Pontormo and Rosso. Diverging Paths of Mannerism
The exhibition aims to explore the chronological development of the season of Italian 16th
Century art which Giorgio Vasari termed the “Modern Manner”.
This landmark exhibition, held in a textbook example of the Renaissance style, leads us through the work of Pontormo and Rosso Fiorentino, two original and highly unconventional painters who were among the most important adepts of what 20th Century art historians labelled “Mannerism”. The exhibition aims to explore the chronological development of the season of Italian 16th Century art which Giorgio Vasari termed the “Modern Manner”. The exhibition, comprising over 80 works, will allow visitors to admire some 50 paintings by the two artists (ranging from panels to canvases and detached frescoes) accounting for 70% of their entire output. Loaned by major museums and private collections around the world, many of the works have been especially restored for the occasion. Florence is the ideal place to stage such an exhibition as so many of the two artists’ most important works are to be found in the city and the surrounding area. Pontormo and Rosso both trained under the ‘’flawless’’ Andrea del Sarto, yet each maintained an independent approach and freedom of expression. Pontormo, always a favourite with the Medici, was a painter open to stylistic variety and to a renewal of the traditional approach to composition. Rosso, on the other hand, was more tightly bound to tradition, yet he was fully capable of originality and innovation; he was also much influenced by Cabalistic literature and esoteric works. Curated by Prof. Antonio Natali, director of the Uffizi Gallery, the exhibition will showcase new historical and iconological research into the work of the two artists generally held to be the two sides of the coin. Its aim is to provide visitors with a new awareness of the artistic spirit that drove two of the great masters of Italian Cinquecento painting. The exhibition will be divided into eight sections, allowing visitors to explore different aspects of the two great artists’ work while at the same time tracking their history in chronological order, from their earliest training to the artistic legacy. Designed as two parallel monographic overviews mirroring one another, the exhibition displays the work of Pontormo and Rosso in chronological sequence, enabling visitors to appreciate the two painters’ profoundly different approaches to artistic expression.