The northern renaissance
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In your notes duplicate the text and picture exactly as you see it
In your notes, duplicate the text and picture exactly as you see it!

When April with his showers sweet with fruit. The drought of March has pierced unto the root,  And bathed each vein with liquor that has power, To generate therein and sire the flower; When Zephyr also has, with his sweet breath, Quickened again, in every holt and heath.

Printing press
Printing Press

  • Johann Gutenberg

    • 1398-1468, German Goldsmith

    • 1456 – developed moveable type

    • Introduced printing to Europe

  • Impact

    • By 1500 – more than 20 million volumes

    • By 1600 – more than 200 million

    • Making books  cheaper, easier, more efficient

    • Millions of copies of the Bible

    • Education increased  literacy


  • Why is literacy so important?

  • People interpret things themselves

    •  form own opinions

    •  individuality (free thinking, self-reliance)

Renaissance spreads north
Renaissance Spreads North

Why it took so long

  • North recovers slowly from the Plague

    • Feudalism disappeared later than in Italy

  • Catholic Church’s power weakens in the North

    • Europe was torn

Christian humanism
Christian Humanism

Humanism Christian Humanism in the North

Scholars tried to unite classical learning (Greek & Roman) with Christian faith

Religious and moral reforms

Sir thomas more
Sir Thomas More

  • 1478-1535

  • Classic English Humanist

  • Studied Law,

  • Lord Chancellor under Henry VIII

    • Eventually executed by Henry VIII

  • Utopia – 1516

  • No one knew what utopia meant: Ideal Place

  • Ou-topos(no place) eu-topos(good place)

  • Description of an ideal state since Plato’s Republic


Name for a fictional island society & its customs

Communal ownership of land

No private property

men and women educated the same

complete religious toleration  not atheism

Do these ideas sound similar?


Humanist thinkers in the north
Humanist Thinkers in the North

  • Erasmus: Dutch Humanist

  • Prince of Northern Humanism

  • Said Italian Renaissance only focused on the elite class

  • Wrote “Praise of Folly”

    • About church’s mistakes

    • Ignorance, superstition, and greed

Northern Renaissance thinkers reformed society’s ills

Focused on all levels of society not just elite.

Wanted church reform but not reformation.


  • produced most of his known work: 1589-1613.

  • early plays: comedies and histories.

  • wrote mainly tragedies until about 1608

    • Hamlet, King Lear, Othello, and Macbeth,

  • some of the finest works in the English language.

  • last phase: wrote tragicomedies, aka romances

Northern renaissance artists
Northern Renaissance Artists

Greatest painters of the Northern Renaissance were from

Flanders (now Belgium)


Albrecht durer painter
Albrecht Durer: Painter

  • 1471-1528: Nuremberg, Germany

  • German “Leonardo” – studied in Venice

    • Anatomy, science, math (proportions)

  • Spread Renaissance ideas North

  • Mastered wood cuts & carvings

  • Religious & classical subjects

Hans holbein the younger
Hans Holbein the Younger

1497-1543: Germany

“the Younger” to distinguish from father

Greatest portraits of the 16th century

Artist for Henry VIII

Most famous painting – Anne Cleves – 4th wife of Henry VIII

Jan van eyck
Jan Van Eyck

  • 1395-1441 – Flemish painter

  • Father of oil painting

  • Perfected new effects using this technique

  • Van Eyck often signed his paintings on their frames

  • Cathedral at Ghent, the Adoration of the Lamb (1432)

    • First PAINTED altar piece (before they would be wood cuts)