Northern Renaissance Art
Northern Artists, sculptors, and architects were influenced by daily life, portraits, religious scenes, and scenes of nature. They were surrounded by Gothic Cathedrals in France, Germany and England, which contributed to their style. Since no wealthy patrons who wanted grand paintings were sponsoring them, artists focused on daily life and ordinary people such as peasants. The wealthier asked for portraits. Northern Renaissance painters were especially focused on detail. They wanted to make their art look as realistic as possible. They were very concerned on how their paintings looked (Colors brush strokes, flat, neat, non-detectable brush strokes). They were sponsored by monasteries or universities. However, monarchs often sponsored the arts because they believed that cultural achievement could lead to national pride, which would help unite the people and strengthen the monarchy. However, in the north, artists were scattered about and there wasn’t many of them. They had fewer centers of free trade than Italy. Northern Europeans were more focused on religious reform because they thought that the Roman church strayed too far from Christian values. Northern Europe became more rebellious about the church’s authority and art became secular.
Northern Renaissance painters painted subjects of daily life. They painted common people like peasants doing everyday things. They usually focused on the lives of peasants unlike Italian Renaissance painters. The rich in Italy did not want paintings of peasants. Since they were patronizing artists, they wanted grander paintings worth their money. Northern painters had more freedom to paint what they wanted to.
Northern Renaissance painters enjoyed painting nature or natural scenes as the focus. They painted animals, landscapes, and plants. They focused on extreme detail. They more detail they put in a painting, the better. Color was extremely important. The artist’s goal was to make their paintings look as real as possible.
Northern architects were surrounded by Gothic Cathedrals in France, Germany, and England. Architecture in the northern countries maintained a Gothic influence throughout the renaissance-high ceilings, large windows, arches, etc.
Northern artists were sometimes paid to paint people and preserve what a person looked like. For the first time, people wanted portraits-showing the value individualism. This was mainly for the wealthier because peasants couldn’t afford expensive portraits.
Italian Renaissance Art
Italian painters, sculptors, and architects were mainly influenced by the Classics. There was a lot of Roman ruins in Italy which contributed to their architecture. Wealthy patrons sponsored the arts, so artists usually painted their values, like humanism. Wealthy patrons did not want paintings of ordinary people, but more of the extraordinary. The Italians made sure their paintings were symmetrical, balanced, proportional, had depth, and were idealistic. They were focused on humanism, religious scenes, and Classical mythology. The Italians were still very connected to the Catholic church because they were very close to the Pope. For this reason, there wasn’t a lot of protestants in Italy. They believed that humanism led to more dignified and worthy people.
Italian Renaissance painters were usually paid by nobles or the rich. They wanted grand pictures that showed their wealth. Because wealthy patrons wanted glorious pictures, artists often recreated the ideals of the Classical Greeks and Romans. They glorified the human mind, body, life on earth, and education.
Italian Renaissance architects were surrounded by Classical architecture ruins. They were inspired and buildings were created with the advancements of the Classics in mind. Houses were built with influence from Roman ruins, which was inspired by the Greeks.
Italian Renaissance painters were inspired by the Classics. Paintings were often focused on glorifying humans, Greek, and Roman myths. These stories were recreated in paintings.
Italian Renaissance painters were inspired by the Classic’s 3 main values in art. They wanted their sculptures and paintings to have balance, order, and perfection. The painters gave their paintings perspective-or a 3 dimensional feel. Instead of paintings looking flat, artists made sure to give a feeling of depth. They were the first to do this in their paintings.