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The Winter's Tale: the statue scene

The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore

Giulio Romano

The mention of "that rare Italian master, Julio Romano" (5.2.99) as the sculptor/painter of the statue is especially interesting. Romano (1492?-1546), at first an assistant to the great Renaissance artist Raphael, developed a style that achieved extreme realism by the use of visual illusion. Strongly influenced by Michaelangelo, Romano is especially noted for the dramatic illusionism of many of the frescoes he painted; he creates the effect of looking through the wall or ceiling at an activity taking place beyond it. It was a style more dramatic and exaggerated--more "mannered"--than that of his master. Romano began a fashion which several later painters followed. Mannerism is characterized by paintings of strong emotion and drama, often deliberately flouting the rules of classical restraint and decorum. In some ways later Jacobean drama, and The Winter's Tale itself, can be seen as analogous to the Mannerist style.

The Madonna and Child with Saint John the Baptist. Giulio Romano and workshop. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore, Maryland.

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This page last updated on 6 December 2002. © Michael Best, 2002.