman art and architecture of the High Renaissance", as it presents just one wordy approach. Feel free to make it better, but I hope that this article can develop into a discussion of the varieties of Mannerism instead of just trying to pigeonhole it in an out-dated "manner". --Stomme 07:43, 18 March 2007 (UTC)

Mannerism elsewhere[edit]

Am no art historian, but I would like to see some mention of artists sometimes labelled Northern (German, Flemish, Dutch) mannerists. From what I have noticed they were less predictable in subject matter, more idiosyncratic in style than their Latin colleagues. As for other remarks here - yes, the language is sometimes overdone, but what I find objectionable is not its pretentiousness but its occasional failure to make sense: what on Earth does "perfunctory realism" mean, especially in tandem with great attention to detail? Of course any article on art history is going to be, to some extent, personal - surely any civilized reader expects that and allows for it. I don't get the impression, anyway, that the writer claims the sack of Rome caused mannerist art to appear. Axel 19:19, 1 December 2006 (UTC)

Too Bold?[edit]

I honestly didn't understand this article when I first came upon it, and I feel I know a few things about Mannerism. I tried to reorganize the information into something readable and expand on unclear points, but I don't know if what is really needed is a rewrite or complete rethinking. If anything, I tried to get rid of the contradictions that came along every other paragraph and give some consistency to the article so somebody who just wants to know something about Mannerism can get some ideas. Feel free to do what you want with my changes, but I hope they are for the better. I didn't remove anything major, I don't think. They are mostly cosmetic changes and my own additions. I did remove mention of the Sack of Rome. Perhaps that could be expanded upon under Rosso Fiorentino as someone who left Italy for France after the sack. I don't know how much we want to get into historiography and "causes". It might just confuse a confusing label even more. The descriptions of the artists seem rather opinionated, but I kept most of the content as is. There are still some repetitions, and perhaps the "History" and "Nomenclature" sections overlap too much. Opinions? Go for it. --Stomme 21:09, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

Contemporary Examples[edit]

I am not quite sure, but I believe it would only be helpful If not good in and of itself to mention some contemporary examples of Mannerists. A useful example/starting-point could be, John Currin, who's work has often been attached to the label. Terms such as "perfunctory realism," might be clearer and better organized under the heading: satirical-this is often the case with Currin's work. --Count of Cascadia (talk) 20:58, 27 January 2008 (UTC)

That would transmit to the Wikipedia our own individual confusions of the set of sixteenth-century reactions to High Renaissance style that are called Mannerism with the mannerisms (Gerard Manley Hopkins' are notoriously easy to parody) evinced by writers and artists who are mannered (Ronald Firbank). A good first book that maintains a focused definition of Mannerism in the sense of this article is Sidney J. Freedberg, Painting in Italy 1500-1600. A separate definition of mannerism in all its senses might be good at Wiktionary. --Wetman (talk) 22:16, 27 January 2008 (UTC)

Further Reading Link[edit]

I removed this external link from the "Further Reading" section [with deepest apologies to the user who put it up there!], because I'm not entirely convinced that it's a great fit for this article—first because it seems to be a personal webpage, but also because it doesn't seem to directly address the issue at hand (namely an attempt to define Mannerism). However, I have a sneaking suspicion that in Wikipedia-land one isn't supposed to make unilateral decisions like whether something 'fits' as further reading, so I'm posting here about it too & leave the question up for debate. The link is below... Cheers! Isocephaly (talk) 19:02, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

This article needs to have succinct reports on the three stages of Mannerism as presented in Sidney J. Freedberg's Painting in Italy 1500-1600. That will help give it structure. --Wetman (talk) 06:18, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

Yes, yes; I agree & fully support this idea! Freedberg is great and this article could definitely use some help. [Unfortunately, on hand I only have his shorter article from 1965, wherein he seems to define two phases after "High Renaissance." First "Early Mannerism" (including Pontormo, et al—perhaps the artists who have sometimes been called the more 'expressionist' branch?), and second "Maniera" (Bronzino, Vasari, etc—the "chaste, cool light" painters). Third phase?] Cheers, Isocephaly (talk) 14:20, 2 May 2008 (UTC)

