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From 1530 to 1630, the declining Renaissance during its final century acquired the name Mannerism. The whole of Europe wanted to keep up with the times of the Renaissance and adapt "to the manner" of the great, principally Italian, artists.

In France, the Fontainebleau school (77) formed around Rosso and Primatice in 1530, commissioned by François I. Scenes from mythology and decorative nudes made their appearance in painting (François I gallery at Fontainebleau). Marquetry, stuc and frescoes vying for beauty and attractiveness in a skilled and magical fantasy. Benvenuto Cellini came to France between 1540 and 1544. In 1552, Niccolo dell'Abate worked on the ballroom at Fontainebleau.

Later, J. Cousin and his cartoons for tapestries (Louvre and Langres), the sculptor J. Goujon (Les Innocents fountain in Paris), the painter A. Caron, architects P. Lescot (the Cour Carrée at the Louvre), Ph. Delorme (château d'Anet), J. Bullant (Ecouen) and J. Androuet of the Cerceau worked in the spirit of Mannerism in which the academic geometry of the facades were organized around the pediments, staircases and columns.

In Europe, 16th century Mannerism saw the glory of painters such as El Greco in Spain, B. Spranger and H. Von Aachen in Prague, L. Cranach and H. Holbein in the Germanic regions and lastly P. Bruegel in Holland.