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Periods - Renaissance and Baroque
Was it the Barbers' Guild which commissioned The Descent from the Cross for the city of Leuven?

Periods - Renaissance and Baroque

Prior to the 15th century European art had changed very little in hundreds of years. Then, over the course of the 15th - 17th centuries it took two strides forward as two new styles of art developed; Renaissance and Baroque.

The Renaissance (literally 're-birth') is said to have begun around 1400 when artists drew inspiration from classical antiquity and merged it with new developments in technology and learning. Helped by the development of the printing press, over the next 100 years Renaissance art and culture spread throughout Europe, taking on slightly different characteristics as it travelled. This spread of new ideas marked the end of the middle ages and the beginning of the modern age.

In the 17th century Baroque art developed from that of the Renaissance. Differing from the calm and rational outlook of Renaissance art, that of the Baroque is noted for its drama, showing the most exciting or emotional moment of a scene. For example, Renaissance artist Michelangelo shows David deep in thought before he fights Goliath, whereas Baroque artist Bernini shows the moment when David hurls his stone at the giant.

Two different styles of art - a complement to one another, and both a huge leap forward from the art of medieval Europe.

For a closer look at the pictures, please click on them to enlarge.
1.
Rogier van der Weyden's 1435 painting, The Descent from the Cross, was commissioned by which guild in the Belgian city of Leuven?
The Guild of Archers
The Guild of Doctors
The Guild of Barbers
The Guild of Nurses
The "T" shape of Christ's body is reminiscent of a crossbow, which may be a nod to Weyden's commissioners.
This painting has been hailed amongst critics, with the 20th century art historian Erwin Panofsky saying of it, "It may be said that the painted tear, a shining pearl born of the strongest emotion, epitomises that which Italian most admired in Early Flemish painting: pictorial brilliance and sentiment"
2.
Judith Slaying Holofernes was painted between 1614 - 1620 by Artemisia Gentileschi. Gentileschi was the first what to enter the Florence Art Academy?
The first Spaniard
The first black man
The first woman
The first blind man
Artemisia Gentileschi is considered to be one of the best painters of her time. She lived in an era when women were not often accepted into the artistic community, but still she attained success. Most of her works, like this one, focus on strong or suffering women in the bible
3.
Primavera was painted by the Italian artist Sandro Botticelli around 1482. It shows a host of mythological figures standing in a flowering garden. What does 'Primavera' translate into English as?
Blossom
Spring
Blooming
Summer
The painting contains 500 flowers from 190 different species. It had no title until 1550 when it was seen by the art historian Villa Castello who gave it its current name. His choice was appropriate, with most critics agreeing that the painting is symbolic of the lush growth of springtime
4.
Probably painted around 1480 by the Italian Andrea Mantegna, The Lamentation of Christ is a masterpiece of perspective. One part of Christ's body though, has been deliberately made smaller; which part?
The ears
The hands
The nose
The feet
If the feet had been painted in their proper proportion they would have obscured much of Christ's body from view. Mantegna therefore shortened them with such skill that it is barely noticeable.
The painting is a realistic portrayal of a poignant scene. The grief in the faces of the two mourners (Mary and John) is quite clear
5.
This painting by Italian artist Pietro da Cortona is of which mythological age?
The Golden Age
The Silver Age
The Bronze Age
The Iron Age
According to the ancient Greeks the first men lived in a Golden Age of peace and harmony. Work was not necessary and people lived for a very long time before dying peacefully. This is similar to the biblical myth of the Garden of Eden where life was easy.
Cortona is most well known for the ceilings he painted, such as the main salon of the Palazzo Barberini in Rome. He also did a great deal of work for the Medici family in Florence
6.
The Ghent Altarpiece is a fine example of Renaissance art. It measures 11ft x 15ft (3.5m x 4.6m) and was created in the early part of the 15th century by which brothers?
Jean and François Clouet
Hans Holbein the Younger and Hans Holbein the Elder
Hubert and Jan van Eyck
The Warner brothers
Unfortunately we know very little about Hubert van Eyck. The painting was commissioned from him and he may have been responsible for its design, but he died in 1426. The work was done by his more famous brother Jan between 1430 - 1432
7.
This 1628 work by the French artist Nicolas Poussin recalls the death of which Roman general in 19 AD?
Iberius
Germanicus
Italianus
Britanicus
Germanicus Julius Caesar was the adopted son of the Emperor Tiberius, father of the Emperor Caligula, and brother of the Emperor Claudius. He was given the title Germanicus because of his father's victories in Germania, where he also enjoyed victories.
The painting, considered by many to be Poussin's masterpiece, shows Germanicus with a green tint to his skin, indicating that he has been poisoned
8.
This equestrian portrait of 1548 by the Italian artist Titian, is of which Holy Roman Emperor?
Julius Caesar
Charlemagne
Constantine
Charles V
As well as being the Holy Roman Emperor (modern day Germany) Charles was also the King of Spain at the time. The painting was done in his honour after his victory for Catholicism against Protestant armies in the 1547 battle of Mühlberg
9.
The Entry of the Animals Into Noah's Ark was painted in 1613 by which Flemish painter whose father and son were also artists?
David Teniers the Younger
Anthony van Dyck
Jan Brueghel the Elder
Peter Paul Rubens
Brueghel was the son of printmaker and painter Pieter Brueghel the Elder, and the father of painter Jan Brueghel the Younger.
Jan Brueghel the Elder earned the nicknames "Flower" for his floral still lifes, "Paradise" for his beautiful landscapes, and "Velvet" because of the sheen on some of his paintings
10.
Fun on the Ice is an early 17th century painting by the Dutch artist, Hendrick Avercamp. Avercamp was known as de Stomme van Kampen which translates into English as the what of Kampen?
The mute of Kampen
The painter of Kampen
The donkey of Kampen
The artist of Kampen
Avercamp was born in Amsterdam but moved to the smaller town of Kampen in 1608. He was unable to speak and so came by his nickname. He specialised in winter scenes like this one which shows people enjoying a game of 'kolf' (an early form of golf) on a frozen river

 

Author:  Graeme Haw

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