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Transcript
AP EUROPEAN HISTORY
MR. ZOLLO 2015 - 2016
NORTHERN REN ART
UNIT 1: RENAISSANCE AND DISCOVERY (CH 10)
Name: _____________________________
Period: ______________________
Date: ____________________
CHARACTERISTICS OF NORTHERN (“CHRISTIAN”) RENAISSANCE ART

Influenced by Italian Renaissance artists, however it had unique characteristics.

Ideas spread due increasing trade contacts, increasing travel by artists, growth of Universities, and the printing
press.
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Tendency to favor Christian themes more than classical figures; concerns in the north tended to center around
religious reforms, rather than humanism. (There are not reminders of the classical past in the north. There were
fewer merchants in the north. Sponsors of the arts were often more traditional aristocratic families like the House
of Burgundy who were interested in illuminated manuscripts, tapestries and furniture.)

More concern with how at piece of art looked (especially with respect to color and detail), than scientific
principles behind the art.

Includes many landscapes.

Includes many naturalistic objects.

Includes genre works (scenes of everyday life).

Gothic styles of art (and architecture) lasted longer in the North.

Oil was a common paint because it allowed for detail and was durable, which would allow it to withstand the
harsh climate. (Marble is not common in the north. Tempura paints will lose their color too easily in the northern
climate.)
Summarize the ideas above in a couple sentences. What seem to be the most important themes of North
Renaissance Art?
Based on this information, predict what kind of paintings we are going to see and how they will be different than
Italian art.
MAJOR ARTISTS OF THE NORTHERN RENAISSANCE
Jan Van Eyck, Flemish (1395-1441)
Background
There is not much known about his early life.
He became the court painter to the Duke of Burgundy.
He is credited with the invention of the oil-glazing technique (“oil painting”), which
replaced the earlier egg-tempera method. This is a misconception because he did not
actually invent the technique.
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Oil is a slow-drying medium, but very durable when dry.
It allows the artist to paint more slowly and, therefore add more detail (through the use of glazed layers) than in
tempera paint.
It allows artists to make changes invisible, which cannot be done in tempera or in fresco.
It offers the artist the effects of transparency and brilliant color.
Whether or not Van Eyck was actually the first person to use this new medium may be of secondary importance to the
achievements of his work, for he was truly a master of meticulous detail and well-planned compositions.
Arnolfini Wedding
 Located in the London National Gallery
 Subject is an Italian merchant in the Netherlands and his wife
 May depict the marriage, serve as a marriage certificate, or symbolize their marriage. (It is not known for sure.)
 Colors, expressions and gestures create a serious mood.

