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Presentation on theme: "NORTHERN EUROPE AND SPAIN, 1500-1600 GARDNER CHAPTER 23-1 PP. 625-632."— Presentation transcript:


2 EUROPE IN THE 16 TH CENTURY  Dissolution of Burgundy in 1477  France, Holy Roman Empire and Spain are the great powers of the 16 th century  Centralizing monarchies  Luther and Protestantism  Counter-Reformation  Northern Humanists = Christian Humanists  Wars of Religion

3 MATTHIAS GRUNEWALD  MATTHIAS GRÜNEWALD, Isenheim Altarpiece (closed), Crucifixion (center panel), from the chapel of the Hospital of Saint Anthony, Isenheim, Germany, ca. 1510–1515. Oil on panel, center panel 9' 9 1/2” x 10’ 9”, each wing 8’ 2 1/2” x 11’2’  Placed in a monastery hospital  Saint Sebastian on left panel  Saint Anthony on right panel  Crucifixion in center panel  Lamentation in the predella

4  MATTHIAS GRÜNEWALD, Isenheim Altarpiece (open), center  Carved wooden center shrine  Left – meeting of Saints Anthony and Paul  Right – Temptation of Saint Anthony

5  Befitting its placement the altar includes depictions of suffering and disease -> but also miraculous healing  Ergotism -> disease caused by fungus on rye -> symptoms were convulsions and gangrene -> this led to amputations  Main panel -> Christ’s amputated legs; opening left panel severs his arm as well

6  The iconography of his altarpiece meaningful to viewers at hospital  Saint Anthony and Christ endured intense suffering -> but both represent miraculous healing and redemption as well  Themes of pain, illness, and death + themes of hope, comfort, and salvation


8 HANS BALDUNG GRIEN  HANS BALDUNG GRIEN, Witche’s Sabbath -> chiaroscuro woodcut = involving two carved blocks of wood  Night scene in the forest -> coven of nude witches gathered around a fuming secret potion  One young witch rides through the night sky on a goat -> sits backward -> suggest witchcraft is the inversion of Christianity

9 ALBRECHT DURER  ALBRECHT DURER Self-Portrait at 28. 1500. Oil on panel  “the Leonardo of the Northern Renaissance”  The central figure in the German Renaissance was Albrecht Dürer, a painter and graphic artist, one of the most outstanding personalities in the history of art  One of the first N. European artists to travel to Italy to study art and theory  Christ like pose -> not blasphemous -> human creativity as a reflection of God’s creativity

10 GREAT PIECE OF TURF  ALBRECHT DÜRER, The Great Piece of Turf, 1503. Watercolor, approx. 1’ 4” x 1’ 1/2”  Durer visited Italy twice -> shared Leonardo’s belief that sight reveals scientific truth  Botanists have been able to identify each plant and grass variety in this watercolor

11 FALL OF MAN  ALBRECHT DÜRER, The Fall of Man (Adam and Eve), 1504. Engraving, approx. 9 7/8” x 7 5/8”  Influenced by classical sculpture  Ideal image of humans before the fall of man  Contrapposto figures -> Italian Renaissance influence  Animals = cat/angry, rabit/energetic, elk/sad, ox/lethargic =the four humors -> in balance before fall  Northern European devotion to details

12 KNIGHT, DEATH, AND THE DEVIL  ALBRECHT DÜRER, Knight, Death, and the Devil, 1513. Engraving, 9 5/8” x 7 3/8”  A knight is impervious to the threats of Death(a crowned, decaying cadaver) and the Devil (the hideous, horned creature) because he has “put on the whole armor of God that he may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil,” as urged by St. Paul ‘s Epistle to the Ephesians (Eph: 6:11)

13 FOUR APOSTLES  ALBRECHT DÜRER, Four Apostles, 1526. Oil on panel, each panel 7’ 1” x 2’ 6”  John and Peter on left; Peter represented the pope in Rome -> Durer, a Lutheran, places him behind  Mark and Paul on the right -> Paul was a favorite of protestants  Focus on the reading of the Bible -> key Protestant idea

14 THE FOUR HORSEMN OF THE APOCALYPSE  ALBRECHT DÜRER, The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (Adam and Eve), 1504. Engraving, approx. 9 7/8” x 7 5/8”  The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are the forces of man's destruction described in the Christian Bible in Chapter Six of the Book of Revelation. The four horsemen are traditionally named after the powers they represent: War(sword), Famine(scales), Pestilence(bow), and Death(pitchfork)  Riding over the dead

15 LUTHER AND THE REFORMATION  Martin Luther’s goal was significant reform and clarification of major spiritual issues, but his ideas ultimately led to the splitting of Christendom  Despite religious conflict, Humanism filtered up from Italy and spread throughout northern Europe. Northern humanists focused more on trying to reconcile humanism with Christianity & are therefore often referred to as Christian humanists  The Protestant Reformation and the Catholic Counter-Reformation had enormous consequences on Northern European art. Catholics embraced church decoration as an aid to communicating with God. Protestants believed such imagery could lead to idolatry and distracted viewers from focusing on the real reason for their presence in church -- to communicate directly with God

16 VISUAL IMAGERY AND THE REFORMATION  LUCAS CRANACH THE ELDER, Allegory of Law and Grace, ca. 1530. Woodcut, 10 5/8” x 1’ 3/4”

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