Early Modern Wrynecks

Mannerism is considered the first art movement to affect all of Europe simultaneously. In the 16th century, artists in Florence, Prague, Antwerp and Madrid left behind the ideals of the Renaissance. They were no longer interested in harmony between human beings and their world but instead painted their works in a capricious manner. Garish colors, exaggerated proportions and diagonal perspectives reflected the controversy and changes that occurred during this period. Figures were portrayed with exaggerated gestures and landscapes included fantastic elements – a drastic form of expressiveness that remains up-to-date to this day. Whereas the perfect compositions of Renaissance artists exhibit unconstrained naturalism, Mannerist paintings appear orchestrated as though the image has become a stage upon which the figures perform according to the direction of the painter. Mannerist artwork of the 16th century was no longer the expression of reality but an object of perception: It called for conscious examination. Artistic approaches became apparent for the first time in the history of art. This laid the foundation for the perception of artists as creative individuals – a view that continues to hold sway today.