THE NORTHERN RENAISSANCE THE SPREAD OF THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE TO ENGLAND, FRANCE, GERMANY, AND FLANDERS (NETHERLANDS) ESSENTIAL QUESTIONS • What contributions did writers and philosophers make to the northern Renaissance? • How did the works of northern artists differ from those of the Italian Renaissance? NORTHERN RENAISSANCE BACKGROUND • The Renaissance began in Italy in the 1300s • It did not reach Northern Europe until after 1450 • Economic growth began later which delayed the support of the arts THE RENAISSANCE SPREADS NORTH Trading Goods • Trading Ideas • As cities grew, vast trading network spread across northern Europe • Northern Europeans traded ideas, goods; spread Italian Renaissance north • Network dominated by Hanseatic League, merchant organization, 1200s to 1400s • Fleeing violence, Italian artists brought humanist ideas, painting techniques north – Protected members from pirates, other hazards • Northern scholars traveled to Italy, brought ideas home – Built lighthouses, trained ship captains • Universities started in France, Netherlands, Germany PHILOSOPHERS AND WRITERS Northern humanists expressed their own ideas Combined interests of theology, fiction and history Created philosophical works, novels, dramas, and poems Desiderius Erasmus • Combined Christian ideas, humanism • Wrote of pure, simple Christian life, educating children • Fanned flames of discontent • Roman Catholic Church censored, condemned works Sir Thomas More • More’s best-known work, Utopia, contains criticisms of English government, society • Presents vision of perfect, non-existent society based on reason Christine de Pisan • Italian-born writer focused on role of women in society • Grew up in French court of Charles V; turned to writing when widowed • Championed equality, education for women SHAKESPEARE AND HIS CHARACTERS • William Shakespeare • Many believe English playwright William Shakespeare greatest writer • Plots not original, but treatments of them masterful • Drew inspiration from ancient, contemporary literature • Knowledge of natural science, humanist topics expressed in plays Spread Renaissance Ideas • Use of language, choice of themes made plays appealing even to uneducated • Plays helped spread ideas of Renaissance to mass audience • Focused on lives of realistic characters, unlike morality plays • By Shakespeare’s death, 1616, London scene of thriving theatre district ALBRECHT DURER (GERMAN) • Known as the “German Leonardo” • He traveled to Italy in 1494 • After returning to Germany, he produced woodcuts and engravings • Many of his prints portray religious subjects and classical myths • The popularity of his works helped to spread Renaissance styles DURER – WOODCUTS • Samson Killing the Lion • Hercules JAN VAN EYCK (FLEMISH) • Van Eyck used oil-based paints to develop new techniques. • By applying layer upon layer of paint, van Eyck was able to create a variety of subtle colors in clothing and jewels • His paintings display realistic details and reveal the personality of their subjects PIETER BRUEGHEL (FLEMISH) • Interested in realistic details and individual people • He was very skillful in portraying large numbers of people • He captured scenes from everyday peasant life such as weddings, dances, and harvest BRUEGEL CHANGES FROM THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 1. Humanism in the north led to calls for social and religious reform (More & Erasmus) 2. N. Renaissance artists reflected a more down-to-earth view of humanity • • Tried to depict people as they really were Use of oil paints produced bright colors and a hard surface, which lasted longer ELIZABETHAN AGE • The Renaissance spread to England in the mid1500s • Named for Queen Elizabeth I (1558-1603) • She was well educated and spoke French, Italian, Latin, and Greek • She supported the development of English art and literature • The theatre flourished under her patronage • William Shakespeare and many others composed plays that broke free of past styles.