In the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, artists of the Renaissance looked primarily to the formal language of Antiquity for inspiration, while also striving to reproduce nature as faithfully as possible. A fine example is the small bronze statue of the Apollo Belvedere by the sculptor Antico. In the late sixteenth century, Mannerist works such as Barthélemy Prieur’s Black Venus depart from the balanced composure characterizing High Renaissance art. Mannerism uses tensioncharged compositions and affected motifs to convey its particular brand of drama.

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