A term coming from Italian 'maniera' or 'in style', it was applied to art of late 16th and early 17th-century Europe, which revealed the 'manner' or personal expression of the artist. Characteristic was exaggeration, and expression of emotion---a turning away from the humanism of the High Renaissance. The artwork is characterized by a dramatic use of space and light and a tendency toward elongated figures such as in the painting of El Greco. The movement occurred after the Sack of Rome in 1527. "Mannerism developed among the pupils of two masters of the integrated classical moment, with Raphael's assistant Giulio Romano and among the students of Andrea del Sarto, whose studio produced the quintessentially Mannerist painters Pontormo and Rosso Fiorentino, and with whom Vasari apprenticed." Source: ARTinthePICTURE.com <br><br> A style, c. 1520-1600, that arose in reaction to the harmony and proportion of the High Renaissance. It featured elongated, contorted poses, crowded canvases, and harsh lighting and coloring.<br><br> Mannerism was a style of art in 16th century Italy, characterized by somewhat distorted (usually human) forms and a high emotional key. Practitioners included the artist Pontormo. In modern and contemporary art, the term mannered when applied to a style or work of art is somewhat critical, implying that the style or work of art is done not from the inner convictions and perceptions of the artist, but rather out of the artist's historical artistic habits or preconceptions. In other words, the work appears contrived or forced, as opposed to arrived at by genuine and self-aware creative impulses.