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Allegorical Paintings During The Northern Renaissance

Melancholy by Lucas Cranach is a dark allegory of the deteriorating political and spiritual situation in  the Holy Roman Empire during the sixteenth century.

The four figures represnt the Four Temperaments The angel is a personification of melancholy and the frolicking toddlers represent sanguine, the phlegmatic, and the choleric temperaments.  In Cranach’s painting, melancholy is dressed in red which might be  linked to something demonic. Outside the window, decending from a ominous black cloud, demons and witches ride forth. The demon is the center of the dark cloud is also wearing red. The white dogpossibly representing faith and loyalty, appears troubled and angry being in such company.

Melancholy, c. 1532, Northern Renaissance by Lucas Cranach The Elder 

Important Words, People, Phrases, Chactoristics related to the Northern Renaissance Art Movementallegorical painting,  rebirth, 1 point perspective, Hieronymus Bosch, Limbourg Brothers, Robert Campin, Jan Van Eyck, Jean Fouquet, formation of a merchant class, glazing, impasto, scriptorium, illuminator, invention of the printing press, woodcuts, engravings, Antwerp, commerce, Northern Europe,  Bruges, mythological scenes, genre painting, landscapes, portraits, moralizing overtones, human vices, lust, Protestant Reformation, paradise, spirituality, piousness, living a simple life, reformHuman Reasoning,  merchant class at work, idyllic scenes of peasantsplaying games, feasting,  linear perspectiveHeliocentric Theory,  spiritually significant,  illuminated manuscriptidealized biblical themes, scriptorium, emotion, illuminator,  iconoclast, Age of Discovery, Virgin and Child, axonometric drawing, curiosity about the natural world,  realistic use of colours and lightBonfire of the Vanities, Old Testament stories, Gospel parables, The Blackdeath,  Christian symbolism


Important Northern Renaissance  Artists

Hieronymus Bosch (1453 - 1516) Dutch
Dieric Bouts the Elder (1413-1475) Dutch
Pieter Brueghel the Elder (1525 - 1569) Flemish
Pieter Brueghel the Younger (1564 - 1638) Flemish
Lucas Cranach the Elder (1472 - 1553) German
Albrecht Dürer (1471 - 1528)  German
Matthias Grünewald (1434-1494) Flemish
Hans Holbein the Younger (1497-1543) German
Quentin Massys (1466–1530  Flemish, Northern Renaissance
Rogier van der Weyden (1399-1464) Dutch
Jan van Eyck (1385 - 1441) Flemish


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