European Art of the Fifteenth Century
Influenced by a revival of interest in Greco-Roman ideals and sponsored by a newly prosperous merchant class, fifteenth-century artists produced works of astonishingly innovative content and technique. The International Gothic style of painting, still popular at the beginning of the century, was giving way to the influence of Early Netherlandish Flemish masters such as Jan van Eyck, who emphasized narrative and the complex use of light for symbolic meaning. Patrons favored paintings in oil and on wooden panels for works ranging from large, hinged altarpieces to small, increasingly lifelike portraits.
In the Italian city-states of Florence, Venice, and Mantua, artists and architects alike perfected existing techniques and developed new ones. The painter Masaccio mastered linear perspective; the sculptor Donatello produced anatomically correct but idealized figures such as his bronze nude of David; and the brilliant architect and engineer Brunelleschi integrated Gothic and Renaissance elements to build the self-supporting dome of the Florence Cathedral.
This beautifully illustrated guide analyzes the most important people, places, and concepts of this early Renaissance period, whose explosion of creativity was to spread throughout Europe in the sixteenth century.
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Alberti Altarpiece Andrea del Castagno Angelico angels Annunciation Antonello da Messina architectural artists background Bermejo Berruguete Botticelli Bruges Brunelleschi Brussels Burgundy Campin cathedral chapel Christ church classical Cologne commissioned composition court courtly culture decoration depicting detail Donatello duke Ferrara fifteenth century figures Filippino Filippo Lippi Flanders Flemish Florence Florentine Fouquet Fra Angelico frescoes Gentile da Fabriano Ghiberti humanist intarsia International Gothic Italian Italy Jan van Eyck landscape late-Gothic Leonardo Links Lorenzo Louvre Madonna Mantegna Mantua Masaccio Masolino Memling Milan miniatures monumental Museo Museum Naples National Gallery Nuremburg Padua painter painting panels Paolo Uccello Paris perspective Perugino Piero della Francesca Pinacoteca Pisanello place of residence Pollaiolo Polyptych portraits Principal place Provence refined Related entries Renaissance residence Florence Robert Campin Rogier Rome Saint John Santa Maria scene School Stoss style symbolic tapestry towns tradition Triptych Tuscan Uffizi Urbino Venice Verrocchio Virgin Weyden Winged Altar Wood Sculpture workshop