The Reformation throughout Europe 16th Century

ART102 Art History II

Unit 3 LectureThe Reformation in Italy 16th Century

The Reformation throughout Europe 16th Century

 

 

The legacy of the High Renaissance is both a challenge and a source of inspiration for artists in the 16th century. How can anyone possibly top what had just happened in the last 25 years?

First, artists learned from studying the masterpieces of the High Renaissance, and focused on technical virtuosity and beautiful human figures.

What changed is the compositions. Rather than focusing on well balanced, symmetrical compositions, artists create crowded, complex, asymmetrical compositions, full of action and drama.

Subject matter changes, too. We see less Christian motifs and more Ancient myths, as well as other types of secular (non-religious) painting.

This new style emerging from the Late Renaissance is called Mannerism.

Mannerism

Bronzino: Allegory of Venus. Ca. 1546. Oil on panel. The National Gallery, London.

The Reformation throughout Europe 16th Century

The Early Renaissance in Italy 15th Century

Mannerism

The Rape of the Sabine Woman

Last Judgment

St. Peter’s Dome

The Madonna with the Long Neck

The Last Supper

 

 

As in Bronzino’s painting of Venus, Bologna creates a dramatic, powerful image in the Mannerist style.

In both painting and sculpture, human forms are technically rendered to perfection.

The composition is wrought with action, drama, and passionate emotion.

Inspiration for subject matter comes from the legends and myths of Ancient Rome.

Giovanni Bologna The Rape of the Sabine Woman Ca. 1583 Marble Loggia dei Lanzi, France

The Reformation throughout Europe 16th Century

The Early Renaissance in Italy 15th Century

Mannerism

The Rape of the Sabine Woman

Last Judgment

St. Peter’s Dome

The Madonna with the Long Neck

The Last Supper

 

 

Only Michelangelo and Titian lived past 1520 and continued to inspire artists and patrons alike with their abilities. Michelangelo was commissioned to create the Last Judgment on the wall of the Sistine Chapel, 25 years after completing the ceiling.

Michelangelo’s work has a darker, more sinister feeling than in the ceiling. This comes from the Protestant Reformation, where a monk named Martin Luther challenged the doctrine and the authority of the Catholic Church. He reformed the structure of Christianity, which was being adopted into a large number of communities across Europe.

This challenge on the Roman Catholic Church affected Michelangelo, and his image of the Last Judgment reflects feelings of sorrow, agony, pain, and sin.

True to the Mannerist style, his figures are packed into a complex composition, each writhing in agony or ecstasy. Christ is centered, commanding the scene based on the Gospel text of the End of the World.

Michelangelo Last Judgment Ca. 1534-1541 Fresco Sistine Chapel, Vatican, Rome

The Reformation throughout Europe 16th Century

The Early Renaissance in Italy 15th Century

Mannerism

The Rape of the Sabine Woman

Last Judgment

St. Peter’s Dome

The Madonna with the Long Neck

The Last Supper

 

 

Michelangelo, still a favorite for the Popes, was asked to design the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican. Although only the drum (base) of the dome was built at the time of Michelangelo’s death, his design was carried out to completion. His design borrows significantly from Brunelleschi’s Florence Cathedral dome.

Michelangelo Design for St. Peter’s Dome Ca. 1546-1564 (completed 1590)

The Reformation throughout Europe 16th Century

The Early Renaissance in Italy 15th Century

Mannerism

The Rape of the Sabine Woman

Last Judgment

St. Peter’s Dome

The Madonna with the Long Neck

The Last Supper

 

 

Parmigianino The Madonna with the Long Neck Ca. 1535 Oil on panel Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

Parmigianino was a notable painter from the Italian town of Parma.

Studying the masterpieces of Raphael, Parmigianino created gracefully beautiful paintings in the Mannerist style.

The Reformation throughout Europe 16th Century

The Early Renaissance in Italy 15th Century

Mannerism

The Rape of the Sabine Woman

Last Judgment

St. Peter’s Dome

The Madonna with the Long Neck

The Last Supper

 

 

Tintoretto once wrote that he wanted “to paint like Titian and to design like Michelangelo.” His Last Supper painting is characteristic of the Mannerist style, and very different from da Vinci’s.

Tintoretto The Last Supper Ca. 1592-1594 Oil on canvas San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice

The Early Renaissance in Italy 15th Century

Mannerism

The Rape of the Sabine Woman

Last Judgment

St. Peter’s Dome

The Madonna with the Long Neck

The Last Supper

The Reformation throughout Europe 16th Century

 

 

Throughout Europe, in the aftermath of the Protestant Reformation, the Catholic Church launched their own Reformation, called the Counter- Reformation, where church officials worked to clear the bad reputation earned under the scrutiny of the Protestant Reformation. As a result of this, we see a surge of Christian motifs in art, mostly created for influential leaders of the church looking for visual affirmation of their faith.

