Similarities Between Italian And Italian Artists Essay

Similarities Between Italian And Italian Artists Essay

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During the 15th century, as the Renaissance flourished in Italy, a separate movement of the Renaissance emerged in the Netherlands. The Netherlands, located north of Italy, independently developed a distinct artistic style that incorporated Gothic influences and emphasized observation of nature, symbolism, and attention to detail. Both Flemish and Italian artists were focused on accurately depicting physical realism through the use of chiaroscuro and linear perspective. However, some Italian artists such as Fra Angelico focused on spiritual message rather than naturalism. Each regions’ styles also often vary in materials and theme. For example, Flemish paintings integrated religious themes into secular settings. This was the result of wealthy patrons and merchants commissioning a broader expanse of subjects in Northern art. Italian Renaissance art, however, was predominantly religious. Giant altarpieces were created mainly for public display in churches and monasteries where they could be highly appreciated for their spiritual value. In order to recognize the similarities and differences between Italian and Northern Renaissance paintings, one must study examples of artworks from both regions. Through comparison of Robert Campin’s Merode Altarpiece (Figure 1) and Fra Angelico’s The Annunciation (Figure 2), each from the early 15th century, distinctions are evident in material use, intended audience, location, and degree of realism.
Flemish Renaissance painters utilized malleable oil paints and often favored panel paintings (from altarpieces to small portraits) while Italian Renaissance artists worked with tempera, a water-based pigment that dried rapidly. The boldness of the colors in The Annunciation is the result of...


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...enaissance art and Italian Renaissance art is identifiable. While the Flemish were proficient in oil painting, Italian Renaissance artists continued their predecessor’s use of tempera. Furthermore, the paintings were ultimately created for different purposes and separate viewers. Although both works are centered on the defining moment of the annunciation, The Merode Altarpiece incorporates this scene into a secular setting, therefore differing from Fra Angelico’s The Annunciation which was painted for a monastery. Finally, Flemish and Italian Renaissance paintings differ in levels of realism. Although the Flemish painters were skilled in portraying realism of physical forms, they lacked a full understanding of linear perspective. In contrast, the Italian Renaissance artists were well versed in linear perspective but lacked a complete grasp of the natural world.

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