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Fierens-Gevaert - La Peinture en Belgique, volume 1 (page 81 crop)


Fierens-Gevaert - La Peinture en Belgique, volume 1 (page 81 crop)



Descent from the Cross 
Crucifixion of Jesus 

The term "Northern Renaissance" refers to the art development of c.1430-1580 in the Netherlands Low Countries and Germany. The Low Countries, particularly Flanders with cities Antwerp, Ghent, and Bruges, were, along with Florence, the most economically advanced region in Europe. As in Florence, urban culture peaked here. The common understanding of the Renaissance places the birth of the Renaissance in Florence, Italy. Rennaisance's ideas migrated to Germany from Italy because of the travels of Albrecht Dϋrer. Northern artists such as Jan van Eyck remained attached to Medieval traditions. In their paintings, Low Countries painters attempted to reproduce space, color, volume, and light as naturalistically as possible. They achieved the perfection of oil paint in the almost impossible representation of things and objects. Rather than draw upon Classical Greek and Roman aesthetics like their Italian counterparts, Northern European Renaissance artists retained a Gothic sensibility of woodblock printing and illuminated manuscripts which clearly distinguished Northern Rennaisance art from Italian. Unlike Italian artists, northern painters were not interested in rediscovering the spirit of ancient Greece. Instead, they sought to exploit the full potential of oil paint, and capture nature exactly as they found it. Unlike their Italian counterparts, who embraced a mathematically calculated linear perspective and constructed a picture from within, Dutch artists used an empirical perspective with precise observation and knowledge of the consistency of light and things. They painted as they saw and came very close to the effect of central perspective. Long before Leonardo, they invented aerial and color perspectives. More, as with real-world human vision, their far-away shapes lose contours, and the intensity of the colors fades to a bluish hue. Robert Campin (c.1378-1444), was noted for works like the Seilern Triptych (1410) and the Merode Altarpiece (1425); Jan van Eyck (1390-1441) was noted for the Ghent Altarpiece (1432) and The Arnolfini Marriage (1434); Jan Eyck's pupil Petrus Christus (c.1410-75), best known for his Portrait of a Young Girl (1470, Gemaldegalerie, Berlin); Roger Van der Weyden (1400-64) noted for his extraordinary realism as in his masterpiece Descent From the Cross (Deposition) (1435), for the Church of Notre Dame du Dehors (now in the Museo del Prado, Madrid); Dieric Bouts (1420-75) for his devotional pictures; Hugo Van Der Goes (1440-82) famous for The Portinari Altarpiece (1475) which influenced the Early Renaissance in Florence; Hieronymus Bosch (1450-1516) noted for The Garden of Earthly Delights (1510-15) and other moralizing works; Joachim Patenier (1485-1524) the pioneer landscape painter; and Pieter Bruegel the Elder (c.1525-1569) known for landscape narratives such as The Tower of Babel (1563).

Rogier van der Weyden (1399/1400–1464) was a Flemish painter of the Northern Renaissance. He was born in Tournai, Belgium, and is considered one of the most important artists of his time. Van der Weyden's style was characterised by his attention to detail, vibrant colours and emotional intensity. He was renowned for his ability to capture the human form and convey deep emotion in his paintings. His works often depicted religious themes, including scenes from the life of Christ and the Virgin Mary. One of his most famous works is 'The Descent from the Cross', which is now in the Prado Museum in Madrid. This painting is a powerful depiction of the grief and sorrow surrounding the crucifixion of Christ. Van der Weyden's ability to capture the expressions and emotions of the figures in this painting is particularly remarkable. Van der Weyden was also much in demand as a portraitist. His portraits were renowned for their psychological depth and realism, capturing the individuality and character of his subjects. His influence on the art world extended beyond his lifetime, as many later artists were inspired by his techniques and style. Van der Weyden's work is still highly regarded today for its technical mastery and emotional impact.



1435 - 1438


Museo Nacional del Prado

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