Monday, February 6, 2017

ch. 20 | late medieval & early renaissance northern europe

late 14th, early 15th century

northern european secular aesthetics- notions of beauty:
  • receding hairline
  • hair horns= piety 
  • pale skin
  • pear-shaped
  • extended abdomen
  • no discernible waistline
key artists:
  • robert campin (master of flemalle)
  • jan van eyck
  • rogier van der weyden
  • martin schongauer
  • hugo van der goes 
  • albrecht durer 
burgundy & flanders:
  • flanders derived its wealth from wool & banking
  • flanders controlled by the dukes of Burgundy
  • flemish artists popularized the use of oil paints on wood panels
  • jan van eyck, rogier van der weyden, & others established portraiture as an important art form in 15th century flanders
-tempera: consists of egg combined w a wet paste of ground pigment, dried quickly
-oil paints: powdered pigments mixed w linseed oil, dried slowly
-sfumato: smoky effect
-linen canvas became popular in late 16th century

fig. 20-4
merode altarpiece- robert campin
1428, oil on wood
subject matter: annunciation
objects w symbolic significance (ex. lilies= mary)
red dress of mary= foreshadowing christ's death
hanging pot= mary is the vessel, ready to receive
hairline raised up
jan van eyck:
  • court painter to the duke of burgundy
  • master technician of oil painting
  • iconic precursor to fame & the artist (first to sign name)
  • painter of religious altarpieces & secular portraits 
-frames: conceptual & visual functions
-could integrate big paintings w surroundings
-could reinforce illusionistic nature of painting
-could distance view from "otherworldly" scenes by calling attention to separation of image & viewer

fig. 20-8
the man in a red turban- jan van eyck
oil painting, 1433
first known western portrait where sitter looks directly at viewer

fig. 20-5
ghent altarpiece (closed)- jan van eyck
1432, oil on wood

fig. 20-6 
ghent altarpiece (opened)- jan van eyck
top left & right- adam & eve
center bottom- christ= sacrificial lamb
complementary colors-> excitement/interest
foreground, mid., background
fig. 20-7 
giovanni arnolfini & his wife- jan van eyck
1434, oil painting on wood
fur lining= wealth
dog= loyalty & fidelity
signature: "jan van eyck was here"

fig. 20-8A
portrait of a lady- van der weyden
ca. 1460

fig. 20-9
deposition- rogier van der weyden
1435, oil on wood
serpentine "S" shape body= snake= satan
elongated body
bright colors, dark shadows, more modern day clothing
skull- memento mori
-guilds controlled artistic production in flanders (same in italy)
-guilds secured adequate payments for artists' labor
-women had fewer opportunities than men to become artists (social & moral constraints)
-caterina van hemessen (flemish woman artist): received tutoring from father (professional artist)

  • the Limburg brothers expanded illusionistic capabilities of manuscript illumination in the Book of Hours
  • french court art owes a debt to flemish painting in style & technique as well as in the integration of sacred & secular themes
holy roman empire:
  • the late gothic style remained popular in 15th century germany for cards wood retables
  • major german innovation: printing press--> books w woodcut illustrations
  • earliest masters of engraving

-invention of moveable type in 15th century 
-print: an artwork on paper, usually produced in multiple impressions
-edition: set of prints an artist creates from a single print
-woodcut solved problem of illustrating new printed books-> demise of manuscript illuminator

-relief: carving design into a surface, usually soft wood. images are created in reverse- subtractive
-intaglio: artist incises (cuts) lines on a metal plate (replaces wooden blocks)-> mass production
-tool: burin/stylus
-etching: acid bath eats into exposed parts of plate
saint anthony tormented by demons- martin schongauer
1490, intaglio-engraving

fig. I-9
four horsemen of the apocalypse- albrecht durer
1498, relief- woodcut
mouth of hell opening up
souls being weighed
attention to detail

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