Preview: Chapter 20 covers artistic production in northern Europe in the 15



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Chapter 20: Late Medieval and Early Renaissance Northern Europe
Preview: Chapter 20 covers artistic production in northern Europe in the 15th century. This period saw social and political turmoil throughout the region, but it also witnessed important innovations in artististic technique and active royal, ducal, church, and private patronage of the arts. In the Duchy of Burgundy and Flanders (a region that included present-day Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, and northern France), powerful dukes commissioned Claus Sluter to creat the Well of Moses for the Carthusian monastery at Champmol. Flemish painters such as Malchior Broederlam and Jan van Eyck specialized in the use of oil paints on wood panel, a medium that produced images of rich vibrancy. Portraiture became an important art form, as did altarpieces with folding wings, and Flemish paintings in general are marked by their extraordinary realism and inclusion of scenes and objects of everyday life. Despite the Hundred Years War (1337-1453) that crippled the French economy, the nobility commissioned important artworks, particularly illuminated manuscripts by the Limbourg brothers. Artists in the Holy Roman Empire retained the Late Gothic style of the preceding century, but the primary artistic development in Germany came with the invention of the printing press and innovations in printmaking. Martin Schongauer was the greatest of the early masters of engraving, and the circulation of his prints ensured his influence on later Northern Renaissance artists such as Albrecht Dürer. Dürer’s art will be discussed in Chapter 23: High Renaissance and Mannerism in Northern Europe and Spain.
Key Figures: Cennino Cennini, St. Eligius, St. Luke

Key Cultural & Religious Terms: feudalism, mystery plays, Renaissance, prefiguration, mystic marriage, matins, compline

Key Art Terms: donor portraits, altarpiece, diptych, polyptych, matte, tempera, glazes, sfumato, sibyls, finial, iconoclasts, stretcher bars, vanishing point, perspective, orthogonals, lunette, cherubs, print, edition, relief, intaglio, woodcut, engraving, drypoint, etching, cross-hatching, parallel hatching, silverpoint, stylus, burin

Key Architectural Terms: chartreuse, monastery, mausoleum, rotunda

Lecture Notes:
Introductory Notes:

NORTHERN EUROPE IN THE 15TH CENTURY
Burgundy and Flanders:
Cartreuse de Champmol:



  • Claus Sluter, Well of Moses, Chartreuse de Champmol, Dijon, France, 1396-1406

    • Materials/medium:

    • Size/scale:

    • Subject:

    • Stylistic features:

    • Function & significance:

  • Claus Sluter, Chartreuse de Champmol portal, 1385-1393

    • Description & subjects:

    • Stylistic features:

  • Melchior Broederlam, Retable de Champmol, from the chapel of the Chartreuse de Champmol, Dijon, France, installed 1399

    • Materials/medium:

    • Size/scale:

    • Subject:

    • Stylistic features:

    • Function & significance:


Robert Campin


  • Robert Campin (Master of Flémalle), Mérode Altarpiece (open), ca. 1425-1428

    • Medium/materials:

    • Size/scale:

    • Subject:

    • Stylistic features:

    • Function & significance:


Jan van Eyck:


  • Jan van Eyck, Madonna in a Church, ca. 1425-1430

    • Medium/materials:

    • Size/scale:

    • Subject:

    • Stylistic features:

    • Function & significance:

  • Hubert and Jan van Eyck, Ghent Altarpiece (closed), Saint Bavo Cathedral, Ghent, Belgium, completed 1432

    • Materials/medium:

    • Size/scale:

    • Subjects:

    • Stylistic features:

    • Function & significance:

  • Hubert and Jan van Eyck, Ghent Altarpiece (open), Saint Bavo Cathedral, Ghent, Belgium, completed 1432

    • Subjects:

    • Stylistic features:

  • Jan van Eyck, Giovanni Arnolfini and His Wife, 1434

    • Materials/medium:

    • Size/scale:

    • Subjects:

    • Stylistic features:

    • Function & significance:

  • Jan van Eyck, Man in a Red Turban, 1433

    • Materials/medium:

    • Size/scale:

    • Subjects:

    • Stylistic features:

    • Function & significance:


Rogier van der Weyden:


  • Rogier van der Weyden, Deposition, center panel of a triptych from Notre-Dame hors-les-murs, Louvain, Belgium, ca. 1435

    • Medium/materials:

    • Size/scale:

    • Subject:

    • Stylistic features:

    • Function & significance:

  • Rogier van der Weyden, Last Judgment Altarpiece, ca. 1444-1448

    • Materials/medium:

    • Size/scale:

    • Subjects:

    • Stylistic features:

    • Function & significance:

  • Rogier van der Weyden, Saint Luke Drawing the Virgin, ca. 1435-1440

    • Materials/medium:

    • Size/scale:

    • Subjects:

    • Stylistic features:

    • Function & significance:

  • Rogier van der Weyden, Portrait of a Lady, ca. 1460

    • Description:

    • Stylistic features & significance:


Later Flemish Painters:


  • Petrus Christus, A Goldsmith in His Shop, 1449

    • Medium/materials:

    • Size/scale:

