Northern Renaissance Art

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Anaïs Nin
Anaïs Nin

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Richard Cromwell
Richard Cromwell

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Benedetto Croce
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Rosso Fiorentino
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Andrea del Sarto
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Renaissance Art in Northern
Europe
,
,
Should not be considered an appendage to
Italian art.
But, Italian influence was strong.
 Painting in OIL, developed in Flanders, was widely
adopted in Italy.
,
The differences between the two cultures:
 Italy  change was inspired by humanism with its
emphasis on the revival of the values of classical
antiquity.
 No. Europe  change was driven by religious
reform, the return to Christian values, and the
revolt against the authority of the Church.
,
More princes & kings were patrons of artists.
Characteristics of Northern
Renaissance Art
,
,
,
,
,
,
The continuation of late medieval
attention to details.
Tendency toward realism & naturalism
[less emphasis on the “classical ideal”].
Interest in landscapes.
More emphasis on middle-class and
peasant life.
Details of domestic interiors.
Great skill in portraiture.
Jan van Eyck (1395 – 1441)
,
More courtly and
aristocratic work.
 Court painter to
the Duke of
Burgundy, Philip
the Good.
,
The Virgin and
Chancellor Rolin,
1435.
Van Eyck -Adoration of the Lamb,
Ghent Altarpiece, 1432
Van Eyck:
 The Crucifixion
&
The Last Judgment

1420-1425
Giovanni Arnolfini
and His Wife
(Wedding Portrait)
Jan Van Eyck
1434
Jan van Eyck - Giovanni Arnolfini
& His Wife
(details)
Massys’ The Moneylender & His
Wife, 1514
Renaissance Art in France
A new phase of Italian influence in
France began with the French invasions
of the Italian peninsula that began in
1494.
, The most important royal patron was
Francis I.
,
 Actively encouraged humanistic learning.
 Invited da Vinci and Andrea del Sarto to
France.
 He collected paintings by the great Italian
masters like Titian, Raphael, and
Michelangelo.
Jean Clouet – Portrait of Francis I,
1525
The School of Fontainebleau
,
,
,
It revolved around the artists at Francis
I’s Palace at Fontainebleau.
A group of artists that decorated the Royal
Palace between the 1530s and the 1560s.
It was an offshoot of the Mannerist School
of Art begun in Italy at the end of the
High Renaissance.
 characterized by a refined elegance, with
crowded figural compositions in which painting
and elaborate stucco work were closely
integrated.
 Their work incorporated allegory in accordance
with the courtly liking for symbolism.
The School of Fontainebleau
,
Gallery [right] by Rosso
Fiorentino & Francesco
Primaticcio
,
1528-1537
Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528)
,
,
,
,
,
,
The greatest of German
artists.
A scholar as well as an
artist.
His patron was the
Emperor Maximilian I.
Also a scientist
 Wrote books on geometry,
fortifications, and human
proportions.
Self-conscious
individualism of the
Renaissance is seen in
his portraits.
 Self-Portrait at 26,
1498.
Dürer – Self-Portrait in Fur-Collared
Robe, 1500
Dürer
The Last
Supper
woodcut,
1510
Durer – The Triumphal Arch, 15151517
The Triumphal Arch, details
The Triumphal Arch, details
Dürer
Four
Horsemen
of the
Apocalypse
woodcut,
1498
Hans Holbein, the Younger
(1497-1543)
,
,
One of the great German
artists who did most of his
work in England.
While in Basel, he
befriended Erasmus.
 Erasmus Writing, 1523 
,
,
Henry VIII was his patron
from 1536.
Great portraitist noted
for:
 Objectivity & detachment.
 Doesn’t conceal the
weaknesses of his
subjects.
Artist to the Tudors
Henry VIII (left), 1540
and the future Edward VI
(above), 1543.
Holbein’s, The Ambassadors,
1533
A Skull
Multiple Perspectives
Pieter Bruegel the Elder (15251569)
,
,
,
,
,
One of the greatest artistic geniuses of his age.
Worked in Antwerp and then moved to Brussels.
In touch with a circle of Erasmian humanists.
Was deeply concerned with human vice and
follies.
A master of landscapes; not a portraitist.
 People in his works often have round, blank, heavy
faces.
 They are expressionless, mindless, and sometimes
malicious.
 They are types, rather than individuals.
 Their purpose is to convey a message.
Bruegel’s, Tower of Babel,
1563
,
,
,
,
The Tower of Babel
Book of Genesis in the Bible was a tower built by a unified,
mono-lingual humanity as a mark of their achievement, and
to prevent them from scattering: "Then they said, 'Come,
let us build ourselves a city, and a tower with its top in the
heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves; otherwise we
shall be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole
earth.'" (Genesis 11:4).
Bruegel's depiction of the architecture of the tower, with
its numerous arches and other examples of Roman
engineering, is deliberately reminiscent of the Roman
Colosseum,which Christians of the time saw as both a symbol
of hubris and of persecution.
Bruegel's paintings seem to attribute the ultimate failure of
the Tower to engineering difficulties rather than to sudden,
divinely-caused linguistic differences. Although at first
glance the tower appears to be stable series of concentric
pillars, upon closer examination it is apparent that none of
the layers lie at a true horizontal; rather, the tower is built
as an ascending spiral. However, the workers in the painting
have built the arches perpendicular to the slanted ground,
thereby making them unstable, and a few arches can already
be seen crumbling. More troubling perhaps is the fact that
the foundation and bottom layers of the tower had not been
completed before the higher layers were constructed.
Bruegel’s, Mad Meg, 1562
Bruegel’s, The Beggars, 1568
Bruegel’s, Parable of the Blind
Leading the Blind, 1568
Bruegel’s, Niederlandisch
Proverbs, 1559
Bruegel’s, The Triumph of Death,
1562
Bruegel’s, Hunters in the Snow,
1565
Bruegel’s, Winter Scene, 1565
Bruegel’s, The Harvesters,
1565
Domenikos Theotokopoulos (El
Greco)
,
,
,
,
,
,
The most important Spanish artist of this
period was Greek.
1541 – 1614.
He deliberately distorts & elongates his
figures, and seats them in a lurid,
unearthly atmosphere.
He uses an agitated, flickering light.
He ignores the rules of perspective, and
heightens the effect by areas of brilliant
color.
His works were a fitting expression of the
Spanish Counter-Reformation.
El Greco
Christ in
Agony
on the
Cross
1600s
El Greco
The View
of Toledo
15971599
Conclusions
,
The artistic production of
Northern Europe in the 16c was
vast, rich, and complex.
,
The Northern Renaissance ended
with a Mannerist phase, which
lasted a generation longer in the
North than it did in Italy, where
it was outmoded by 1600.
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