Jacopo Pontormo, Agnolo Bronzino, Andrea del Sarto, Rosso Fiorentino, Giorgio Vasari – in 2016, the Städel Museum will stage a major exhibition of superb works presenting the distinguished painters of Florentine Mannerism for the first time in Germany. With the aid of prominent loans, the show will acquaint the public with a key chapter in the history of Italian art in all its diversity. Spanning the period from the return of the Medici to Florence in 1512 and the initial artistic endeavours of the new generation around Pontormo and Rosso to the 1568 publication of Vasari’s Lives – artist biographies that still bear an influence today –, “Maniera” will be devoted to Florence as the first centre of European Mannerism.
More than 120 precious loans, including paintings as well as drawings and sculptures, will provide an unprecedented overview of a stylistically formative epoch for which the art historiographer Giorgio Vasari coined the colourful term “maniera”. Elegant, cultivated and artificial, but also capricious, extravagant and sometimes even bizarre: the art of Mannerism exhibits many facets. In 1967, the art historian John Shearman summed it up in a catchy formula – “the stylish style”. Its sophisticated grace and creative tenacity make the “maniera” one of the most fascinating phenomena in the art of Italy.