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Northern Renaissance

by: Helen Notetaker

Northern Renaissance ARTH 4142

Helen Notetaker
University of Memphis

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About this Document

answers on the guide discounting the first study question
North Renaissance Art
Todd Richardson
Study Guide
Art, history
50 ?




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This 3 page Study Guide was uploaded by Helen Notetaker on Monday October 17, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to ARTH 4142 at University of Memphis taught by Todd Richardson in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 3 views. For similar materials see North Renaissance Art in Art History at University of Memphis.

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Date Created: 10/17/16
Vernacular – The language or dialect spoken by the common people in a particular area or territory. Four Humors – A system of medicine in which four body fluids (blood, yellow bile, black bile, and phlegm) where meant to be balanced. These fluids corresponded to the four temperaments, sanguine, choleric, melancholic, and phlegmatic respectively. Sola Scriptura/ Sola Fides – literally translates to only scripture/ only faith and was an idea propagated by the protestant movement in which the scripture took precedence over tradition and faith in Christ alone was enough to save the soul. Indulgence – In the Roman Catholic Church, the pope controls the gates to heaven and it is believed that some people’s good works outweigh their sins. A wealthy person could therefore buy the works of a deceased saint in order to lessen their time in purgatory by donating to the church. Ars/ Ingenium – The skill or competence that was gained by method and practice/ Innate talent that cannot be acquired. Epistemology - A branch of philosophy that studies the origin, nature, methods, and limits of human knowledge. Epistemology asks how we know what we know. Dendrochronology - The study of the annual rings of trees in relation to the dates and chronological order of past events. Anthropomorphism - Anthropomorphism is frequently used as a device in art that communicates the author’s message through a symbolic animal or a object that displays human qualities. Intaglio – A type of printing technique used to make a piece of art. Intaglio prints are made by etching the work into a copper plate. The grooves hold ink and the plate is firmly pressed onto paper to create the final piece. Humanism - is a philosophical premise that emphasizes the value of human beings, individually and collectively, and generally values critical thinking and evidence over religious understanding. In copper plate engraving, the artist cuts away the intended image, but in woodcut engraving, the artist leaves the portion to be printed. Because of the difference in process, woodcut prints are less detailed and also takes less skill to create. In addition, the copper was far more expensive to use that wood, and due to its malleability, would create fewer prints. Since woodcut requires less skill, less money to create, and has the potential to generate more prints, its final cost would be far less than a copper plate engraving, making it accessible to the common citizen. Copper plate, being significantly more expensive, would only be available to a wealthy, more educated group of people. Because of its high cost, the buyer would expect to be able to contemplate the piece more thoroughly and consider deeper meanings than run deeper than face value. For these reasons, Durer would use woodcut engravings to represent easily identifiable scenes and events and reserve copper plate engravings for more contemplative pieces. Bosch’s “Seven Deadly Sins” pictures the seven deadly sins encircling an image of Christ. The central piece is round with a vignette allowing the image as a whole to be square. At each corner is a smaller circle featuring the four last things (Last Rights, Last Judgement, Heaven and Hell.) At a distance, when viewed, the central image is that of an eye. The pupil being Christ’s image, and the white serving as a reflection of the world’s sinful nature. This image is unique in many ways, one of which being the fact that it is painted on a table, causing the viewer to circle the image in order to view all of the images and in turn, implicating their personal sin nature. This also embodies the idea that Christ is of central importance and that all life is sourced from him. The fact that the image resembles an eye not only implicates the viewer, but also serves to communicate that god is always watching. The four supporting images that surround the eye force the viewer to contemplate the results of their actions. “Mass of Saint Gregory” displays the story of Gregory receiving the Stigmata, proving to a disbelieving woman that the Eucharist is in fact authentic. Christ stands in the center of the image on the crevice of the triptych and the donor kneels towards the foreground right. Surrounding Christ is an arch which contains the pictorial story of the events leading up to the crucifixion as well as the crucifixion itself. These pictures are chronologically ordered, leading up to the crucifixion at the top of the arch. As the images move upward they start as outlined images and gradually become lifelike at the top, mirroring the concept of the Eucharist in which wine and bread become real flesh and bone. The idea if the Eucharist is also paralleled by the painted frame which suggests a transfer from reality to imagery in and of itself. In this image the crucifixion is directly above Christ’s head who in turn looks down at the chalice. When the triptych is opened, Christ’s body is broken. Bosch’s paintings are different than any other paintings we have looked at for many reasons, most notably, that Bosch was independently wealthy, and therefore unhindered creatively by the need for commissions. Because the paintings were largely on spec pieces, he was uniquely capable of unleashed creativity. He was also highly educated. As a result his images were more highly influenced by knowledge and reason than other works of the time.


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