Download NORTHERN EUROPE AND SPAIN, 1500-1600 GARDNER CHAPTER 23-1 PP. 625-632

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EUROPE IN THE 16TH CENTURYDissolution of Burgundy in 1477France, Holy Roman Empire and Spain are the great powers of the 16th centuryCentralizing monarchiesLuther and ProtestantismCounter-ReformationNorthern Humanists = Christian HumanistsWars of Religion

MATTHIAS GRUNEWALDMATTHIAS GRNEWALD, Isenheim Altarpiece (closed), Crucifixion (center panel), from the chapel of the Hospital of Saint Anthony, Isenheim, Germany, ca. 15101515. Oil on panel, center panel 9' 9 1/2 x 10 9, each wing 8 2 1/2 x 112Placed in a monastery hospitalSaint Sebastian on left panelSaint Anthony on right panelCrucifixion in center panelLamentation in the predella

MATTHIAS GRNEWALD, Isenheim Altarpiece (open), center

Carved wooden center shrine

Left meeting of Saints Anthony and Paul

Right Temptation of Saint Anthony

Befitting its placement the altar includes depictions of suffering and disease -> but also miraculous healingErgotism -> disease caused by fungus on rye -> symptoms were convulsions and gangrene -> this led to amputationsMain panel -> Christs amputated legs; opening left panel severs his arm as well

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


HANS BALDUNG GRIEN, Witches 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 ChristianityALBRECHT DURERALBRECHT DURER Self-Portrait at 28. 1500. Oil on panel

the Leonardo of the Northern Renaissance

The central figure in the German Renaissance was Albrecht Drer, 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 Gods creativityGREAT PIECE OF TURFALBRECHT DRER, The Great Piece of Turf, 1503. Watercolor, approx. 1 4 x 1 1/2

Durer visited Italy twice -> shared Leonardos belief that sight reveals scientific truth

Botanists have been able to identify each plant and grass variety in this watercolor

FALL OF MANALBRECHT DRER, The Fall of Man (Adam and Eve), 1504. Engraving, approx. 9 7/8 x 7 5/8Influenced by classical sculptureIdeal image of humans before the fall of manContrapposto figures -> Italian Renaissance influenceAnimals = cat/angry, rabit/energetic, elk/sad, ox/lethargic =the four humors -> in balance before fallNorthern European devotion to details

KNIGHT, DEATH, AND THE DEVILALBRECHT DRER, 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)

FOUR APOSTLESALBRECHT DRER, Four Apostles, 1526. Oil on panel, each panel 7 1 x 2 6John and Peter on left; Peter represented the pope in Rome -> Durer, a Lutheran, places him behindMark and Paul on the right -> Paul was a favorite of protestantsFocus on the reading of the Bible -> key Protestant idea

THE FOUR HORSEMN OF THE APOCALYPSEALBRECHT DRER, 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

LUTHER AND THE REFORMATIONMartin Luthers 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 GodVISUAL IMAGERY AND THE REFORMATIONLUCAS CRANACH THE ELDER, Allegory of Law and Grace, ca. 1530. Woodcut, 10 5/8 x 1 3/4