Emerging in the early 16th century on the heels of the Renaissance, the mannerist style arose out of the art world's attempts to further the incredible achievements of Michelangelo, Leonardo and Raphael. Mannerist art comprises many facets: it is elegant, cultivated and sophisticated, but also artificial, extravagant and sometimes even bizarre. Some called the art of Maniera the stylish style. Spanning the period from the return of the Medici in 1512 and the first tentative steps of the new generation of artists to the definition of the Maniera in Giorgio Vasari's Lives of the Artists in 1568, more than 120 paintings, drawings and sculptures from the world's leading museums are gathered in this book. It features works by Andrea del Sarto, Rosso Fiorentino and Giorgio Vasari, with a special focus on the work of Pontormo and Bronzino, the central figures of Florentine mannerism. The developments in art during the decades in question are closely related to the history of the city of Florence. Refined elegance and creative extravagance render the painters of the Maniera a particular phenomenon in the art of Italy. This beautifully produced and authoritative book presents the achievements and practitioners of one of the most intriguing and influential periods in the history of European art.