Risk-taker or not, everyone is welcome to our painting workshops in Italy


Painting workshops in Italy
Parmigianino, a Mannerist risk-taker, Cupid sharpening his bow, c. 1533 oil on wood, 135 cm × 65 cm Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, Austria

You the Mannerist during our art workshop in Tuscany!

Attending one of our painting workshops in Tuscany or Provence, is being a member of a wild bunch!  We are not going to rob the Banca de Toscana, like the aging group of outlaws of the notorious 1969 movie The Wild bunch, but we will paint with a Mannerist’s philosophy. But who were the Mannerists?

The Mannerists were a wild bunch of show-off artists who lived from the middle to the end of the 16th century, mostly in Florence, Venice and Rome. “Show-offs” because they were the young virtuosos of their time, and “wild” in the sense that they were tired of the status quo established by the Great Three of the High Renaissance: Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and Rafael. They were jaded by the same modes of representation and the rules dictated by the “old” art treatises of the time. Being risk takers, they began to break many conventional rules of the time.

Form started to take precedence over content, asymmetry over symmetry; dissonance, rather than harmony, was stressed; distorted scale and exaggerated proportions gave birth to elongated limbs and weird personas. Single-point perspective was abandoned, making room for less centra­lized compositions which were hitherto much esteemed during the Renaissance. The new paintings made use of darkness where they were formerly well lit; colors were vivid, sometimes discordant, and used for maximum emotional effect. Emotional expression and tension with a concentration on nude subjects in convoluted poses disturbed but also moved the public of the time. All these elements gave rise to a new art concept, called la maniera by the art historian and artist Giorgio Vasari.

All these artists step aside their comfort zone to experiment with new and different art behaviors, producing  important changes within the Italian art environment. Of course, we are not going to force you out of your comfort zone if you prefer to stay in it; and our mid-critique session will be a reflection of your choice since everyone is welcome to our painting workshops in Italy and France.

Happy Valentine’s Day

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