The History of Art And The Curious Lives of Famous Painters



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Painters of the Northern Renaissance somtimes focused their paintings on the daily lives of peasants, instead of the church or nobility.  This small painting is from an illuminated book  painted by Gerard Horenbout. It is a great example of a painting that idealizes the life of commoners.

by Gerard Horenbout also known as Master of James IV of Scotland 

Many of the greatest Flemish painters were also book illuminators. According to Author W. J. Loftie "There was great activity in all the arts in the Low Countries during the fifteenth century, and the most gorgeous books ever illuminated were written there at that period. At Dortrecht, at Bruges, and other places there were schools of illuminators, and the practice of the art was not confined, as in England, to ecclesiastics and the cloister. The books written were, however, mainly religious; and the same designs were used over and over again. It would, in fact, be easy to identify each guild of miniature painters by their employment of the same set of forms. This eventually led to deterioration, and only the introduction of oil painting, by turning the minds of the artists into a wider channel, saved Flemish art. The masters of the Van Eycks, of Memling, of Matsys, of Van Romerswale were undoubtedly the teachers of illumination in books

The Dutch and Flemish illuminators at this period excelled in manipulation, and many of the books which they painted have all the merit and almost all the importance of pictures. Anything and everything was used as ornament. In some no two pages are even in what can be called the same style; but delicacy of workmanship, the faces especially being finished as real miniatures, is characteristic of all. It is probable that whole schools of artists worked on a single volume, dividing the labour according to the skill of each artist."

Important Words, People, Phrases, Characteristics related to the Northern Renaissance Art Movement -  allegorical painting,  rebirth, invention of oil painting,   Hieronymus Bosch, Limbourg Brothers, Desiderius Erasmus,  Robert Campin, Jan Van Eyck, Jean Fouquet, Albrecht Dürer, Johannes Gutenberg, Johann Reuchlin, Martin Luther, rise of the merchant class,  Protestant Reformation, Calvinisim, glazing, impasto, scriptorium, illuminator, invention of the printing press, woodcuts, engravings, Antwerp School, Guild of Saint Luke, commerce, Flemish School, Northern Europe, Antwerp School, Flanders, Bruges, renewed interest in classical learning,  mythological scenes, genre painting, landscapes, portraits, moralizing overtones, human vices, lust, paradise, spirituality, piousness, living a simple life, reformHuman Reasoning,  tradesmen at work, idyllic scenes of peasantsplaying games, feasting,  linear perspective, \Heliocentric Theory, humour, satire,  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 lightOld Testament stories, Gospel parables, The Blackdeath,  Christian symbolism


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