The artistic period known as "Mannerism" took place from 1520-1600. This period was taking place during the last hurrah of the Renaissance, and is characterized by the Reformation and the Counter Reformation. This art was also characterized by an exaggeration or fascinations of the human form. 

The Adoration of the Bronze Snake (1540-1545) by Bronzino is greatly detailed and shows just how artists during this period wanted to be as original as possible. In the background you can see exaggerated figures, while in the foreground you can see a more realistic form.
Virgin of the Annunciation, painted from 1540-1545 by Bronzino, depicts the Virgin Mary at the annunciation of Christ's birth. Virgin Mary is shown in an awkward pose, which is often closely related to Mannerism. This piece was originally an altarpiece.
St. John the Baptist (painted c. 1542-1545) wa painted by Bronzino and was originally an altarpiece. St. John the Baptist's torso is slightly exaggerated and he is painted in an awkward pose. This piece may have been inspired by both the Reformation and the Counter Reformation.
Laocoon, painted c. 1610-14 by El Greco, perfectly encapsulates the idea of Mannerism. The figures in Laocoon are all somewhat distorted and some figures are even floating, adding to the fantasy-like ideas of Mannerism. The buildings in the background are also distorted.
While Christ on the Cross by El Greco was painted during the Mannerism period, it also reflects characteristics used in the N. Renaissance, such as pale and slim figures. Christ's body is curved around in an awkward position and may have also been inspired by both the Reformation and the Counter Reformation.
Saint Francis Receiving the Stigmata (1585-1590) by El Greco depicts Saint Francis receiving the stigmata of Christ. While Saint Francis' body is somewhat proportionate, the image of Jesus in the upper-left hand corner is curved and exaggerated.
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