Chapter 23: Holy Roman Empire

A review of the first portion of Chapter 23: pgs 625-634

The Protestant Reformation

- Conflict between clergy and Protestants

- 1517: Martin Luther publishes his 95 Theses

         First to utilize printing as a source of propaganda

-  Call to church purity

- Sola Scriptura: scripture is the only true authority

- Protestant belief that religious imagery led to idolatry

          Used prints for teaching

          Emphasized private devotion rather than liturgy

- Led to the splitting of Christianity

Albrecht Durer (1471-1528)

- Celebrity in century
- Among the first European artists to travel to Italy and study the Renaissance
- First Northern European artist to understand basic aims of Italian Renaissance
       Incorporated Renaissance aspects into his art
- Left a record of his life

Slide 1: Fall of Man (Adam and Eve) 1504
-
Notable engraving technique
      New for its time period                

Slide 2: Great Piece of Turf (1503)
-
Significant scientific painting
       Called "an instrument for modern knowledge"
       Renaissance belief that "sight is the noblest sense of man" (Da Vinci)
       Scientists and botanists alike studied it
- Belief that nature holds the beautiful
        Beauty lies in the most humble, even ugly things

Slide 3: Knight, Death, and the Devil (1513)
-
Best example of engraving in its time
      Burin used to render differences in textural and tonal values
      Dense hatching of fluidly engraved lines that rival tonal range of painting
- Based his observation on the real world
- Religious message: Armed with faith, a soldier of God can repel Death
- Armored knight rides fearlessly through foreboding landscape
       Represents a soldier of Christ
- Warrior repels the threats of Death
        Displayed as a crowned, decaying cadaver wreathed with snakes
       Holds an hourglass (reminder of time and morality)
- Equally repels the Devil
       Horned creature

Slide 4: Four Apostles (1526)
-
Oil painting
- Mastery of the oil technique (Renaissance invention)
       Brilliant use of color, light, shade
       John, Peter, Mark, and Paul appear to have individual personalities

Lucas Cranach the Elder

  • Confronts the theological/social conflicts caused by the Reformation
  • Made pictorial representations of differences between Catholicism and Protestantism
  • Follower/close friend of Martin Luther
  • “Painter of the Reformation”

Allegory of Law and Grace, (1530)

-Left: Catholic Judgment Day

        Christ at top of scene, surrounded by angels; raises hand in gesture of damnation

        Skeleton: drives away damned person; though the person has tried to live a good life, they have failed and will go to hell

         God’s grace, Old Testament: shown as source of salvation

         Criticizes strict Catholic adherence to rules

-Right: Protestant redemption

        Streams of blood from crucified Christ: flow onto the sinner

        Christ: emerges from a tomb to promise salvation

         Reliance on faith: source of salvation

        Presents positive view of faith and salvation, as opposed to the negative Catholic view

-Woodcuts: used to make prints; prints used as propaganda by Protestants, used for private devotion

-In contrast to Southern Renaissance: emphasizes the effect of theology on humanity, rather than humanism, which praised the individual’s achievements and merit

        Shows understanding of landscape/realism in depiction of nature

        Does not reflect Southern interest in anatomy/idealism

Hans Holbein the Younger

-Lived from 1497 to 1543

-Specialized in portraiture

       -Close realism (Northern Europe)

       -Monumental composition (Italian)

       -Sculpturesqe form (Italian)

       -Rich colors and lighter contrasts

-Moved to England from threats of religious civil war in Basel, Switzerland

       -Friends with Erasmus of Rotterdam, who recommended Holbein to Thomas Moore

-Became painter for the English court

Slide 1: The Ambassadors

-About the things we cannot see

-Symbols painted of turmoil filling Europe due to the Protestant Reformation

-Left: Jean de Dinteville (patron)

       -Age 29

       -Richly attired

       -wealthy

       -Holding a dagger in his left hand

              -Symbol of an active lifestyle

-Right: Georges de Selve (friend)

       -Aged 25

       -Attired simply in a brown, fur robe

       -Clergyman

       -Resting his right elbow on a book

       -Symbol of contemplative lifestyle

-Top shelf: tools for astronomy

       -Symbol of heavenly thought

-Lower shelf: lute, terrestrial globe

       -Symbol of earthly thought

-Symbolism of life itself: hidden from simple sight

       -Hidden crucifix: eternal life

       -Skull: death

-Northern Characteristics

       -Simplicity and clarity of detail

       -Texture

       -Close realism

-Gothic Influence

       -Statuesque look



Slide 2: The Merchant Georg Gisze

One of several Holbein's merchant paintings from Hanseatic League of Merchants

       -Group of Northern merchants that joined together in the 13th century to stand                   against pirates, monarchs, etc.

Tools are more emphasized than the figure himself

       -Value of material goods

       -Figure's identity is as a merchant

Implication of mortality and life after this material world

       -Clock

       -Frail, delicate flowers

       -Insignificance of everyday living in a transient life

-Northern Style: exact replication of detailed objects

         -Detail shows culture's move to value material objects

-Gothic Style: realism in portraiture

Slide 3: Portrait of Henry VIII

-Painted for his fourth wedding with Anne of Cleves

-Depiction of pure power

       -Henry appears almost square in shape and fills out the panel

       -Horizontality of shoulders

       -Great presence

-Expression

       -Static

       -Frontal head, yet movement in the shoulders

Date written horizontally beside face

       -Forces viewer to look into his eyes

Extravagant clothing

       -Arc of necklace and hat creates divine halo

       -Rhythm of clothing geometry

      -Clothing shows authority of kingship

-Background: simple aqua

       -Face is a similar, broad plain

-Right hand: holding gloves

       -Thumb tucked behind belt that holds his sword

-Northern Style: extreme detail

       -Close realism

       -Simple background

-Gothic Style: Realism of portrait figure

Realism

-The French Ambassadors

       -Theological: support for Protestantism in sheet music and humanism in                  figures

       -Social: disparity of wealth between two men

       -Political: political figures in a position of wealth and power

-The Merchant Georg Gisze

       -Theological: transient nature of life in clock and realistic flowers

       -Social: depiction of middle-class man with a great amount of tools and objects;                 societal value on material goods

       -Political: portrait of the common man, not just the monarch; importance of common           man appears

-Portrait of Henry VIII

       -Theological: King Henry holds ultimate and divine power, as shown by halo

       -Social: the kings serves as the authority in society; societal value of wealth

       -Political: the king serves as the authority in government; rise of powerful monarchs

Human Vanity

-The French Ambassadors

       -Extreme wealth of the man living for action

       -Humility for the contemplative man

       -Worldly goods and human creations amid the hidden skull

              -Human vanity leads to death

-The Merchant Georg Gisze

       -Growing value of material goods to humanity

       -Transient nature of life, especially when surrounded by secular objects

-Portrait of Henry VIII

       -Epitome of vanity: depiction of oneself as supreme, divine ruler

       -Lack of religious symbols--secularized power

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