Severed Heads & Flowers
After learning of the bread shortages that were occurring in Paris at the time of Louis XVI's coronation in Rheims, as quoted in Marie Antoinette by Antonia Fraser, "Tradition persists that Marie Antoinette joked 'Let them eat cake!' This phrase, however, occurs in a passage of Jean-Jacques Rousseau's Confessions, written in 1766, when Marie Antoinette was ten years old and four years before her marriage to Louis XVI.
Essay 1 now due on Canvas!!!
Jessica Bocinski will join us again at the beginning of class on Wednesday. Log in with questions!
Van Meytens, Marie Antoinette, 1767.











Scalar Compendium Post due October 19

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Judith Leyster, The Last Drop, c. 1639.











Judith and Maidservant with the Head of Holofernes

Artemisia Gentileschi, Judith and Maidservant with the Head of Holofernes, 1625 - 1627.











Artemisia Gentileschi,
Judith Decapitating Holofernes, 1611 - 1612.

Artemisia Gentileschi, Judith and Maidservant with the Head of Holofernes, 1620 - 1621.












Judith Slaying Holofernes

Caravaggio, Judith Slaying Holofernes, c. 1599.












Lavinia Fontana, Judith and Holofernes, 1613.

Elisabetta Sirani, Judith with the Head of Holofernes, 1638 - 1665.

Elisabetta Sirani, Judith with the Head of Holofernes, c. 1660.











chiaroscuro = contrast between light and dark
tenebrism = use of strong chiaroscuro and artificially illuminated areas to create dramatic contrast of light and dark in a painting
  • Boldly illuminated figures set against dark backgrounds

Conversion of St. Paul


  • Single light source usually outside of the picture plane
  • Use of unidealized bodies and non-professional models
  • Theatrical and dramatic compositions
Those who followed Caravaggio's style were called "the Caravaggisti"
Caravaggio, Conversion of St. Paul, 1601.
Artemisia Gentileschi, Lucretia, 1621.











Historical Context
Beginning of Protestant Reformation

Death of Raphael
Sack of Rome - end of High Renaissance
1545 - 1563
Counter Reformation begins with the Council of Trent
Henry VIII breaks from Catholic Church and establishes Church of England
Copernicus theorizes planets revolve around sun
First scientific study of human anatomy based on dissections published
Giorgio Vasari publishes The Lives of the Artists
1558 - 1603
Elizabeth I reigns in England
1564 - 1616
William Shakespeare
Netherlands declare independence from Spain
Caterina van Hemessen, Self-Portrait, 1548.











Levina Bening Teerlinc, Miniature Portrait of Elizabeth I as Princess, 1550.











Some interesting facts about Elizabethan England
Shakespeare's Wife
  • Unmarried women over the age of 21 in Elizabethan England were free to earn money and spend it as they chose, as well as to marry whom they chose.
  • It was common for a woman to forego marriage until her mid 30s because there was no reason to jettison her freedom and property to a man.
  • It was fairly common for a woman to be pregnant during the "official" wedding ceremony (often held in June because it rained less during the time of the year). In this age, an official ceremony in the Church was not necessary or required. In fact, all that needed to happen for a couple to marry was that they needed to apply for a license and they needed to agree to become husband and wife.
  • Most Protestants were literate because they believed it was important to read the Bible for themselves rather than have it interpreted by the Church for them.











Two major social differences between the Renaissance in Italy and the North:
  • Rise of the middle class
  • Protestant Reformation











Artemisia Gentileschi, Penitent Magdalene,
1625 - 1626.
Clara Peters, Still Life with Flowers,
Goblet, Dried Fruit and Pretzels
, 1611.


Northern Europe
Motivation for change
  • Humanism
  • Religious reform
  • Growth based on Classic models
    • Demanded more personal, one-on-one relationship with God
    • Required literacy
  • Catholic Church
  • Growing middle class
  • Royalty/ politicians
  • Nobility
Market demand
  • Religious commissions for public venues
  • Genre scenes
  • Idealized, heroic, nude figures
  • Still-life paintings and landscapes
  • Large-scale canvases and frescoes
  • Small-scale paintings for the home
  • Emphasis on reason, order and logic
  • Emphasis on the private and the domestic
  • Images of idealized humans being heroic
  • Moralizing commentaries & appreciations of everyday life










Clara Peters, Still Life with Cheeses, Almonds, and Pretzels, c. 1615.

(Peters signed the bridal knife and included a self-portrait in the reflection on the jug.)











Clara Peters, Still Life with Flowers, Goblet, Dried Fruit and Pretzels, 1611.