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The Northern Renaissance Begins• 1450 - Populations of N. Europe begin to grow again post bubonic plague• Cities grew rapidly, merchants became wealthy enough to sponsor artists• England and France under monarchies (unlike Italian city-states) who also sponsored artists and writers• Northern Renaissance developed its own characteristics such as interest in realism and interest in social reform
Artistic Ideas Spread• German painters - Albrecht Durer, traveled to Italy to study. Upon returning he produced woodcuts and engravings that emphasized realism. Prints portrayed classical myths, realistic landscapes.• Flemish painters- Flanders - artistic center of N. Europe. Jan Van Eyck - 1st great Flemish painter. Layered oil paints to create subtle colors. Paintings had realistic details, revealed personality of subject
• Flemish continued - Pieter Bruegel the Elder portrayed large numbers of people skillfully, captured scenes from everyday life (ie weddings, dances, harvests) using rich colors, vivid details, balanced use of space.
Northern Writers• Christian humanists - critical of Christian Church to inspire, their focus was to reform society• Desiderius Erasmus - “Praise of the Folly” most famous work, made fun of greedy merchants, pompous priests... Believed in Christianity of the heart - not of ceremonies or rules, all people should read the Bible to improve society• Thomas Moore - “Utopia” (ideal place) about imaginary land where greed, corruption, war were weeded out. Wrote in Latin, translated into many languages
Elizabethan Age• Period when Renaissance spread to England, named after Queen Elizabeth I, well educated and talented she did much to support art and literature• William Shakespeare - most famous Elizabethan writer. Used classics as inspiration for his works, revealed deep understanding of human beings, many of his plays examining human ﬂaws. Works include: Macbeth, Hamlet, Romeo & Juliet, Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Taming of the Shrew
Printing Press Spreads Renaissance Ideas• Chinese invent block printing, then movable type, but it was impractical for them.• Johann Gutenberg - German craftsman, improves upon Chinese method, combines with European technology creating moveable type press. Printed a complete Bible• Printing press enables production of hundreds of copies of a work quickly and cheaply
Legacy of the Renaissance• Changes in the Arts • Techniques from classical Greece and Rome • Individuals and nature portrayed in more realistic ways • Artists created secular and religious works • Writers used vernacular language • Arts praised individual achievement
• Changes in Society • Printing made information cheap and easy to obtain • More books = increased desire to learn and increased literacy throughout Europe • Published accounts of discoveries led to more discoveries in many areas • People more likely to understand rights from reading legal proceedings • People start to question political structures and religious practices