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


       -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


       -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


       -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


       -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



       -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


-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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