mannerism

Discipline: Art

(16th century)

The Italian art historian GIORGIO VASARI (1511-1574) first coined the term maniera in reference to an effete and highly developed style now known as mannerism. This emerged in Italy from, and in reaction to, High Renaissance art, and was later disseminated in northern Europe.

Seen by many as representing the degeneracy of Renaissance art, Mannerism produced a bizarre and elegant style in which tension, juxtapositions of brilliant color and virtuoso displays of the artists' powers of invention were encouraged. With the emergence of Counter-Reformation doctrine, its stylistic importance waned.

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