    • Subject:

    • Stylistic features:

    • Function & significance:

  • Dirk Bouts, Justice of Otto III, ca. 1470-1475

    • Description:

    • Stylistic features & significance:

  • Dirk Bouts, Last Supper, center panel of the Altarpiece of the Holy Sacrament, Saint Peter’s, Louvain, Belgium, 1464-1468

    • Materials/medium:

    • Size/scale:

    • Subjects:

    • Stylistic features:

    • Function & significance:

  • Hugo van der Goes, Portinari Altarpiece (open), from Sant’Egidio, Florence, Italy, ca. 1476

    • Materials/medium:

    • Size/scale:

    • Subjects:

    • Stylistic features:

    • Function & significance:

  • Hans Memling, Virgin with Saints and Angels, center panel of the Saint John Altarpiece, Hospitaal Sint Jan, Bruges, Belgium, 1479

    • Materials/medium:

    • Size/scale:

    • Subjects:

    • Stylistic features:

    • Function & significance:

  • Hans Memling, Diptych of Martin van Nieuwenhove, 1487

    • Medium/materials:

    • Size/scale:

    • Subject:

    • Stylistic features:

    • Function & significance:

  • Hans Memling, Tommaso Portinari and Maria Baroncelli, ca. 1470

    • Description:

    • Subjects & significance:


France:
Manuscript Painting:


  • Limbourg Brothers (Pol, Herman, Jean), January, from Les Trés Riches Heures du Duc de Berry, 1413-1416

    • Medium/materials:

    • Size/scale:

    • Subject:

    • Stylistic features:

    • Function & significance:

  • Limbourg Brothers (Pol, Herman, Jean), October, from Les Trés Riches Heures du Duc de Berry, 1413-1416

    • Medium/materials:

    • Size/scale:

    • Subject:

    • Stylistic features:

    • Function & significance:

  • Master of Mary of Burgundy, Hours of Mary of Burgundy, ca. 1480

    • Description:

    • Stylistic features & significance:


Panel Painting:


  • Jean Fouquet, Melun Diptych. Left wing: Étienne Chevalier and Saint Stephen, ca. 1450

    • Medium/materials:

    • Size/scale:

    • Subjects:

    • Stylistic features:

    • Function & significance:

  • Jean Fouquet, Melun Diptych. Right wing: Virgin and Child, ca. 1451

    • Medium/materials:

    • Size/scale:

    • Subject:

    • Stylistic features:

    • Function & significance:


Holy Roman Empire:
Panel Painting:


  • Konrad Witz, Miraculous Draught of Fish, exterior wing of Altarpiece of Saint Peter, from the Chapel of Notre-Dame des Maccabées, Cathedral of Saint Peter, Geneva, Switzerland, 1444

    • Medium/materials:

    • Size/scale:

    • Subject:

    • Stylistic features:

    • Function & significance:

  • Stefan Lochner, Madonna in the Rose Garden, ca. 1440

    • Description:

    • Stylistic features & significance:


Sculpture:


  • Veit Stoss, Death and Assumption of the Virgin (wings open), altar of the Virgin Mary, Church of Saint Mary, Krakow, Poland, 1477-1489

    • Medium/materials:

    • Size/scale:

    • Subject:

    • Stylistic features:

    • Function & significance:

  • Tilman Riemenschneider, Assumption of the Virgin, center panel of Creglingen Altarpiece, parish church, Creglingen, Germany, ca. 1495-1499

    • Medium/materials:

    • Size/scale:

    • Subject:

    • Stylistic features:

    • Function & significance:


Graphic Arts:


  • Buxheim Saint Christopher, 1423

    • Description:

    • Medium/materials:

    • Stylistic features & significance:

  • Michael Wolgemut and shop, Tarvisium, page from the Nuremberg Chronicle, 1493

    • Medium/materials:

    • Size/scale:

    • Subject:

    • Stylistic features:

    • Function & significance:

  • Martin Schongauer, Saint Anthony Tormented by Demons, ca. 1480-1490

    • Medium/materials:

    • Size/scale:

    • Subject:

    • Stylistic features:

    • Function & significance:

Concluding notes:



Exercises for Study:

1. How does Rogier van der Weyden’s Saint Luke Drawing the Virgin (Fig. 20-9) typify Flemish painting of the 15th century?

2. Select a work from the Holy Roman Empire that exhibits Late Gothic characteristics, and describe them.

3. Describe how the Trés Riches Heures du Duc de Berry (Figs. 20-15 and 20-16) exhibit a new naturalism and merge secular and religious concerns.

4. Compare and contrast the following pairs of artworks, using the points of comparison as a guide.

A. Jan van Eyck, Giovanni Arnolfini and His Wife (Fig. 20-6); Petrus Christus, A Goldsmith in His Shop (Fig. 20-10)



  • Subjects:

  • Function of paintings:

  • Symbolism:

B. Melchior Broederlam, Retable de Champmol (Fig. 20-3); Robert Campin, Mérode Altarpiece (Fig. 20-1)

  • Function/placement:

  • Subjects & settings:

  • Spatial illusionism:



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