Italian Painting: Mannerism and Maniera
Sydney J. Freedberg, Arthur Kingsley Porter Professor of Fine Arts, Harvard University. In this lecture recorded on May 16, 1976, at the National Gallery of Art, Sydney J. Freedberg sought to clarify the art-historical terms of mannerism and maniera, which had become confused in the relatively new investigation by scholars into this period of 16th-century Italian art. High Renaissance art, dating from the early 16th century, recalled the substantiality of classical art and expressed order, serenity, and ideal beauty. Mannerism, emerging in the 1520s, was seen as a deliberate revolt against such classicism. The human figure was distorted and elongated, portraying an excessive emotionalism. Freedberg hoped to rescue mannerism from this perceived difference in character of form and quality of expression. In the process, he distinguished mannerism from maniera, the reigning style in Central Italy during the second half of the century.