Italian Renaissance Influences
 Perspective: Horizon line and vanishing point give sense of depth
 Individualism: Created for a wealthy aristocratic family
 Signature: Jan van Eyck was here (above the mirror)
Christian Themes
 Pregnant woman: the purpose of marriage is to bring children into the world
 Green dress: fertility
 Pulling up her dress: willingness to bear children
 Dog: fidelity to each other and loyalty to God
 Sandals: standing in a holy place
 Spotless mirror: indicates purity
 Single candle: symbolizes matrimony (marriage) union has the presence of Christ
 Convex mirror: show the back of the priest and is bordered by the Stations of the Cross
 Pose evokes paintings of Adam and Eve
 Fruit: allusion to Adam and Eve
 At the top of the mirror it reads, “As I Can” or “As Eyck can” (a pun). Another translation would be “This is
what I can do.”
Albrecht Durer, German (1471-1528)
Background
Married the daughter of his Master.
Godfather very wealthy publisher who owned 24 printing presses.
Traveled to Italy twice and influenced by art he saw there.
Became the patron of Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I of the Hapsburg family.
Study of a Hare
 Renaissance belief that an artist should study all aspects of the world, including nature
 Master of detail (using watercolor)
Knight, Death and the Devil
Italian Renaissance Influences
 Signature, "A.D." in bottom left hand corner.
Christian Themes
 Knight represents the "good Christian soldier"
 Travels through the "forest of darkness" to arrive at the "kingdom of light".
 Encounters Death (the old man with serpents for hair) and the Devil (the single-horned goat), but he does not even
give them a moment's glance.
 Steadfast in his aim, accompanied by his faithful dog (representing loyalty).
 Small lizard below the hind legs of his horse going the opposite direction (anything reptilian generally connotes
evil in Christian iconography, and also serves to emphasize that his is going the right direction.)
 Skull: symbolic of the fate of all mankind
Self-portrait
Italian Renaissance Influences
 Individualism: self-portrait shows self – confidence; he is 28 years old and coming of age (especially since he
portrays himself in image of Jesus)
 Humanism: Human emotion
 Perspective: Depth (even with black background)
Christian Themes
 Imitation of Jesus
Hans Holbein, German (1497-1543)
Retained a Gothic influence.
King Henry VIII
 Pays careful attention to portraying a faithful likeness, and the richness of details and surface
textures exhibits his northern upbringing.
Be sure to
 Understanding of personalities is apparent in his renderings; Henry appears
zoom in on
unapproachable and powerful.
the globes
The Ambassadors
and the lute!
For a detailed version, go to http://www.googleartproject.com/museums/nationalgallery/the-ambassadors.
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These men were members of King Henry VIII's court, and are portrayed with objects
relating to their worldliness and higher learning: two globes, a lute, books, and
navigational instruments.
The lute, on the table in the center, has a broken string symbolizing the limits of reason.
The fur robes and silk sleeves also illustrate their great wealth; even the tapestry, the floor tiles, and the
textured silk curtain illustrate their status and refinement.
Zoom in!
There is a half-hidden crucifix in the upper left-hand corner; symbolizing divine wisdom.
Amid all of this, a slurred image is presented across the bottom of the painting. If you were to look at the
painting from the extreme right, an image of a skull becomes apparent. This type of twisted perspective
is called "anamorphic art". It symbolizes the limits of human vision.
Pieter Brueghel, Netherlands (1525-1569)
Background:
Flemish Renaissance painter and printmaker known for his landscapes and peasant scenes.
Making the life and manners of peasants the main focus of a work was rare in painting in Brueghel's time, and he was a
pioneer of the Netherlandish genre painting.
He received the nickname 'Peasant Bruegel' or 'Bruegel the Peasant' for his alleged practice of dressing up like a peasant
in order to mingle at weddings and other celebrations, thereby gaining inspiration and authentic details for his genre
paintings.
Despite its seeming lack of seriousness, much of his work has serious moral undertones.
The Wedding Dance, for instance, is one of a series on the subject of peasant celebrations. Everything seems innocent
enough here, but details reveal the bawdiness of activities within the scene.
For detailed version, go to http://www.dia.org/object-info/d33ac9fb-e03b-4287-923e-c5e42b7f65e6.aspx.
Peasant Dance, below, depicts the celebration of a Holy Day (a close detail would reveal a picture of Mary and
announcement of the festival tacked to a tree). While couples dance, other details reveal drinking, fighting, and public
kissing. One woman even leads a man into an inn. All serves to illustrate how people use a supposed "holy day" as an
excuse to indulge in vices.
The Harvesters
For detailed version, go to http://www.googleartproject.com/museums/met/the-harvesters.
AP EUROPEAN HISTORY
MR. ZOLLO 2015 - 2016
Name: _____________________________
Period: ______________________
NORTHERN REN ART WORKSHEET
UNIT 1: RENAISSANCE AND DISCOVERY (CH 10)
1. List at least five characteristics of Northern Renaissance art.
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2. For each of the following artists, complete the tasks that follow.
A. Jan Van Eyck, Flemish (1395-1441)
i. Identify two major works:
___________________________
___________________________
ii. Identify the type of subject matter covered by the artist.
iii. Describe distinctive characteristics of the artist's work.
B. Albrecht Dürer, German (1471-1528)
i. Identify two major works:
___________________________
___________________________
ii. Identify the type of subject matter covered by the artist.
iii. Describe distinctive characteristics of the artist's work.
Date: ____________________
C. Hans Holbein, German (1497-1543)
i. Identify two major works:
___________________________
___________________________
ii. Identify the type of subject matter covered by the artist.
iii. Describe distinctive characteristics of the artist's work.
D. Pieter Brueghel, Netherlands (1525-1569)
i. Identify two major works:
___________________________
___________________________
ii. Identify the type of subject matter covered by the artist.
iii. Describe distinctive characteristics of the artist's work.
3. Describe two similarities and two differences between Italian and Northern Renaissance artwork.
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