Christ with Symbols of the Passion

Students will engage the work: Christ with Symbols of the Passion, by Lavinia Fontana, executed in1576 in oil on wood panel. Then each student will write a 3-page paper in which they consider the work as an example of Mannerist style through comparison to the Rosso Fiorentino image, Dead Christ with Angels, covered in the Mannerism lecture and in a Khan Academy video. Students will be required to discuss the two works based upon Mannerist criteria, such as contextual and spatial ambiguity, unnatural figural proportions in affected poses, palette and anxiety level or strange mood. These works provide the perfect opportunity to write a comparison, as both images depict the dead Christ with angels and symbols of the Passion and both were painted by Italian artists that chose to work in the Mannerist style. Your papers must be a minimum of three full pages, composed in Microsoft Word with standard 1” margins (top, bottom and sides), typed in a legible 12 pt. font, double spaced and formatted into coherent paragraphs that are indicated by indenting the first word of the paragraph five spaces. Do not add headings or extra spacing between paragraphs. Your discussion must be written entirely in your own words and reflect your observations about the Mannerist characteristics of both images. This paper is not intended as a research assignment, but rather as an exercise in visual, formal analysis, critical thinking and writing. I do not want you to write about either painter; and please do not write an essay about your personal spiritual beliefs. This is an essay about the ways in which two paintings of the same topic in the same style are both similar and different! Please do not consult sources other than lectures, your text and the Khan Academy video about Fiorentino’s Dead Christ with Angels. Should you elect to paraphrase or borrow thoughts, ideas or words spoken or written by another author (e.g. the author of your text book or the art historians discussing the Fiorentino image), you must cite your sources in fair exchange for such usage. Direct quotes from a published source must be enclosed in quotation marks and cited.

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