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Chapter 15 Piety, Passion, and Politics 15 th Century Art in Northern Europe. Europe in the 15 th Century. Limbourg brothers (Pol, Hennequin, Herman), January , from Les Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry , 1413–1416. Ink on vellum, approx. 8 1/2" x 5 1/2". Musée Condé, Chantilly.

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Chapter 15 Piety, Passion, and Politics 15 th Century Art in Northern Europe


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chapter 15 piety passion and politics 15 th century art in northern europe
Chapter 15

Piety, Passion, and Politics

15th Century Art in Northern Europe

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Limbourg brothers (Pol, Hennequin, Herman), January, from Les Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry, 1413–1416. Ink on vellum, approx. 8 1/2" x 5 1/2". Musée Condé, Chantilly.

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Compare Limbourg brothers 1413-16 Tres Riches Heures with JEAN PUCELLE, David before Saul, ca. 1325. a page from the BellevilleBreviary, ink and tempera on vellum, 9 1/2” X 6 3/4”. Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris.

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LIMBOURG BROTHERS (POL, HENNEQUIN, HERMAN), October, from Les Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry, 1413–1416. Ink on vellum, approx. 8 1/2” x 5 1/2”. Musée Condé, Chantilly. In the background is the Louvre, the royal palace of Charles V in Paris.

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Les très riches heures du Duc de Berry: May, 1412-16, illumination on vellum, 22,5 x 13,6 cm, Musée Condé, Chantilly, FranceThe Limbourgs used a wide variety of colors obtained from minerals, plants or chemicals and mixed with either arabic or tragacinth gum to provide a binder for the paint. Among the more unusual colors they used were vert de flambe, a green obtained from crushed flowers mixed with massicot, and azur d'outreme, an ultramarine made from crushed Middle Eastern lapis-lazuli, used to paint the brilliant blues. The extremely fine detail needed extremely fine brushes and, almost certainly, lenses.

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JAN VAN EYCK, Ghent Altarpiece (closed), Saint Bavo Cathedral, Ghent, Belgium, completed 1432. Oil on wood, approx. 11’ 6" x 7’ 6". Donors shown at the bottom left and right. Annunciation in center. Upper arches contain prophets and sibyls predicting the coming of Christ.

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JAN VAN EYCK, Ghent Altarpiece (open), Saint Bavo Cathedral, Ghent, Belgium, completed 1432. Oil on wood, approx. 11’ 6" x 15’. Theme of salvation. God is enthroned like a pope with the worldly crown at his feet. Mary is the crowned “Queen of Heaven.” Saint John at the right of God.

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Compare detail of worshipers from Van Eyck’s Ghent Altarpiece (1432) to a detail of a page from the Limbourg brothers Tres Riches Heures (1413-16)

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ROBERT CAMPIN (Master of Flémalle), Mérode Altarpiece (open), The Annunciation (center panel), ca. 1425–1428. Oil on wood, center panel approx. 2’ 1” x 2’ 1”. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (The Cloisters Collection, 1956).

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ROBERT CAMPIN (Master of Flémalle), Mérode Altarpiece (open), The Annunciation (center panel), ca. 1425–1428. Oil on wood, center panel approx. 2’ 1” x 2’ 1”. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (The Cloisters Collection, 1956). "The devil exulted when Christ died, but by this very death of Christ the devil was vanquished, as if he had swallowed the bait in the mousetrap. He rejoiced in Christ's death, like a bailiff of death. What he rejoiced in was then his own undoing. The cross of the Lord was the devil's mousetrap; the bait by which he was caught was the Lord's death....“ Saint Augustine

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JAN VAN EYCK, Giovanni Arnolfini and His Bride, 1434. Oil on oak panels, approx. 2’ 8" x 1’ 11 1/2". National Gallery, London. Possibly a memorial portrait of a wife who died years before it was commissioned

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JAN VAN EYCK, detail of Giovanni Arnolfini and His Bride, 1434. Note mirror reflecting artist (in blue), and carved figure of Saint Margaret, patron saint of childbirth, as a finial on the bedpost. Brush and rosary may symbolize the twin Catholic injunctions to “pray and work.”

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JAN VAN EYCK, Man in a Red Turban (Self-Portrait?) 1433. Oil on wood, approx. 10 1/4" x 7 1/2". National Gallery, London. “As I (ich/Eyck) can” (top)"Jan van Eyck made me on 21 October 1433“ (bottom) Letters are painted as if they are carved

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HIERONYMUS BOSCH, Garden of Earthly Delights (closed)1505–1510. triptych, Oil on wood, center panel 7’ 2 5/8" x 6’ 4 3/4". Museo del Prado, Madrid. This image is interpreted as showing the Earth on the third day of Creation

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HIERONYMUS BOSCH, Garden of Earthly Delights. Creation of Eve (left wing), Garden of Earthly Delights (central panel of tripych), Hell (right wing), 1505–1510. Oil on wood, center panel 7’ 2 5/8" x 6’ 4 3/4". Museo del Prado, Madrid.

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BOSCH, Garden of Earthly Delights, detail of right panel, Hell. Tortures are related to the seven deadly sins: wrath, envy, greed, gluttony, sloth, extravagance (later, lust), and pride.