Flashcards in 15thc. in Northern Europe Questions Deck (30):
Describe Ghent Altarpiece (closed)
1432. Jan and Hubert van Eyck. Oil on panel.
-present the Annunciation with Gabriel and Virgin on opposite sides of an upper room that overlooks city.
-Old Testament prophets and seers foretell coming of Christ.
-Below, donors are portrayed beside statues of the church's patron saints (John the Baptist and John the Evangelist)
-prosperous Flemish city shows rise of middle class to wealth, power, and patronage.
-donors represented by true-to-life portraits.
Describe January, The Duke of Berry at Table (Tres Riches Heures)
1411-16. Paul, Herman, and Jean Limbourg. Colors and ink on parchment.
-shows how dukes collected splendid robes and jewels, tapestry, etc.
-Duke sits behind table laden with food and rich tableware. Second table holds his collection of gold vessels.
-Words written overhead say "approach"
-John singled out visually by red "cloth of honor" with his heraldic arms-swans and lilies of France-and by large fire screen that circles his head.
Describe Champmol Altarpiece
1393-99. Chartreuse Cathedral. Melchior Broederlam. Oil in wood panel.
-Left, Gabriel greets Mary with news of her baby. A door leads into dark interior represents the Temple of Jerusalem, a symbol of the Old Law.
-tiny enclosed garden and pot of lilies = Mary's virginity.
-Visitation outside walls, Mary greets cousin Elizabeth.
-Right, in Presentation in the Temple, Mary and Joseph have brought newborn Jesus to temple for Jewish purification rite. Priest Simeon takes him in his arms to bless him.
-Far right, Holy Family flees to Egypt to escape Herod's order.
-sense of light and air around figures.
-statue of pagan god (upper right) breaks and tumbles from its pedestal as Christ Child approaches. New Law replaces Old.
Describe Well of Moses
1395-1406. Claus Sluter. France. The Chartreuse de Champmol. Limestone.
-may have been inspired by mystery plays where prophets foretell and explain events of the Passion.
-OT figures as physically and psychologically distinct individuals.
-Moses's sad old eyes blaze out from memorable face entirely covered with wrinkles. His horns (due to mistranslation in Latin Bible) are wrinkled.
-David is next to him, in the voluminous robes of a medieval king, the personification of nobility.
-human as mass defined by voluminous drapery.
-abandoned idealized faces, elongated figures, and vertical drapery for surface realism and broad horizontal movement of forms.
Describe Page with Thamyris
1402. Giovanni Boccaccio. Ink and tempera on vellum.
-shows Thamyris, artist of antiquity, at work.
-depicted in 15thc. dress, painting an image of Virgin and Child.
-assistant grinds and mixes the colors.
-foreground, brushes and paints are laid out on table.
Describe February, Life in the Country. (Tres Riches Heures)
1411-16. Paul, Herman, and Jean Limbourg. Colors and ink on parchment.
-farm people relax before blazing fire.
-farms looks comfortable and well-maintained.
-conveys feeling of cold winter weather; breath of worker turns to steam, leaden sky and bare trees, snow covering landscape, and smoke curling from chimney.
-International Gothic Style: high placement of horizon line, small size of trees and buildings in relation to people, and cutaway view of house showing both interior and exterior.
Mary at her Devotions (Hours of Mary of Burgundy)
1482. Mary of Burgundy Painter. Colors and ink on parchment.
-look through "windows"
-Mary of Burgundy appears twice: seated in foreground by window reading her Book of Hours, and in background perhaps in a vision inspired by her reading.
-she kneels with attendants and angels in front of Virgin and Child.
rosary = Mary's devotion
carnations = nails of the Crucifixion
glass vase holding purple irises = Virgin Mary's sorrows over sacrifice of Christ.
Unicorn is found at the Fountain (Hunt of the Unicorn)
1495-1505. Wool, silk, and silver and gilt-wrapped thread.
-unicorn said to be swift and could only be captured by a virgin. became symbol of the Incarnation (Christ is unicorn captured by the Virgin Mary) and also a metaphor for romantic love.
-unicorn purifies water by dipping its horn in stream. beneficent act results in capture and killing of unicorn, relates to Christ's death on the cross to save humanity.
red roses = Passion and Mary
-red roses growing behind unicorn suggest that tapestries celebrated Christian doctrine, but also a wedding gift.
lions = power, valor, faith, courage, mercy, Resurrection of Christ
stag = Resurrection (sheds and grows its antlers) and protector against poisonous serpents and evil.
rabbits = fertility
dogs = fidelity (loyalty)
pair of pheasants = human love and marriage
goldfinch = fertility and Passion of Christ
-flowers and trees reinforce themes of protective and curative powers.
strawberry = sexual love
pansy = remembrance
periwinkle = cure for spiteful feelings and jealousy
oak = fidelity
beech = nobility
holly = protection against evil
hawthorn = power of love
pomegranate, orange = fertility
-inspired by Song of Songs
Describe Cope of the Order of the Golden Fleece
Flemish, mid 15thc. Cloth with gold and colored silk embroidery
-order of the golden fleece was an honorary fraternity founded by Duke Philip the Good of Burgundy with 23 knights chosen for their moral character and bravery.
