Mannerist in North and Renaissance Music

In the visual arts the sixteenth century saw the spread of Italian Renaissance ideas northward. In some cases they were carried by Italian artists like Benvenuto Cellini, who went to work in France. Cellini was Goldsmith to Francis I of France from 1537 to 1545. He completed here hisfirst sculpture, the Salt Cellar. He imparted the monumentality of sculpture to a goldsmith’s design. The two langorous somatic types reflect the plethora of stucco work (polished like marble to imitate Roman techniques) produced by Rosso Fiorentino and Francesco Primaticcio at Fontainebleau. The style of the School of Fontainebleau and Italian Maniera is characterized by an elongation and abstraction of the poised rather than moving body, creating an unnatural elegance and sophistication. The cellar’s iconography reads like a programme for sculpture. The goddess of earth, holding her breast and a cornucopia to signify her nutritive powers, is flanked by a miniature Ionic temple for pepper corns. The god of the sea (Neptune), with trident and shell chariot, is flanked by a boat for salt. The elaborate ebony base is decorated with cartouches of reclining figures. They represent the four times of day alternating with four winds of seasons. Practical yet capricious, the cellar is a Mannerist masterpiece. Unfortunately, it was stolen from the museum and its present whereabouts is unknown.
Some major northern artists, like Albrecht Dürer, actually traveled to Italy. D?rer’s art was strongly influenced by Italian theories of perspective, proportion, and color, although he retained the strong interest in line typical of northern art. But not all his contemporaries showed the same interest in Italian styles.
Matthias Gr;newald’s paintings do not show Renaissance concerns for humanism and ideal beauty; instead, they draw on traditional medieval German art to project the artist’s own passionate religious beliefs, formed against the background of the…


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