5-6 June 2018

Maniera and Mannerisms: a Historiographic Paradigm of Cinquecento Art

Bibliotheca Hertziana – Max Planck Institute for Art History

As a collaboration of the Bibliotheca Hertziana in Rome, SACRIMA, and the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florence, this workshop presents a forum for scholars currently engaged in research projects that reckon with the historiographic challenges continuously shaping contemporary discourse regarding mannerism and artwork produced across the sixteenth century. 

The term “Mannerism” carries a fraught and contentious historiography that plays a significant role in shaping both the definition and scope of current scholarship. Formative studies by Jacob Burckhardt, Heinrich Wölfflin, Werner Weisbach, and Kurt Heinrich Busse imbued the term “Mannerism” with a pejorative connotation that effectively marginalized mid and late sixteenth-century art. The rehabilitation of Mannerism in the early twentieth century by Walter Friedländer and Max Dvořák offered new interpretations of the period. Perhaps the greatest sea change occurred during the 1960s in the wake of a series of publication from scholars, such as: Craig Hugh Smyth, John Shearman, Sydney Freedberg, Nikolaus Pevsner, Franzsepp Würtenberger, Giuliano Briganti, Jacques Bousquet, and Arnold Hauser. What appeared to be a moment of renewed interest in artists typically relegated to the periphery, and innovative analyses about the various influences on artistic style, gave way to a post- 1970s New Art History that championed the disruption of totalizing narratives, and encouraged the value of micro-histories over the long-established period/style conventions. In the present day, scholars working on sixteenth-century art are heirs to a historiography that resists consensus and offers a variety of interpretive and methodological possibilities.

Rather than rehearse the previous debates on the validity of the term “Mannerism,” this workshop brings together a range of scholars to assess the applicability of the numerous concepts outlining the subject, rethink the polemics and rhetoric of the field, propose original methodological inroads, and to signal pioneering topics and themes that offer creative approaches. Participants will present works-in-progress that stimulate a roundtable discussion, touching on questions like: what subjects, materials, or motifs were overlooked in the original assessments of the art commonly called “Mannerist”; what elements of these texts retain their usefulness, and which hold up under the pressure of our current valuation; how do we develop, refine, or recalibrate extant period/style definitions; how do we avoid the traditional bias of particular artists, workshops, or epicenters of production?

Download Program here


Day 1
Tuesday, June 5


Discussion #1: Mannerist Ideations and Iterations
Moderator: Tristan Weddigen

Welcome & Introduction (2:00-2:15)

Presentation 1 (2:15-3:00): Stefano Pierguidi (Sapienza Università di Roma)
“Però è Maniera e non ha naturalezza”: Raffaellino da Reggio e la nascita del concetto di Maniera

Presentation 2 (3:00-3:45): Valentina Balazarotti (Università degli Studi di Roma Tre)
La sfortuna di Lorenzo Sabatini tra Maniera e Natura

3:45-4:15pm Coffee Break


Discussion #2: Challenging a Rhetoric of Style
Moderators: Lorenzo Pericolo and Evonne Levy

Presentation 3 (4:15-5:00): Steven Cody (Purdue University, Indiana University)
Andrea del Sarto’s Color in a New Light.

Presentation 4 (5:00-5:45): Antonio Geremicca (Université de Liège)
Maniera, Stile. Il lessico vasariano e il ‘Mannerism’ di John Shearman

Day 2
Wednesday, June 6

Discussion #3: Crisis and Conformity
Moderators: Alessandro Nova and Silvia Ginzburg

Presentation 5 (9:30-10:15): Patrizia Tosini (Università degli Studi di Cassino e del Lazio Meridionale)
À rebours: rileggere “Pittura e Controriforma” sessant’anni dopo

Presentation 6 (10:15-11:00) Chiara Franceschini (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München)
Divagazione manieristica: Paola Barocchi su Rosso Fiorentino (1950) e Michelangelo (1964)

11:00-11:30am Coffee Break


Discussion #4: Mannerism and Mediality
Moderator: Stuart Lingo

Presentation 7 (11:30-12:15): Macarena Moralejo (Universidad de Granada)
Spanish Perspectives on Mannerist Architecture

Presentation 8 (12:15-1:00pm): Erin Giffin (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München)
A Matter of Relief: The Position of the Santa Casa di Loreto

1:00-2:00pm Lunch

Discussion #5: Material Mannerisms
Moderator: Chiara Franceschini and Andrew Leach

Presentation 9 (2:00-2:45): Serena Quagliaroli (Sapienza Università di Roma)
Decorazione e ornato nell’età della Maniera: problemi storiografici e funzionamento dei cantieri artistici nel Cinquecento

Presentation 10 (2:45-3:30): Victoria Addona (Harvard University)
‘Ours give Him broken things,’ or, Piecing Together Mannerist Architecture

3:30-4:00 Coffee Break

Discussion #6: Tracing a Historiographic Legacy
Moderator: Stephen Campbell

Presentation 11 (4:00-4:45): Tiffany Lynn Hunt (Temple University)
Who Speaks for the Council? The Problem of Trent and Tridentinismo

Presentation 12: (4:45-5:30): Andrew Leach (University of Sydney, Villa I Tatti)
Architecture and Mannerism in the 50s and 60s