-religious services were part of their order and liturgical objects were created for this purpose.
-surface is divided into compartments filled with the standing figures of saints.
-at the top of neck edge, is enthroned figure of Christ flanked by scholar-saints in their studies.
Describe Merode Altarpiece (Triptych of the Annunciation (open))
1425-28. Robert Campin. Oil on wood panel.
lilies in majolica = Mary's virginity and were a traditional element of Annunciation imagery
white towel and hanging waterpot = Mary's purity and her role as the vessel for the Incarnation of God.
-center panel might be Gabriel telling Mary the news OR the exact moment when Mary accepts her destiny.
-rush of wind riffles book pages and snuffs candle as tiny Christ figure carrying cross descends on ray of light.
-Mary reads Bible while sitting humbly on the footrest of bench. position becomes symbol of her submission to God's will. OR prior to Annunciation.
-Flemish lighting: combines natural and supernatural light. strongest light comes from unseen upper left.
-IGothS: recession of bench toward back of room, sharply uplifted floor and tabletop, and disproportionate relationship between figures and architectural space. may serve to visually detach religious realm from world of viewers.
-figures are massive and draperies increase impression of material weight.
-house clearly belongs to Joseph, who is in his carpentry shop.
-mousetraps could allude to Augustine's reference to Christ as the bait in a trap set by God to catch Satan.
-Joseph is drilling holes in board used as drainboard for winemaking, understood as Eucharist wine and Christ's Passion.
-garden planted with a rosebush (Virgin and Passion)
-man standing by entrance could be self-portrait of artist or Isaiah.
-kneeling in front of the door are donors of the altarpiece, Peter Inghelbrecht and wife.
-their eyes unfocused even though they could watch Annunciation. maybe vision induced by their prayers.
Describe Ghent Altarpiece (Open), Adoration of the Mystic Lamb
1432. Oil on panel. Jan and Hubert van Eyck.
-enthroned figure of God in red and gold wearing triple crown of Saint Peter (papal crown) and having earthly crown at his feet.
-joined in golden shrine is Virgin Mary and John the Baptist, each enthroned and holding an open book.
-they are flanked by angel musicians and then Adam and Eve.
-van Eyck emphasizes humanity's fall from grace by depicting the murder of Abel by Cain and Eve who holds the forbidden fruit.
-5 lower panels present unified field. all saints father to adore the Lamb of God that stands on altar, blood flowing into chalice (forming fountain of life)
-3d mass of figures, voluminous draperies and surface realism and faux sculpture
Describe Man in a Red Turban
1433. Oil on wood panel. Jan van Eyck.
-projects strong sense of personality.
-"as i can" - telling illustration of humanist spirit of the age and confident expression of artist who knows his capabilities and proud to display them.
-portrait in which physical appearance seems recorded in magnifying mirror. very detailed.
-outward gaze is new, and suggests subject's increased sense of self-confidence.
Describe Giovanni Arnolfini and his wife, Giovanna Cenami
1434. Oil on wood panel. Jan van Eyck.
-on man's side, room opens outdoors, the external "masculine" world. woman is silhouetted against domestic interior (wife and mother_
-surrounded by emblems of wealth, piety, and married life.
-convex mirror is luxury object, but also all-seeing eye of God. roundels in frame depict Passion of Christ.
-piety of couple: crystal prayer beads on wall, image of Saint Margaret (protector of women in childbirth) carved on chair, and single burning candle (Christ's prescence)
Fruits = fertility and fall of Adam and Eve.
dog = fidelity. rare breed suggests wealth.
-woman wears aristocratic fur-lined overdress with long train. fashion dictated that robe be gathered up and held in front giving appearance of pregnancy. ideal of feminine beauty emphasized women's potential fertility.
1435-38. Rogier van der Weyden. Oil on wood panel. Belgium.
-shallow stage closed off by wooden backdrop covered with a thin overlay of gold.
-10 solid, 3d figures seem to press forward into viewer's space, forcing viewer to identify with the grief of Jesus's friends.
-Jesus's corpse at center of composition in a graceful curve that is echoed in angular fashion by the fainting Virgin, increasing emotional identification between Mother and Son.
-compassion in gestures of John the Evangelist.
-Mary Magdalen wrings her hands in anguish.
-individual expressions of emotion. although united by sorrow, mourning figures react in personal ways.
-choice of color and pattern balances and enhances his composition.
-white sets off Jesus's pale body and emphasizes Mary's ashen face.
