Lecture 9: 16th Century Art in Northern Europe

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pg. 503

Holy Roman Empire
• Protestant Reform
•Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528)
→ Dominant artist of the early 16th century in the Holy Roman Empire
→ First Northern European to become an international celebrity
→Fascinated with classical ideas as passed along by Italian Renaissance artists

France
• King declared protestantism illegal
• Admired Italian art, and invited several prominent Mannerists to work at his court.

The Netherlands
• Art provided a picture of contemporary life and values.
• Pieter Bruegel - Greatest Netherlandish painter of the mid-16th century

Spain
• Plateresque style

Europe in the Early 16th Century

What was occurring in Europe during this time and how did this affect art?

Led by dissatisfaction with the Church, splitting Christendom in half. Protestants objected to the sale of indulgences and rejected most of the sacraments of the Catholoic Church. Therefore, Protestant churches were relatively bare, but art still played a role in Protestantism (525).

Protestant Reform

German theologian who sparked the Protestant Reformation (p. 508).

Luther and the Reformation (p. 508)

Martin Luther (1483-1546)

• Central themes of marriage, sex, and procreation. Portrays a visionary world of fantasy and intrigue

Hieronymous Bosch, "Garden of Earthly Delights," 1505-10. Oil (pg. 515).

What are the central themes in this piece?

- God presenting Eve to Adam, landscape, presumably the Garden of Eden

Hieronymous Bosch, "Garden of Earthly Delights," 1505-10. Left panel

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Hieronymous Bosch, "Garden of Earthly Delights," 1505-10. Right panel detail.

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Hieronymous Bosch, "Garden of Earthly Delights," 1505-10. Right panel detail.

Numerous fruits and birds (fertility symbols)

Hieronymous Bosch, "Garden of Earthly Delights," 1505-10. Center panel.

Human activities

Pieter Bruegel the Elder (ca. 1528-1569)

What was the dominant theme in his work?

One of a series of paintings illustrating seasonal changes - Bruegel rendered the landscape in an optically accurate manner.
- Develops smoothly from foreground to background
- Draws the viewer diagonally into its depths
- Shows Bruegel's skill at using line and shape
- His subtlety in tonal harmony makes this one of the great landscape paintings and an occidental counterpart of the masterworks of classical Chinese landscape.

Pieter Bruegel the Elder, "Hunters in the Snow," 1565. Oil (pg. 521).

Which skill of Bruegel's does this painting show? And what makes this landscape painting one of the greatest?

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Pieter Bruegel the Elder, "Fall of Icarus," ca. 1554-55.

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Matthias Grünewald, "Isenheim Altarpiece," 1510-15.Oil (pg. 504).

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Matthias Grünewald, Isenheim Altarpiece, 1510-15. Detail.

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Matthias Grünewald, Isenheim Altarpiece, 1510-15. Detail.

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Matthias Grünewald, Isenheim Altarpiece, 1510-15. Detail.

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Matthias Grünewald, Isenheim Altarpiece, 1510-15.

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Albrecht Dürer, Self-Portrait, 1498.

Two figures based on ancient statues
- Reflects his studies of the Vitruvian theory of human proportions, a theory based on arithmetic ratios.
- Tempered idealization with naturalism: black bile, yellow bile, phlegm, blood

Albrecht Dürer, "The Fall of Man (Adam and Eve)," 1504. Engraving (pp. 502, 507, 616, 517, 525).

Left panel: St. John & St. Peter
Right panel: St. Mark & St. Paul

Skills:
•Mastery of oil technique
•Brilliant use of color and light and shade
•Ability to imbue the four saints w/ individual personalities and portrait like figures.

Through the positioning of the figures, this also documents his support for Martin Luther and the Protestant Reformation.

Albrecht Dürer, "The Four Apostles," 1526. Oil (p. 508).

What skills of Dürer does this show?

Who does he show support for and how?

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