Renaissance Art

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Kayla Cummings
2/15/2013
ARTH 104-004

A Renaissance Art Comparison

Art in the Renaissance period was majorly influenced by social, political, and cultural aspects of this time period. Art in Italy during the fifteenth century greatly influenced art throughout northern Europe. Though there are distinct differences between the Italian Renaissance and the Northern Renaissance, Italy did inspire a movement that eventually spread throughout the rest of Europe. Two particular art pieces from each area that will be examined are Fra Angelico’s Annunciation from Florence, Italy, and Robert Campin’s Merode Altarpiece from Northern Europe. Not only are the elements of composition important in these two works of art, but also the style, overall meaning, and factors that lead to the production of these great paintings. In Italy during the fifteenth century, they experienced a cultural rebirth as well as an increased interest in humanism, which reflects in the art we see from the Italian Renaissance (Kleiner). This rise of humanism eventually spread throughout Europe, which affected the art during the Northern Renaissance as well, though gothic art and architecture still remained in the north during the fifteenth century. One separation between the Northern Renaissance and the Italian Renaissance was politics. Italy was dominated by independent city-states, while the Northern Renaissance in the fifteenth century struggled with separation and the Roman Catholic Church (Kleiner). While Italy was focused on social changes, the north was focused on religious reform. Fra Angelico’s Annunciation is located in the Monastery of San Marco in Florence, Italy, and was created from 1438-1447. Angelico as an artist was not focused primarily on humanism unlike other artists during the Italian Renaissance, but rather he was dedicated to the Roman Catholic Church. Angelico was asked to create this fresco painting for the Dominican monks of San Marco in order to inspire the monks to...
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