ARTH 12001 Lecture Notes - Lecture 19: Mérode Altarpiece, Jan Van Eyck, Robert Campin

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The renaissance spread across all of europe, but the visual style of northern artists during the. 1400s and 1500s was very different from their italian counterparts. Artists working in belgium and holland used everyday objects as religious symbols, creating sharply focused pictures filled with great detail. Hard edge realism was generally an important element, with an emphasis on tangible textures. Later, in the sixteenth century, germany became the northern european art center. The greatest innovation was the new medium of oil paint, which replaced tempera and fresco. Oil paint can be applied in transparent layers, called glazes, which allows the color to glow vividly. Colors could also be blended more easily with these slow drying paints. This is a bible scene painted in the setting of a contemporary flemish dwelling. The two people depicted in the left panel paid for this painting project.

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