Scrinium Classical Antiquity

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  • Übergangs- und Krisenperioden in der antiken Kunst. Phänomen des sog. Manierismus. Univerzita J.E. Purkyne V Brne, 1977. 141,48p. ills.(B&W photographs). Original off white cloth with pictorial dust wrps. With signature from Prof. Carl Deroux on free endpaper. 'Mannerism as a distinct style has only received recognition from art historians in recent years. The publication of this brief monograph was inspired by the spate of books on mannerist art of the sixteenth century that appeared in the years following the second world war. Pelikán, an authority on this subject, rightly points out the inadequacy of the conventional view of mannerism as the subjective development, in the post-Renaissance period, of exaggerated anti-classical tendencies that were only later to be resolved in baroque art. The author further contends, again with justification, that historians of ancient art have rarely treated mannerism seriously, being largely content to acknowledge the appearance of the style on an ad hoc basis as a quirk of the individual artist. (...). P.'s search for an historical interpretation of the style is to be welcomed. He sees it as an expression of the sense of crisis experienced in transitional periods of history, in which basic but contradictory conceptions of rendering an image (i.e. in representational or abstract form) appears simultaneously but in opposition to each other, so that final realization of the image is distorted in a manner that is visually disturbing to the viewer. Thus a figure may appear to be based on an idealized classical original, but the forms are treated in a manner that is wholly alien to the classical ideal. (...) P.s intention in writing this monograph is to examine the contradictions that appear in certain stages of development of ancient art in periods of political and social crisis and transition, and to consider the appearance of mannerist tendencies in ancient art as products of such instability. This is an interesting and exciting idea, but its exploration raises serious problems of methods. (...) The difficulty in forcing ancient works of art to conform to neat patterns my seem to detract from the author's claims for the historical roots of style. This weakness is the result of P.'s inadequate formulation of the historical structure within which mannerism was to be examined.' (SUSAN WALKER in The Journal of Roman Studies, 1980, pp.229-30). From the library of Prof. Carl Deroux. € 22.50 (Antiquarian)

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