Freedberg is good, and it could provide a valuable starting point. A couple of limitations immediately come to mind: it is exclusively Italian in focus and it is often at odds with Shearman's approach—the other big player at that point in the scholarship. I wish I had the book available at the moment, but if I recall he does a pretty good job of spelling out some of the historiographical issues of the day. If someone wants to take on that mission, go for it. The problem is avoiding thedesire to define Mannerism as one thing, one trend, or one cohesive movement. This is a general article that will need to accommodate a number of approaches; especially as Mannerism spreads from Florence and Rome. A while back I played around with the article on my own. If you want to see an incomplete sketch that perhaps has some useful references and ideas I went ahead and placed it in my own user space. Please note that this reflects work as of last summer, and is not up to date regrding more recent changes to the article. Feel free to incorporate any part of it. --Stomme (talk) 15:22, 2 May 2008 (UTC)

Brilliant; thank you! I will take a look & maybe we can have a whack at this thing ~ Isocephaly (talk) 13:33, 10 May 2008 (UTC)

I indicated some months ago that I would try to take a whack at editing this article - and so it begins. I do not know how far I'll get tonight, but would like to thank you Stomme, for putting your draft up. It's very helpful, and I would like to credit you (here) with a great deal of leg work. Cheers, Isocephaly (talk) 23:41, 19 July 2008 (UTC)
Ok, part two to this update: I tried to pull some of the disparate parts together, and eliminate confusing statements along with repetitive bits in the opening sections; I conflated much of "History" with "Nomenclature" (what wasn't redundant), and changed the rest to "Early Theorists" but didn't edit that section. Nor did I touch anything about music or architecture, etc, outside Italy (I'm not really qualified, in any case). Still much to be done, but I gave it a good try for now. Thanks again to Stomme; your work was extremely useful. All best, Isocephaly (talk) 03:19, 20 July 2008 (UTC)

On the onomastics of the term.[edit]

I have a book here which suggests that mannerism was infact coined in reference to an italian born artist living in france, namely Giambattista Marini (1569-1625). I freely confess I find this definition a bit strange, since it would involve the transposition of "n" and "r" in the term. But since the book mentions it, I will too here... take it for what it is worth. I am not convinced myself of the accuracy of this factoid. -- Cimon Avaro; on a pogostick. (talk) 10:27, 12 January 2009 (UTC)

It sounds like a send-up. What is the book, and was it published on April 1st?—Jerome Kohl (talk) 18:39, 12 January 2009 (UTC)

Superhero comic books[edit]

It sounds to me like comic books, especially superhero, are a vertitable modern shrine to mannerism. Hasn't there been any academic study on this? -- AvatarMN (talk) 07:08, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

I am not aware that superhero comic books were published as early as the sixteenth century ("Mannerism is a period of European art that emerged from the later years of the Italian High Renaissance around 1520. It lasted until about 1580 in Italy, when a more Baroque style began to replace it, but Northern Mannerism continued into the early 17th century throughout much of Europe" to quote the article's first two sentences). There have certainly been academic studies on superhero comic books, but none to my (poor) knowledge linking them to the styles of Correggio, Bronzino, Caravaggio, or Titian.—Jerome Kohl (talk) 18:21, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
Well... mannerism had its heyday, but I'm sure it's still an influence today. Or its attributes are still around. Etc. -- AvatarMN (talk) 04:14, 21 June 2009 (UTC)
Mannerism as a general stylistic phenomenon is a concept well-established in art history; for example certain periods of Hellenistic and then late-Roman sculpture and architecture are often described using the term, though these did have some influence on late-Renaissance Mannerism. The article could have a section on this, though OR needs to be carefully avoided. Johnbod (talk) 12:05, 14 November 2009 (UTC)
Certainly, OR needs to be avoided. I was asking whether there has been research on it published. Because I don't know a lot about art history, but I am a lifelong superhero comic book fan, and after I stumbled onto this article for a reason I no longer remember but probably had nothing to do with comic books... I just started to put together myself that this certainly sounds like the art philosophy that drives superhero comic books to me. "Notable for elongated forms, precariously balanced poses, a collapsed perspective, irrational settings, and theatrical lighting." And "theirs was an art imitating art, rather than an art imitating nature." That's a beautifully stated and apt description of superhero comics if I've ever heard it. But that's my OR. I'd love to read a professional's well-researched work on the subject, if it existed. -- AvatarMN (talk) 12:17, 19 December 2009 (UTC)


It seems to me that we need someone to start a good definition of Counter-Maniera here. Valueyou (talk) 11:21, 14 November 2009 (UTC)

El Greco[edit]

The El Greco page says that he "has been characterized by modern scholars as an artist so individual that he belongs to no conventional school." The section on the page also does not have a source, although some of their points seem valid. Should it be removed? Helixer (hábleme) 04:09, 23 January 2011 (UTC)

