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Home :: Archive :: 2008 :: August ::
Mannerism
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 19.0475  Friday, 15 August 2008

From:       David Evett <
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Date:       Thursday, 14 Aug 2008 12:52:45 -0400
Subject: 19.0462 Intentions Reactions
Comment:    Re: SHK 19.0462 Intentions Reactions

 >Arnold Hauser classifies him convincingly as a Mannerist; others
 >say he has no mannerisms. So there is quite a lot to sort out.

Felix de Villiers should understand that Mannerism, as an art historical term 
designating (a) a group of 16th- and early 17th-century painters, sculptors, and 
architects that included Michelangelo and El Greco, among many others or, as 
Hauser proposes, (b) a recurrent way of making art that also has 19th- and 20th- 
and presumably 21st-century practioners, as Hauser proposes, is not a matter of 
having mannerisms. Some, maybe most artists have distinctive ways of doing 
things -- mannerisms, if you will -- that among other things help the critic or 
appraiser or historian to identify a work as Pontormo's or Francis Bacon's even 
without the signature and authenticated provenance. The term began as an 
observation that in the work of some artists, the manner -- what de Villiers 
presumably means by Style -- seems to become an object in itself rather than a 
means for presenting or representing some subject. The topic would hence belong 
very comfortably in the discussion de Villiers proposes. The real usefulness of 
the style-content dichotomy is pretty widely challenged in post-modern theory, 
of course; but that could be one of the threads of the conversation.

Hauser's is hardly the last word on the topic, by the way.

David Evett

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