The high renaissance is a short period characterized by exceptional art production in the states of Italy. The art the “Last Supper” in Milan created by Leonardo in the 1490s marked the beginning of the era, and it ended following the sack of Rome by Charles V troops in 1527. The most excellent application of the artistic goals and aims of renaissance reached its best during the high renaissance. Equally, the early renaissance developments such as one-point perspective and classical art are perfectly infused during the era of high renaissance. In other words, the art reached its peak depicting heroic compositions, rich artistic imaginations, as well as, technical competence. The ideals of balance and harmony in the different parts as well as details of the art supported the cohesive whole. The artwork on tempera paints was familiar in the era of early renaissance and earlier periods while the high renaissance there was the emergent and the use of the oil paints among the Italian artists of the time. The artists could create softer forms of art since the new methods were easier to manipulate and the vanishing point was readily distinguished (Efland 25).
Mannerism as an artistic style was borne in the late sixteenth century and lasted until the beginning of Baroque about 1580. However, it is argued that the northern mannerism overlapped into the early seventeenth century. The real-life accuracy experienced in the old forms of art was not crucial during mannerism, and this is evident in the abnormal elongation of the torso and neck. The mannerist artists were focused on creating interesting composition through the expression of emotions with a slight deviation from the previously cherished traits of a proper art of the early Renaissance. In the event of an artist’s illustration in the creation required un-proportional parts of the figure, the artist followed through with it and marked the distinguishing factor between the Mannerist artists and the early artists. Additionally, the symbolism was also explored by the Mannerist artists. Such artists used complex meaning and visual allegories in their quest to appeal to wealthier members of the society. A perfect example in this line is Parmigianino’s Madonna with the long neck that seems it was intended for the wealthy class (Karayev et al., 1314).
Moreover, the period of the high renaissance was dominated by three masters of art who included Raphael, Michelangelo, and Leonardo da Vinci. The talent, intellect, interest coupled with the expression of the classical as well as the humanist values made Leonardo da Vinci be termed as the ultimate man of renaissance. His best work in this period included “The Virgin of the Rocks,” “The Last Supper,” and “Mona Lisa.” Michelangelo, on the other hand, created his artwork on a vast scale and presented the human with precision and for inspiration. He was both a skilled sculptor and painter, and his most celebrated works include David in Florence, Pieta in St. Peter’s Cathedral, and the fresco of the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Raphael, though youngest among the three, made his best contribution by painting “The School of Athens” (Efland 29).
On the contrary, the most celebrated mannerist artists include Pontormo, Tibaldi, Bronzino, El Greco, as well as, Parmigianino. The emergent of mannerism prompted artists of the high renaissance to conform to the new style. However, it is determined that Michelangelo is the only one who survived the wave and transited into mannerism. His survival was influenced by his tendency towards dramatic and emotive depictions in his art as well as some sort of carelessness concerning the human figures in his work. The principal subjects of the works of art by the artists focused on religious figures and also individual lives depicting contemporary themes of the time (Karayev et al., 1320).
- Efland, Arthur D. A history of art education. Teachers College Press, 2017.
- Karayev, Sergey, et al. “Recognizing image style.” 2013.