El Greco was a Spanish painter, greatly influenced by the painterly qualities of Titian and Tintoretto, as well as the skill of Michelangelo and Raphael. His work is infused with his influences in a Mannerist style.

El Greco The Burial of Count Orgaz Ca. 1586 Oil on canvas Santo Tome, Toledo, Spain

The Reformation throughout Europe 16th Century

The Burial of Count Orgaz

Isenheim Altarpiece

The Apocalypse

The Battle of Issos

The Ambassadors

The Meat Stall

The Return of the Hunters

The Reformation in Italy 16th Century

 

 

Matthias Grunewald Isenheim Altarpiece (right: closed, below: open) Ca. 1509-1515 Oil on panel Musee d’Unterlinden, Colmar, France

In Germany, Grunewald is creating religious imagery with dark colors that create drama, expressive figures that convey emotions of agony and salvation.The Reformation

throughout Europe 16th Century

The Burial of Count Orgaz

Isenheim Altarpiece

The Apocalypse

The Battle of Issos

The Ambassadors

The Meat Stall

The Return of the Hunters

The Reformation in Italy 16th Century

 

 

Albrecht Durer was a notorious Renaissance artist from Germany. His technical skill in printmaking is unparalleled.

Prints were made for the open-market. Meaning, they were created in favor of popular ideas and images to sell en masse.

Images of the Apocalypse was a popular theme during the time of the Reformation.

Durer uses a variety of lines and pattern to create an intricately woven pattern of action, emotion, and power.

Albrect Durer The Apocalypse Ca. 1498 Woodcut engraving Yale University Art Gallery New Haven, CT

The Reformation throughout Europe 16th Century

The Burial of Count Orgaz

Isenheim Altarpiece

The Apocalypse

The Battle of Issos

The Ambassadors

The Meat Stall

The Return of the Hunters

The Reformation in Italy 16th Century

 

 

Altorfer is a German painter who was fascinated with landscape painting.

We look down on this expansive scene as if from a high cliff, a vantage point that allows the viewer to see far into the horizon.

Notice the blue tones of the far distance? He’s using atmospheric perspective to create a sense of deep space.

The artist is depicting the ancient victory of Alexander Great over Darius of Persia from 333 BCE.

Albrecht Altdorfer The Battle of Issos Ca. 1529 Oil on panel Alte Pinakothek, Munich, Germany

The Reformation throughout Europe 16th Century

The Burial of Count Orgaz

Isenheim Altarpiece

The Apocalypse

The Battle of Issos

The Ambassadors

The Meat Stall

The Return of the Hunters

The Reformation in Italy 16th Century

 

 

Hans Holbein the Younger The Ambassadors Ca. 1533 Oil on panel The National Gallery, London

Holbein, appointed court painter to King Henry VIII of England, was originally from Germany, and influenced by the Realism of the 15th century Netherlands (Jan Van Eyck specifically). This double portrait is filled with beautifully rendered objects referring to scientific, mathematic, and music references. The skull in the foreground is distorted and painted using anamorphosis perspective.

The Reformation throughout Europe 16th Century

The Burial of Count Orgaz

Isenheim Altarpiece

The Apocalypse

The Battle of Issos

The Ambassadors

The Meat Stall

The Return of the Hunters

The Reformation in Italy 16th Century

 

 

Pieter Aertsen The Meat Stall Ca. 1551 Oil on panel University Art Collection Uppsala University, Sweden

In the Netherlands, commissions for religious paintings became obsolete, so artists created secular paintings to appeal to collectors of any religious background. Landscapes, still lives, portraits, and genre paintings (scenes of everyday life) flourish.

The Reformation throughout Europe 16th Century

The Burial of Count Orgaz

Isenheim Altarpiece

The Apocalypse

The Battle of Issos

The Ambassadors

The Meat Stall

The Return of the Hunters

The Reformation in Italy 16th Century

 

 

Bruegel spent most of his career in Antwerp and Brussels. His paintings reflect his interest in creating images of the everyday customs of peasants. He treats these acts of simplicity with reverence, and elevates the common folk traditions to worthwhile pieces of art.

Pieter Bruegel the Elder The Return of the Hunters Ca. 1565 Oil on panel Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

The Reformation throughout Europe 16th Century

The Burial of Count Orgaz

Isenheim Altarpiece

The Apocalypse

The Battle of Issos

The Ambassadors

The Meat Stall

The Return of the Hunters

The Reformation in Italy 16th Century

 

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