While the flourishing Renaissance was taking place, the eclectics arose, led by Sebastiano del Piombo, who put the Venetian tradition in harmony with the Florentine one. Wonderful assimilator of other people’s forms, under the inspiration of Giorgione or Titian, Raphael or Michelangelo, he gives his forms a common imprint of solemn constructive fixity, the same seal of broad and firm style. When Sebastiano was working in Rome, painting in Florence was in crisis. The particular disturbance of a civilization in the slope is represented by Pontormo, who brings, in his attempts to bend line and color to new expressions, the audacity and enthusiasm of genius. At the same time, the art of the sixteenth century, which arrived late in Siena through Sodoma, found in Beccafumi, which passed from Sodoma to Fra Bartolomeo, to Raphael,
With him the sincere tradition of Sienese art seems to be extinguished, between Bengali fires and colored mists.
In Rome the tradition of Raphael continued throughout the sixteenth century, but in the academy they fell on deaf ears, those who tried to shape themselves a way on the examples of an art all pervaded by Humanism, all out of life.
Other artists followed the tradition of Michelangelo: Angiolo Bronzino, Francesco Salviati, Iacopino del Conte, Daniele da Volterra, Pellegrino Tibaldi, who inaugurated, in Bologna, in the Marches, in Lombardy and at the Escoriale, the reign of pictorial illusionism, for the middle of the foreshortening, of the shadow projections, of the architectural perspective.
Close to Tibaldi in Bologna and Emilia, it continued the tradition of Correggio, Parmigianino and Dosso, mainly through Nicolò dell’Abate and Lelio Orsi da Novellara, the Bolognese Bartolomeo Cesi, Bartolomeo Passerotti, Pietro Faccini.
The tradition of Correggio joins that of Boccaccino and Pordenone in the masters Campi and Gatti, from Cremona, while the Lombard tradition of Leonardo, Gaudenzio, Luini, finds echoes in Lomazzo, Ambrogio Figino, Aurelio Luini, Meda, Moncalvo , etc.
Many other masters followed the tradition of the late followers of the Venetian school, mainly the well-endowed but too fruitful Iacopo Palma the Younger.
Towards the end of the sixteenth century the tendency towards eclecticism is accentuated with Luca Cambiaso and Aurelio Lomi, with Santi di Tito and Passignano, with Boscoli and Empoli, etc. But among so many different researches, here is the iridescent Baroccio making the faces of his prisms shine in the sun, the Carraccis found the Academy on the basis of an eclecticism made a system; rise in the end, light of the new times, Michelangelo da Caravaggio. European painting, which during the sixteenth century had often been lost in a sterile imitation of Michelangelo and Raphael, found in Italian art, especially in Caravaggio, the lever to develop, and looked to him who took the vision of light to extreme consequences ; he sacrificed color to her; solidified the volume of the bodies, shaping them with light and shadow. Michelangelo da Caravaggio taught the best artists, not only in Venice, of Genoa and Naples, but also of Spain, of Flanders, of Holland. However, the great mass of Italian painters of the seventeenth century looked more than to him to the Carraccis, that is, they substituted academic knowledge of forms and an archaeological or allegorical erudition for a pictorial passion, which all absorbed in itself. Precisely because the Italian interest was drawn, more than on art, on science and philosophy, which produced Galileo and Vico, and also because all of Italian life flexed under foreign domination, after Caravaggio for the whole of the seventeenth century they had artists of the first magnitude. The Carraccis meant Italian monumental decoration; Caravaggio Spanish, Flemish, Dutch realism.
In the sixteenth century Caradosso and Benvenuto Cellini, the prince of goldsmiths, had a shout; the Lautizio for seals; Giovanni Bernardi da Castelbolognese for the crystal and gemstone carving; Gian Cristoforo Romano, Cellini, Francesco da San Gallo, the Pastorino, Leone Leoni, for the honorary medals. Other sculptors expressed their skills in small ornamental bronzes, rather than in statuary, as did Briosco and Giambologna himself, of which there are also examples of plaques, much less numerous in the sixteenth century. Among the names that are remembered for the art of plaques, we mention the Modern, which is considered a specialist in that field, and other names of sculptors and medalists, such as Iacopo Sansovino, Cellini and Leone Leoni.
According to collegetoppicks, the engraving served better than the plaque for the diffusion of the discoveries of ancient statues, of the images of new art: Marcantonio Raimondi adhered with scrupulous fidelity to the model, dedicating his work above all to Raphaelesque compositions, while Giulio Campagnola in Padua, Parmigianino in Parma, with their kindreds and followers, gave the printing pictorial value.
In majolica the schools already indicated for the fifteenth century continued, but Giorgio Andreoli da Gubbio obtained Arab iridescences, and Urbino and Pesaro, with the compositions of Orazio Fontana and Francesco Xanto Avelli, reflected in the ceramic paintings of great masters. For the sake of wealth, the noble tradition of decorative simplicity of the early Renaissance was interrupted in the glass making towards the second half of the 16th century, and yet in that century Murano art reached its greatest glory by spreading throughout Europe. In the textile arts, Venice, Genoa, Lucca, Florence hold the field and acquire world fame. As the 16th century progressed, it was noted that the stylizations of the textile art of the early Renaissance were followed by motifs suggested by the classical spirit.
In the wood carving, there are great masters, such as Antonio and Giovanni Barili from Siena, Baptist of the Florentine engraver Tasso, Stefano da Bergamo, who with help carved the famous choir of San Pietro in Perugia, fra Giovanni da Verona, who made the another from Monteoliveto Maggiore, fra Damiano from Bergamo, who adorned that of San Domenico in his city.
In the stuccoes, Luzio Romano and Daniele da Volterra had great valor. In the Sacro Monte di Varallo, Gaudenzio Ferrari directed D’Errico, Morazzone, Francesco Silva, Dionigi Bussola to put their colored statues in unison with the multicolored decorations of the background. But a great master, the Bombarda, in the Doge’s Palace in Venice, and more in the cathedral of Cremona, came to the pictorial freedoms of the Baroque.