The Northern Renaissance in the Netherland region and then, eventually, Germany was riddled with the masters such as Robert Campin (Master of Flemalle) and Jan Van Eyck who spent this time creating art of historical value that mankind can study. Deciphering the iconography within their work can provide insight into the perspective of their noble class clients. Prime examples of the kind of patrons capturing history because of their motivations were captured by Campin (Master of Flemalle) in the “Merode Altarpiece” (Kleiner 534). The Merode was completed ca. 1425–1428 by Oil on wood and currently resides in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (The Cloisters Collection, 1956). The Merode may depict the annunciation of the virgin on the middle panel, but the true message of the...
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...ated behind its walls. The Medici Coat of Arms is presented prominently on the corners and the rustication shows an appreciation of classical antiquities. The architecture of this Medici-Riccardi stronghold doesn’t convey an opinion of the audience such as the paintings of the Renaissance era, but it still portrays the individuality of the patron.
Every period of human history has a means to produce art indicative of the time. The system during the Renaissance where people had artist on reserve to create projects specifically for them lead to explicit depictions of the culture during the time. This phenomenon has been lost to time as more people became able to create for themselves and appreciate art not designed with an agenda besides existing. The patrons of the Nothern and Italian renaissance were actually archiving their society and not their lives in portraits.
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