Storia dell'Arte

Un certo sentimento del deserto: il Manierismo

A sort of desert sentiment: the Mannerism

Realized by Fra' Bartolomeo the canvas had been cutted in the upper part, heads of Saint Paul (right) and of Saint Peter (left) lost.
Fra’ Bartolomeo, Deposizione (dopo il restauro), c.1515, olio su tavola, dim. 199 x 158 cm, Firenze, Galleria Palatina

The Mannerism. often di vided in first Mannerism and late Mannerism to more precisely denote the period referred, belongs to XVI century.

It is an artistic movement that interest the whole Europe, that in Italy has a very huge development, and for which few important artists that they have been living across the end of XV and the beginning of XVI century, are to be considered masters: Michelangelo (1475-1564), Leonardo (1452-1519), Vasari (1511-1574), Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528).

They opened the way for a new Painting, they substantially influenced on the vision of object in surronding, realizing the conquer of perspective while they enabled anyone to realise a copy of the three-dimensional reality, studing their masterpieces.

That is the reason why they would be considered “tutelary deity” of the artistic movement of Mannerism that has a further need of newness.  

Deposizione di Cristo di Jacopo Pontormo anche detta Deposizione di Santa Felicità dal nome della chiesa fiorentina in cui si trova
Pontormo, Deposizione, c.1526-28, olio su tavola, dim. 3,13 x 1,92 m, Firenze Chiesa di Santa Felicita

During the period of Mannerism painters have full mastery of the prospective field, the newness is placed in the fact that artists of Mannerism remove any focal points.

Men are painted outside from their sensible position.

Outplaced from the supposed location. They wouldn’t be there if the intention behind the painting would set up a balanced distribution and if it adhere to a perspective grill proportional to other elements (humans, architectural or of the landscape).

So the man is no more in a central position, a defined one; we are no more in front of the safety “here or no elsewhere”, differently from what fifteenth-centuries people felt due to the fact in that period man was at the centre point of any thought and also at the centre of the Universe.

Sebastiano del Piombo, Pietà, 1516-17, olio su tavola, 225 x 260 cm, Viterbo, Musei civici

The sixteenth-centuries feels a double anxiety: first to don’t be able (at least no more capable) to imagine the far limits of the world, then the second one, the anxiety coming from a completly new situation, never appropriatly introduced before: Western.

America was already surely existing before. A situation that one follows the discovery of the new world that needs an answer: how we weren’t able to realise it before? The decentralization of human figures and not only comprehensibly follows the question.

In example feet, feet to speak metaphorically are symbol for solidness, for support, safety; in Mannerism feet are delicate, still speaking metaphorically, put on what it isn’t exactly know.

Visually it are lightweight, as if they learned to stand on something less defined.

That the discovery of America would be considered the beginning of a new era is historically one of the most common consideration.

Other wise the newnesses introduced are stacks, i.e. the commerce of uncommon wares. It gave a strong awareness of the New World.

In that period something universally became common, a knowledge had been conquered: it is possible to draw something big as the world using a scale and a painting conveniently interpreted could coincide to reality.

That’s a conquest, and it has many implications, because of it moulds the thought in a sharper simbolic manner.

Realized by Rosso Fiorentino between 1537 and 1540, it is a Pietà (not a deposition from the cross)
Rosso Fiorentino, Pietà, 1537-1540, olio su tela trasferito su legno, dim. 125 x 159 cm, Parigi, Museo del Louvre

The same is realised by writing, daily, i. e. let’s reflect to whom keep a daily record, a diary.

The exercise of writing is useful to produce the so called “tell of him/herself”, it helps to rationalise events that happens during the day.

I reflect on the insert of fiction into Litterature, fact tha brought a new kind of awareness, letting the public in condition to image further eventual future; it reassures me of the fact that it is plausible that the perception of a global space perception broughts to the realisation of portions of canvases painted as if the scene is continuing elsewhere.

Looking those canvases for the second time, I see the eventuality that there are other persons and other places over painted ones, then those canvases won’t appear overcrowded or decentralised or suspended.

On the edge, we read in the successive Baroque stile (July 2017) a brilliant ulterior realisation of multiple focuses inside canvases.

I recall the multiple scenes by Pietro da Cortona, il Ratto delle Sabine.

The seventeenth-century referred to painting it will arrive to an inescapable awarness, to a complete control of the pictorial space.

“The terrible sentiment of the desert grabs us in front of free horizons, in front of the perspective in any directions that it opens when all presets ways are over”.

Licenza Creative Commons

Please, this article is shared with the following Creative Common License: Creative Commons Attribuzione – Non commerciale – Condividi allo stesso modo 3.0 Italia.

di/by Elettra Nicodemi

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