Describe Last Judgment Altarpiece (open)
1443. Rogier van der Weyden. Oil on wood panel. France.
-tall, straight figure of archangel Michael dressed in white rob and cope, dominates center as he weighs soul under direct order of God, who sits on arc of giant rainbow.
-Virgin Mary and John the Baptist kneel at either end of the rainbow.
-behind them are 6 apostles and host of saints who witness scene.
-cloudy gold background serves to signify events in heavenly realm or in a time remote from viewer.
-bodily resurrection takes place on narrow, barren strip of earth that runs across the bottom of all but the outer panels.
-men and women crawl out of tombs and react to Judgment.
-damned throw themselves into flaming pit of hell (no demons drag them down) and saved greet Gabriel at shining gate of heaven (Gothic portal)
Describe Last Judgment Altarpiece (Closed)
Rogier van der Weyden.
-donors, Nicolas Rolin and Guigone de Salins, kneel in prayer before sculptures of patron saints of hospital chapel, Sebastian and Anthony.
-upper level, Gabriel greets Virgin Mary
-high status of donors indicated by coat of arms and gold brocade on walls of their room.
-central images in grisaille as unpainted stone sculpture set in shallow niches.
Describe Portrait of a Lady
Rogier van der Weyden. 1455, oil and tempera on wood panel
-exquisite but remote beauty
-He popularized half-length pose that include women's high waistline and clasped hands
-tense fingers convey sense of inner controlled emotion.
-expresses complex and often contradictory attitudes of both aristocratic and middle-class patrons of the arts, who balanced pride in their achievements with appropriate modesty
Describe A Goldsmith (Saint Eligius?) in his Shop
Petrus Christus. 1449. Oil on oak panel.
-he weighs jeweled ring.
-the man wears badge of member of court of duke of Gelders. woman wears double-horned headdress.
-coins are Burgundian gold ducats.
-bottom shelf are box of rings, two bags with precious stones, and pearls.
-behind is crystal reliquary with gold dome.
-objects on shelf had protective function. red coral and serpents' tongues - ward off evil eye
-coconut cup = neutralized poison
-porphyry and rock crystal = "touchstones" used to test gold and precious stones
-bridal belt curls on counter expresses the hope for health and well-being for the couple.
-or it simply advertises the guild's wares.
-convex mirror extends viewer's field of vision, one man dressed in red and black, and other man holds falcon, indication of high status. also allowed goldsmith to observe approach of potential customer.
Describe Wrongful Execution of the Count (left), Justice of Otto III (Right)
Dirck Bouts. 1470-75. Oil on wood panel.
-ordered by town council of Louvain for city hall to be examples and warnings to city officials.
-empress, standing with Otto III in her palace garden, falsely accuses count of sexual impropriety. Otto has count beheaded and countess receives her husband's head, in the presence of councilors.
In second panel, countess successfully endures trial by ordeal to prove her husband's innocence. unscathed and holding her husband's head, she lifts up glowing iron bar before shocked emperor. in far distance, justice is done and evil empress is executed by burning at the stake.
-creates illusion of space that recedes continuously and gradually from picture plane to far horizon. used walkways, walls, and winding roads.
-use of atmospheric perspective seen in gradual lighting of sky and smoky blue hills at horizon.
-invented official group portrait in which living individuals are integrated into narrative scene along with fictional or religious characters.Men observing execution may have been members of the town council. impassive faces are realistic but their figures are impossibly tall and slender.
Describe Portinari Altarpiece (open)
Hugo van der Goes. 1474-76. Tempera and oil on wood panel.
-commissioned by Tommaso Portinari, head of Medici bank in Bruges
-Tommaso, wife, and three oldest children portrayed kneeling in prayer on the wings. On left, saints (Thomas and Anthony) behind Tomasso and son. (younger son added later)
-On right, wife and daughter are presented by saints Mary Magdalen and Margaret.
-theme is Nativity.central panel represents Adoration of newborn Chirst by Mary and Joseph, host of angles, and shepherds.
-in middle ground of wings are scenes invented by Hugo. on left, Mary and Joseph travel to native city to take part in census ordered by Herod. Mary dismounted from donkey and staggers (she's pregnant), supported by Joseph.
-on right, servant of the three Magi asks directions from a peasant. continuous landscape across wings and central panel is wonderful scene o cold, barren winter
-used atmospheric perspective to approximate distance in landscape
-brilliant palette, meticulous accuracy, intense but controlled emotions.
-shifts figure size for emphasis. huge Joseph, Mary, and shepherds are same size as patron saints. also uses color, gestures, and gazes to focus our eyes on center panel.
