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Section 2: The Renaissance Moves North. Began in Flanders – a region of northern France, Belgium and the Netherlands. Artists of Northern Renaissance. Albrecht Durer – the “German Leonardo” Studied Italian masters such as DaVinci (Florence) & Bellini (Venice)

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Section 2: The Renaissance Moves North

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Section 2 the renaissance moves north l.jpg

Section 2: The Renaissance Moves North

Began in Flanders – a region of northern France, Belgium and the Netherlands


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Artists of Northern Renaissance

  • Albrecht Durer – the “German Leonardo”

  • Studied Italian masters such as DaVinci (Florence) & Bellini (Venice)

  • Employed techniques in paintings, engravings (designs etched on metal plates), prints and woodcuts

  • Frederick the Wise: age 33

  • http://www.msu.edu/~cloudsar/nrweb.htm


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Dürer deliberately set out to create a Christ-like image, with his hand raised to his chest almost in a pose of blessing. It was a statement of faith Christ was the son of God, and God had created Man. For Dürer, the painting was an acknowledgment that artistic skills were a God-given talent.

Durer Self-Portrait (age 28)(1471-1528)


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Praying Hands

  • http://www.moytura.com/reflections/prayinghands.htm


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Jan Van Eyck (1395-1441)

Patron was Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy (led the capture of Joan of Arc)

Portrayed townspeople

Detailed religious scenes

perfected oil paint – lasted longer than tempera and dried much slower; oil paints were used in layers

Van Eyck’s oil paint “recipe” included linseed oil, walnut oil or poppy seed oil to bind the mineral pigments; along with glass and calcined bones (heated into a powder).

The use of oil paints spread to Venice & Florence

Da Vinci (1452-1519) added bee wax to the mixture.

Flemish Painters


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Jan Van Eyck (1395-1441)


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Marriage of Giovanni Arnolfini and his Wife/Bride (Giovanna Cenami): 1434

  • Zoom In!


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Flemish Painters continued

  • Pieter Bruegel (1525-1569)

  • Traveled to Rome to study; returned to Antwerp and Brussels

  • Used vibrant colors

  • Portrayed landscapes and lively scenes of peasant life

  • Peasant Dance and Peasant Wedding are two well-known paintings

  • Also painted the Harvesters

  • Signed his drawings with “Made from life”


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Peasant Wedding: 1568Where is the husband?


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Peasant Dance: 1568


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Northern Humanists

  • Like the Italian humanists, they stressed education and classical learning

  • Put more emphasis on religious themes; 1st major group to call for reform of the Catholic Church

  • Criticized abuses of the Church – papacy & indulgences

  • Erasmus: Dutch priest and humanist who visited Rome and brought Renaissance ideas to northern Europe

  • Thomas More: English humanist & devout Catholic who was executed under the reign of Henry VIII of England


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Desiderius Erasmus(1466-1536)

  • blended humanism with strong faith

  • Produced the 1st printed/published Greek edition of the New Testament

  • wanted the Bible translated into the vernacular

  • Called for reform of the Church – wrote The Praise of Folly, a satirical work criticizing the abuses of the Church

  • Believed individuals should be open-minded with good will toward others


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Thomas More (1478-1535)

  • A friend of Erasmus; wanted social reform

  • Wrote Utopia to describe an ideal society where men and women live in harmony, all are educated, all religions are tolerated & order and discipline prevail over liberty

  • Executed for treason in1535 – He refused to accept the Act of Supremacy under King Henry VIII of England.

  • Canonized in 1935; Pope John Paul II made him the saint of politicians & statesmen


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William Shakespeare & Elizabethan England

  • English poet and playwright

  • Wrote 37 plays (comedies, tragedies, histories) between 1590-1613

  • Wrote 154 sonnets on the subjects of love, beauty & mortality

  • Added over 1700 new words to enrich the English language


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Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?    Thou art more lovely and more temperate: Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,    And summer's lease hath all too short a date: Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,    And often is his gold complexion dimm'd; And every fair from fair sometime declines,    By chance, or nature's changing course, untrimm'd; But thy eternal summer shall not fade,    Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest; Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his shade,    When in eternal lines to time thou growest; So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,    So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

Shakespeare’s Sonnet # 18


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William (April 23, 1564-April 23, 1616) was born in Stratford-upon-Avon

He married Anne Hathaway in 1582. He was 18; she was 26

fathered a daughter Susanna and twins Judith and Hamnet (died at 1 yr.)

1594: Became an actor with Lord Chamberlain’s Men

Plays performed in the Globe, Rose and Swan Theatres

Globe Theatre: built in 1599 (Richard Burbage) from the timbers of “The Theatre”

June 1613: A cannon set fire to the thatched roof and burnt the Globe to the ground (during Henry VIII performance)

1614: Globe rebuilt

1642: Puritans closed down all theatres in England

1644: Cromwell’s Roundheads tore it down & put up tenement housing

More Shakespeare


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Globe Theatre

  • Had an octagonal outer wall which enclosed a roofless pit

  • Could hold 3,000 playgoers (holds 1,700 today)

  • Yard (“pit/stinkards”): 1000 people could stand in front of the stage (1 pence)

  • Galleries (upper, middle, lower): wooden benches under thatched roof (2 pence)

  • Gentlemen’s Room: part of middle gallery…for richer patrons (3 pence)

  • Balcony: favored by aristocrats…could be seen and heard (3 pence)


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The Globe Theatre continued


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Miguel de Cervantes(October 9, 1547-April 23, 1616)

  • Spanish writer and great literary figure from a town near Madrid

  • Traveled to Italy in 1569; served in the Spanish army in the Battle of Lepanto in 1571

  • Captured by pirates & imprisoned in Algiers for 5 yrs.

  • Turned to writing to pay off his debt for the ransom that freed him

  • Wrote Don Quixote to mock medieval chivalry

  • Don Quixote and his practical sidekick Sancho Panza battle windmills (giants), and flocks of sheep (opposing armies)


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The Printing Revolution

  • 1455: Johann Gutenberg (1400-1468) from Mainz, Germany printed the first complete edition of the Bible using the printing press—made out of wood & modeled on the wine press of the Rhineland vineyards.

  • Development of movable type began a printing revolution-300 movable pieces are used in the Bible

  • Gutenberg’s wealthy business partner, Johann Fust, sued him for an unpaid loan, which had probably gone into developing the printing press. Gutenberg lost the law suit and had to turn over much of his equipment to Fust.

  • Built upon Chinese and Egyptian advances in papermaking

  • Gutenberg used handmade paper from Italy –each sheet contained a watermark – or vellum (scraped calfskin).


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Changes in Society

  • By 1500 more than 20 million copies of the Bible were printed; of the 180 original Gutenberg Bibles (42-line Bible) , most were bought by churches and monasteries.

  • Today, only 48 copies exist worldwide (11 in the United States).

  • Printed books were easier to produce.

  • Printed books were cheaper.

  • More people learned to read.

  • More access to a broad range of knowledge…new ideas (especially those of the Protestants and Martin Luther)

  • The press also contributed to the Scientific Revolution.


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Johann Gutenberg


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The Gutenberg Bible


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