Mannerist Portraits of the 16th Century

The sixteenth century was a period of intense political and military. The 1500s were also a period of religious change. The Italian painter Parmigianino was a pioneer of the mannerist style, which his work shows an essentially decorative emphasis and accomplished smoothness. They had a nickname for Parmigianino which was “little man from Parma”. At the age of 19 Parmigianino was commission to frescoes for the Parma Cathedral. Now the painting that I’ve chose from the Mannerist portraits of the 16th is Parmigianino’s Madonna and child with Angels, which is also Madonna of the Long Neck.

Now the reason they call it Madonna of the long Neck is because how long her neck is in the painting. The Madonna, in particular, has an elongated neck and tilted head. Her movement flows into the spatial twist of the torso and legs, Mary dress, in contrast to the usual blue and red. Parmigianino’s painting exemplifies the elongation that the Mannerists gave their figures. They made the stretching the human body in some ways the Mannerist artists seemed to be ahead of everyone else. This is one of the most popular subjects in Christian art.

It has been painted by hundreds of painters over the centuries to be placed in a church or chapel as an altarpiece. Some of the effects that are in the picture is the faces are more realistic and not idealized. The baby Jesus is less of a small man and more like a child. An attempt at creating depth has been attempted to place two background angels and through the use of linear perspective in the throne. Modeling is clearly visible as the light source is coming from the left of the painting.

Madonna drapery has larger and more naturalistic folds that shape her body. The way Madonna look had her head tilted and how her hand was on her chest in the picture was like she was in the royal family or had royal blood, and how the mannerism had a different style of painting the baby was bigger than the normal size baby. In the picture is see five angels looking at Madonna and the baby. They use Oil on panel, and if you pay attention to the floor there is a little man looking away from a scroll.

As you can see that the painting is taking place in a room, but in the background you can see a background of outside, and they used like a brownish colors to make it look like the sun is going down or coming up. If you look at Madonna and the angels cheeks, they have all have red blush on their cheeks. If you look close you can see that Madonna’s stomach is sticking out a little because the scene of the painting makes it look like she just had a baby.

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