Major Changes: Humanism And The Renaissance

961 words - 4 pages

During the 15th century, Northern Europe as well as Italy witnessed a serious revival of drawing accompanied by sculpture, painting and architecture. This revival was termed as the Renaissance. The revival effected major changes onto the representation of pictorial space on these two regions. These changes on that occurred on pictorial space representation were mostly driven by new idea of “Humanism”. Humanism philosophy practically outwitted religious and secular belief. As a result, the philosophy shifted a lot f importance to the dignity and value of the individual (Prescott, 2005; Fuga, 2006).
The Changes Witnessed in Art in Northern Europe during 15th Century
Even thought during 15th century, Northern Europe experienced numerous alterations in representation of pictorial space, this paper will only address two of the major changes. They include “MAN IN A RED TURBAN” which was developed by Jan van Eyck in 1433 and “DIPTYCH OF MAARTEN CAN NIEUWENHOVE” developed by Hans Memling in 1487. In these two arts, the sculptors used colored pigments, drying oils such as walnut, linseed, and poopy-seed oil. The tools included wood panel, canvas, wall, brushes, and spatulas (Pearson, 2005; Fuga, 2006).

“Diptych of Maarten can Nieuwenhove” was designed and developed in 1487 by Hans Memling. This portrait is one of the very best intact diptychs witnessed in Northern Europe during 15th century. Han’s work brought a new concept in the devotional diptych. Unlike the portraits that existed before 15th century, the Han’s shows the figures in a spatially coherent space. The figures can therefore be seen clearly (Pearson, 2005).
The characters in the portrait are Virgin and Child on one side and a donor on the other side. The Virgin Mary dominated in the Renaissance. Mary was regarded as the way that connected faithful Christians to heavenly God. Therefore, the diptych was important since it strengthened the faith of the donor. The donor was Maarten van Nieuwenhove of Bruges. He belonged to rich family. He became a councilor just five years after this portrait was painted. He rose to higher positions such as the rank of Mayor before he died. So, it was believed that this portrait aided in giving the donor fortune in his career as much as depicting private religious devotion (Pearson, 2005).

Jan van Eyck borrowed his idea from the Italian renaissance. The renaissance originated from Italy before spreading to other parts of Europe such Belgium where Eyck got the opportunity to utilize the idea. Even though it has never been proved, it is believed that man in a red turban is merely a portrait of Eyck. However, the name of this art seems to have been mistaken. The character portrayed in this work is wearing a chaperon and not a turban as the name suggests (Fuga, 2006).
Of all the paintings done by Eyck, only 25 survived. Among the ones which survived included the religious...

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