The Northern Renaissance as Expressed On Canvas Term Paper

The Northern Renaissance as Expressed On Canvas
This paper discusses the rich art history that stemmed from the artistic renaissance in northern European countries.
# 3346 | 1,945 words | 9 sources | 1998 | US
Published on Sep 15, 2003 in Art (History) , Art (Painting)

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This paper takes a look at the notable masterpieces of the artistic Renaissance in Northern Europe. The author pays close attention to the new styles of the times, the use of oils, light and shadow, and how expressing inner emotions became more prevalent than outer appearances on the canvas. The author looks in particular at the portraits " The Arnolfini Portrait" by Jan van Eyck, and "The Ambassadors" by Holbein the Younger.

From the Paper:

"While the Southern renaissance is better known, the countries of the north" Germany, The Netherlands, France, and England? also enjoyed a rich artistic renaissance, though slightly delayed. Historians dispute reasons as to why this so. Some argue that for reasons such as the bubonic plague and economic depression, it took the Northern countries a longer time to emerge from the dark ages. Another argument is that Northern artists were simply more reluctant to switch from the Gothic style they used in the past. In any case, European patrons and artists prized their work and they were praised for their talents in working with oils and their mastery of detail. Northern art managed to progress at a surprising pace despite it's delays. The two paintings used as references in this portfolio, "The Arnolfini Portrait" by Jan van Eyck and "The Ambassadors" by Hans Holbein the Younger, stand as examples of this. With only 100 years difference between them, it is important to examine what accounts for the changes by comparing the paintings in areas of characterization, chiaroscuro, medium, and artistic symbolism. In this way, the differences between Early and Late Northern renaissance art can be clearly defined.

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