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Mannerism dates
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In the Deposition from the Cross, also known as the Entombment, painted by Jacopo Pontormo (1494-1557), the figures carrying the body of Christ appear to be dressed in strangely colored leotards, and some stand on tiptoe. Another famous Mannerist interpretation of the same subject, the Deposition painted in 1521 by Rosso Fiorentino (1494-1540), features grief-stricken figures whose clothes appear to billow in a high wind.

Parmigianino's most famous painting shows the Madonna and Child, a conventional subject, but the bodies are weirdly elongated, especially the neck of the Madonna; in fact, this picture is known simply as Madonna with the Long Neck.Many of the qualities that can make Mannerist art so unsettling come together in a work by Agnolo Bronzino (1503-1572) variously known as An Allegory of Venus and Cupid, An Allegory of Lust, or Venus, Cupid, Folly, and Time.It was only at this point that the term 'Mannerism' came into wide use as the proper name of a particular school of art.Generally, the Mannerists held on to the elements of Renaissance painting that made it so lifelike, especially those used to create the illusion of three dimensions.Significantly, the art of Venice, which remained stable and independent, was not much affected by Mannerism.

Mannerism wasn't taken seriously as a style until the start of the 20th century, when critics began to appreciate the Mannerists' experimental attitudes.But other elements might be distorted, or taken to extremes.Where an earlier generation of painters had sought to create a new sense of harmony and stability, the Mannerists introduced tension and strangeness.Only in the 20th century did it come to be widely admired.If your predecessors achieved perfection, what's left for you to do?No one has ever known quite what to make of the art of the Mannerists.