Setting the Scene
la rinascita = rebirth; term used to describe a period in European history from the 14th to 15th century; first used in Giorgio Vasari's Lives of the Most Excellent Artists, 1550

Roettgen Pieta, Germany, c. 1300 - 1325.











The Middle Ages


Fall of the Roman Empire

859 - 1088

First universities established


Norman conquest of England

1095 - 1099

First Crusade called by the Pope to retake the Holy Lands from the Muslims


Persecution of witches begins in France
Black Death


Invention of wearable eyeglasses


Dry mariner's compass developed after ancient Chinese models

1337 - 1453

Hundred Years' War between France and England


Black Death kills about 75 million people worldwide

1378 - 1417

Great Schism divides the Roman Catholic Church into eastern and western traditions

1387 - 1400

Chaucer writes the Canterbury Tales











The Black Death (Bubonic Plague) began in 1346, and quickly spread throughout Europe until 1353.
It is estimated that 30 to 60% of Europe's population was killed by the plague.











Paul, Herman and Jean Limbourg, Page with February and June from Tres Riches Heures, 1413 - 1416.











Western and southern façades of Chartres Cathedral, France, c. 1145 - 1155.











Madonna Enthroned
Madonna Enthroned, late 13th century. Tempera on panel.
Detail of Christ of the Pentacost. Saint Madeleine Cathedral, France. 1125 - 1150.











Roettgen Pieta, Germany, c. 1300 - 1325.
Michelangelo, Pieta, Saint Peter's Basilica, 1498 - 1499.





















Renaissance = 14th century to 17th century
"northern Europe" = places north of the Alps
Northern Renaissance
art in Flanders, Netherlands, and Normandy
1400 - 1550
Early Renaissance
Italian art in Tuscany
1400 - 1500
High Renaissance
Italian art in Rome, Florence and Venice
1500 - 1527
art in Florence, Rome, Venice, Spain and France
1520 - 1600











Saint Michael's, Hildesheim, Germany, 1001 - 1031.
Doors with relief panels commissioned by Bishop Bernward for Saint Michael's of Hildesheim, Germany, 1015. Bronze, height approx. 16'.











God Accusing Adam & Eve, detail of the left door of Saint Michael's Cathedral, Hildesheim, Germay.
Bronze, approx. 23" X 43".











Characteristics of Renaissance art:

Ghent Adam and Eve

Reflects admiration of classic art
Sense of stability and order
Emphasis on logic and reason
Idealized form

Adam & Eve Reproached by the Lord from
the Doors of Bishop Bernward, 1015.

Jan van Eyck, Adam and Eve
(details of the Ghent Altarpiece), 1432.