-Jesus rests naked and vulnerable on barren ground. rays of light emanate from him, source of this was Swedish mystic Saint Bridget.
wheat sheaf = location of event at Bethlehem, (house of bread in Hebrew) and to the Host (bread) at Communion, Body of Christ.
abarello decorated with vines and grapes = wine at Eucharist, Blood of Christ. holds red lily for Blood of Christ and three irises - white for purity and purple for Christ's royal ancestry.
-three irises may refer to Trinity. also "little sword" in Simon's prophetic words. "and you yourself a sword will pierce so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed"
glass vessel = Mary and entry of Christ Child into Virgin's womb, the way light passes through glass without breaking it.
7 blue columbines in glass reminds viewer of Virgin's future sorrows.
violets scattered on ground = humanity
Describe Saint Ursula Reliquary and Martyrdom of Saint Ursula
Hans Memling. 1489. Painted and gilded oak.
-form of Gothic chapel.
-Ursula rejected marriage from Attila the Hun, and killed.
-on roof are roundels with musical angels flanking Coronation of the Virgin.
-corners are carved saints, and on the end is Saint Ursula.
Describe Etienne Chevalier and Saint Stephen and Virgin and Child
Jean Fouquet. 1450 and 1451. Oil on wood panel.
-diptych made to fulfill vow made by Chevalier to mistress, Agnes Sorel. (pious and model for Virgin.)
-paints figure for Virgin (features taken from death) and angels as stylized, simplified forms (reducing colors to near grisaille), then surrounds with amazing jewels in crown and tapestry and brilliant red and blue cherubs form tapestrylike background.
-Chavelier kneels in prayer with clasped hands and meditative gaze, presented to Virgin by Stephen.
-depicted courtier's ruddy features with mirrorlike accuracy confirmed by other portraits.
-Saint Stephen wears liturgical clothes and carries large stone on closed Gospel book, evidence of his martyrdom. Trickle of blood can be seen on head.
Describe Church of Saint-Maclou, Rouen
Normandy, France. Pierre Robin (?). 1432-1521.
-projecting porch bends to enfold facade of church in screen of tracery.
-sunlight on flame-shaped openings casts ever-changing shadows across intentionally complex surface.
-crockets break every defining line.
Describe House of Jacques Coeur
Bourges, France. 1443-51.
-reflects popularity of Flamboyant style for secular architecture.
-build around an irregular open courtyard, with spiral stairs in octagonal towers.
-tympana over doors indicate function of rooms within.
-among carved decorations are puns on patron's name. "coeur" = heart
-place of business, so large storerooms for goods and strong room for treasure.
Describe San Juan de los Reyes
Juan Guas. Toledo, Spain. 1477.
-had single nave flanked by lateral chapels built between wall buttresses, raised choir over western entrance.
-simple compact design allowed ample space for congregation, and expanse of wall could be used for educational paintings, sculptures, or tapestries.
-heraldry became major decorative art feature with huge shields with royal coat of arms. flanked by saints standing on pedestals under flamboyant canopies.
-carved plants, insects, and animals on moldings and piers.
-friezes with inscriptions mimic Moorish architectural inscriptions.
Describe Saint Vincent with the Portuguese Royal Family
Nuño Goncalves. 1465-67. Oil in wood panel.
-panel from Altarpiece of Saint Vincent.
-includes portraits of royal family, Cistercians, businessmen, fishermen, etc.
-Prince Henry the Navigator, man who inspired and financed Portuguese exploration.
-Saint Vincent stands in tightly packed group of people. At right, King Alfonso V kneels before Vincent, while young son and deceased uncle, Henry, look on.
-Henry's hands tented in prayer. At left, Alfonso's dead wife and mother hold rosaries.
-appearance of Saint Vincent is a vision, brought on by intense prayers of the individuals around him.
Describe Miraculous Draft of Fishes
Konrad Witz. Geneva, Switzerland. 1444. Oil on wood panel.
-from altarpiece from Cathedral of Saint Peter.
-Jesus calling of fishermen Peter and Andrew.
-Witz painted Lake Geneva, not Galilee.
-gone beyond general realism of Flemings to paint realistic portrait of specific landscape.
-Peter's body and legs are distorted by refraction.
-floating clouds above create shifting light and dark passages over the water.
-artist captures both appearance and spirit of nature.
Describe The Buxheim Saint Christopher
1423. Hand-colored woodcut.
-devotional image found in Carthusian Monastery of Buxheim.
-Saint Christopher, patron saint of travelers, carries Christ Child across river.
-efforts witnessed by monk holding out a light to guide him to monastery, but ignored by the hardworking millers on opposite bank.
-artist and cutter vary the width of the lines to strengthen major forms.
-delicate lines used for inner modeling (facial features) and short parallel lines to indicate shadows.
Describe Demons Tormenting Saint Anthony
Martin Schongauer. 1480-90. Engraving.
-illustrated original biblical meaning of temptation as physical assault rather than subtle inducement.
-demons lift Anthony up off the ground to torment and terrify him in midair.