Well add a cite tag first. Just because it gives no source does not mean it doesn't have one. Johnbod (talk) 14:09, 23 January 2011 (UTC)
. I didn't post that information, so I don't know where I could find a citation. But what I was really trying to get at is that while El Greco possibly exhibits some of the Mannerist "style", it seems more that he was ahead of his time and shouldn't be classified as a Mannerist. Helixer (hábleme) 03:26, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
Well he has various elements in his style, including a large Greek component & of course much that is individual, but it is perfectly conventional, & referenced here, to call him Mannerist in part. This is covered at his article more fully. Johnbod (talk) 12:56, 22 April 2011 (UTC)


The sentence about Shakespeare being in some sense representative of Mannerism is very awkwardly appended to a paragraph devoted to Italian mannerism of the Cinquecento. It's out of place and I've removed it. If someone wants it restored, they need to elaborate on the point, preferably in a separate paragraph. It's not enough to drop an undeveloped claim (supported, if that is the word, by reference to a single work, relevant page numbers missing). This is Shakespeare, there should be at least a modicum of argument supported with examples to make the case for his place in the Mannerist movement, however broadly it's interpreted. I've tried to clean up the prose and clarify the meaning of certain passages but gave up when I got to the section on Vasari's Lives. The article leans heavily on Cheney's anthology of readings on Mannerism, paraphrased clumsily. The reader often gets the impression that English was not the contributor's first language. I'm done in any case, it would be nice to see someone else improve on the little I've done. Mannerism is an important movement—the article at least convinces the reader of that—and should not be rated Low Importance by the powers that be around here!— Preceding unsigned comment added by Prohairesius (talkcontribs) 02:29, 8 February 2013 (UTC)


Mannerism is an important movement—the article at least convinces the reader of that—and should not be rated Low Importance by the powers that be around here!— Preceding unsigned comment added by Prohairesius (talkcontribs) 02:29, 8 February 2013 (UTC)

Mannerism is indeed an important movement. It should not be rated Low Importance but pretty High. It is basic art history.

Hafspajen (talk) 16:31, 19 March 2013 (UTC)

The Visual arts project doesn't use importance scales, & I have removed the inappropriate philosophy/aesthetics banner. Johnbod (talk) 16:41, 19 March 2013 (UTC)

Thanks, Hafspajen (talk) 19:00, 19 March 2013 (UTC)


Realism or naturalism was not a trait of the Renaissance, as stated in the article before. Realism or naturalism as a style meaning the honest, unidealizing depiction of the subject, depicting any type of subject, without any commitment to treating the typical or everyday. Renaissance is the general idealism of classical art. Renaissance theorists opened a debate as to the correct balance between drawing art from the observation of nature and from idealized forms, typically those found in classical models. Even when all admitted the importance of the natural, many believed it should be idealized to various degrees to include only the beautiful. Hafspajen (talk) 10:42, 10 May 2013 (UTC)

Neither of those are the right links, and the terms are notoriously treacherous in English, their meaning highly dependent on capitalization. What the article said "the harmonious ideals and restrained naturalism associated with artists such as Leonardo da Vinci..." is fine, though the link (if any) should go to a different section of the article at Realism (arts). Your addition "By the end of the High Renaissance, the arts end young artist experienced a crisis ..." is clearly garbled. Johnbod (talk) 12:52, 10 May 2013 (UTC)

Article tagged as too abstract[edit]

I don't agree. Please discuss what you don't understand specifically. It is difficult to tagg a whole article as 'too abstract - please discuss your concerns. Hafspajen (talk) 21:12, 5 February 2015 (UTC) This is from the Simple English Wiki that exists because of this concern.

Mannerism is a style of art that was created in the Late Renaissance period, from about 1520 until about 1600. The Mannerist style of painting or sculpture often shows figures that are "elongated" (made longer) and "distorted" (made into strange shapes"). The Mannerist style began in Italy, where the artists were influenced by the figures that Michelangelo painted. During the Renaissance, artists like Leonardo da Vinci and Raphael had tried very hard to learn from nature, and to paint things in a way that was very realistic. These two famous painters both died around 1520. Many artists then decided that they were going to use the art of painting to "express themselves". They were not going to follow the rules of anatomy and perspective in the way that Leonardo and Raphael did. Mannerist paintings are often full of figures that seem to be twisting, writhing or fighting. The faces of the figures often show strong emotions such as sadness, fear, hatred or sexual feelings.'

This is their definition, -Hafspajen (talk) 21:17, 5 February 2015 (UTC)