Early Renaissance in Northern Europe
Als ich chan = "The best that I am capable of doing"
Jan van Eyck, Man in a Red Turban, 1433.











Andrea del Castagno, Last Supper, c. 1445 - 1450.











Sandro Botticelli, Primavera, c. 1482.











Characteristics of Botticelli's Style:
  • Emphasis on drawing and line
  • Outlined figures
  • Shallow modeling / light shading
  • Little concern with deep space
tempra paint
Sandro Botticelli, The Birth of Venus, c. 1484 - 1486.










Sandro Botticelli, The Birth of Venus, c. 1484 - 1486.











  • Renaissance philosophy that liberally merged Christian and pagan doctrine
  • Proposed that all life was linked to God by a spiritual circuit
  • Therefore, all revelation (whether from the Bible, Plato or classic myth) was one
  • Beauty, love and spiritual ecstasy were all the same thing
  • One could attain spiritual ecstasy through the contemplation of beauty











Renaissance = 14th century to 17th century
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











Petrus Christus, A Goldsmith (Saint Eligius?) in His Shop, 1449.
Perugino, Christ Delivering the Keys to Saint Peter,
c. 1481 - 1482.
Differences between Early Renaissance in the North and in Italy
      • Humanism does not make a great impact in North until 15th century
      • Northern artists did not entirely reject the preceding Gothic style
      • Northern artists more concerned with Christianity than Classical mythology
      • New style evident mostly in painting in the North











In middle ages, illuminated manuscripts, tapestries and metalwork were the most highly valued art forms. By the 15th century, panel painting quickly became the most prized.
St. John the Evangelist from the Gospel Book of Abbot Wedcricus, 1147.
Rogier van der Weyden, Saint John Altarpiece, 1455 - 1460.











Three Netherlandish artists recognized as most remarkable innovators:

      Robert Campin

      Jan van Eyck

      Rogier van der Weyden











Robert Campin, Merode Altarpiece (Triptych of the Annunciation), c. 1425 - 1428.