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Flashcards in International Gothic style Deck (22)
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comes from Greek and refers to two panels hinged together


illuminated manuscript

artistic decoration of hand-written texts



made from calfskin, text was written on vellum pages


examples of the style

-The Wilton Diptych
-Les tres riches heures de duc de berry


The International Gothic Style

-refers to style of courtly painting found in western Europe from 14th-15th centuries
-originated in noble + royal courts in France


characteristics of style

-artistic courtly themes
-vivid colours + gold leaf used
-realistic details of plants + landscapes
-elegant + elongated figures
-decorative qualities


tempera paint

water-soluble quick-drying paint of powdered pigments, which are bound together with egg yolk or egg white. It was mainly used for painting on wood panel


Wilton Diptych - subject matter

-small diptych consisting of 2 hinged paintings
-portable object used as aid in prayer


Wilton Diptych - left panel

-4 figures against broad gold bg
-King Richard II kneeling in profile, looking towards right panel
-behind: St John the Baptist, St Edward the confessor, Sir Edmund the Martyr
-each identified by what theyre carrying. John - lamb of God, Edward - ring he is associated with a miracle he performed, Edmund - arrow he was martyred with
-King R wearing own personal emblem of white stag on chain of pearls + cloak
-idea that he is getting right to rule from Virgin Mary _ Christ


Wilton Diptych - right panel

-Virgin Mary surrounded by 11 angels, meadow studded w/ flowers
-holding Christ child + displays his foot (one day nailed to cross at crucifixion)
-raised hand, Christ child blesses Richard's eign
-figures v elegant
-Christ looking towards King Richard in left panel + reaching towards banner held by angel
-on banner: flag of St George + an orb
-angels adorn emblem of King R (white stag) + wear crown of thorns


Wilton Diptych - materials/colour

- 12 x 18 inches open, done in egg tempera, applied in thin glazes
-bg + other details enhanced with gold leaf
-left: behind figures - v. fine gold lace like pattern of vines
-lapis lazuli for blue garmens
-robe coloured /w vermilion ( costly pigment)
-some colours faded, eg. roses in angels' hair painted in richer pink, green grass darkened considerably


Wilton Diptych - contrast between two panels

-lively movement + dramatic gestures of angels contrasts 4 motionless male figures
-brilliant blue drapery vs humbler earthy tones
-colourful flowery meadow vs bare ground


Book of Hours

-small medieval prayer book designed for private use of wealthy patrons
-highly decorated manuscripts + contain psalms, prayers, Gospel extracts + church calendar
-Patrons believed time spent suffering in purgatory reduced by reciting the prayers + psalms


'Les Tres Riches Heures de Duc de Berry' (month of January)


The Limbourg Brothers


'Les Tres Riches Heures de Duc de Berry' (month of January)


-follows medieval format of a Book of Hours (small medieval prayer book designed for private use of wealthy patrons)
-made for French prince, John, Duke of Berry


'Les Tres Riches Heures de Duc de Berry' (month of January)


30cm in heigh, 21cm wide, 206 pages


'Les Tres Riches Heures de Duc de Berry' (month of January)


-International Gothic Style
-elegant + decorative pictures, borders, letters
-variety of colours (intense reds, blues, greens)
-depiction of specific scenes in realistic pictorial space
-skilful painting + line drawing tech, depict naturalistic details
-peaceful, timeless atmosphere
-expressive storytelling


'Les Tres Riches Heures de Duc de Berry' (month of January)

style example

-example: January
-full of figures w/ naturalistic drapery + expressive gestures and facial expressions
-perspective: figures in front larger than soldiers behind


'Les Tres Riches Heures de Duc de Berry' (month of January)


-painted onto vellum (parchment) using gouache (thicc watercolour)
-variety of colours (from minerals, plants, chemicals)
-extremely fine brushes (fine detail)


'Les Tres Riches Heures de Duc de Berry' (month of January)


-consists: psalms, prayers, gospel extracts + church calendar
-introductory calendar section illuminated w/ 12 paintings
-scenes of peasant farming life (labours of the months), aristocratic leisure activities (falconry, feasting)
-some have Duke of Berry's castle in bg
-above each: semicircle w/ signs of zodiac + dates from church's lunar calendar


'Les Tres Riches Heures de Duc de Berry' (month of January)

composition example

-illustrates new year's banquet scene + giving of presents. Duke of Berry portrayed wearing bright blue robe
-Duke de Berry's castle in bg. In front of castle: numerous soldiers
-front: people surrounding long horizontal table full of food
-duke shown in blue to right foreground


Part B of questions

discuss development of the international gothic style/the period in which work was produced

-Internation G.S refers to style of courtly painting found in Western Europe
-originated in noble + royal courts in France
-style stimulated by growing cultural rivalry of European royal courts
-portable works (eg. Wilton Diptych + illuminated manuscript) travelled widely - lead to common aesthetic among royalty + higher nobility
-main influences: N France, Durchy of Burgundy, Imperial court in Prague, Italy
-royal marriages spread style
-major artists of style include 'Limbourg Brothers' (Les Tres Heures)