Mannerist artists “showcased their delight both in the momentous and in the unreal beauty that sprang from their imaginations,” explains Associate Professor of Art History Susan Wegner in the introduction to Beautiful Monstrosities, Elegant Distortions: The Artifice of Sixteenth-Century Mannerism. This new exhibition displays the evolution of Mannerism, from an early elegance and elongation of the human figure, to an accentuation of bodily proportions, occurring later in the movement. It showcases prints and drawings pulled from the Museum’s Permanent Collection, and is currently on view in the Becker Gallery until June 5, 2016.
On May 12, Susan Wegner and several students from her Fall 2015 course in Mannerism will lead a “Salon” in which they discuss the works in the exhibition, while exploring larger questions surrounding the movement’s key themes. The students will speak about the research they conducted throughout their studies. Bronzino’s Descent of Christ into Limbo is the work that Sarah Drumm ‘18 studied in depth during the semester. She notes, “the painting was completed during the middle years of the Council of Trent, which is a significant note of context considering the Council’s strict codification of the treatment of religious imagery.” Drumm looks forward to sharing her research that evening.