Italian and Northern European Renaissance





Italian and Northern European Renaissance


Italian Renaissance art was a typical sculpture and painting form that started towards the latter parts of the 13th century. Giotto was the main painter while Nicola Pisano was the counterpart sculptor. The renaissance artistic expressions did not take general appeal and usage up to a decade later. Florence is credited a being the city that gave rise to the renaissance, especially the art. The Northern European renaissance was marked by spreading of artistic ideas throughout countries north of Alps. Humanism had had little influence while feudalism had dominated majority of the countries. Adaptations of the art styles were customized into local entities taken up by respective countries. Both Italian and Northern European Renaissance shared similarities and dissimilarities on social and cultural basis.

Question 1


Both the Italian and Northern European Renaissance in art shared a common subject through religion. There was evident expression in transpired belief to a higher natural power and existence of mortality (O’Connell 14). The common faith was enhanced through Christendom before the undertakings of Martin Luther King under the Protestants section. Both renaissances were unified through this dimension as well as enabling of themes used in the predominant ways. The church was instrumental in supplying the artists at the time a form of subject matter in their expressions through art delivery. There was an added dimension of humanism in both renaissances apart from the respect towards religious beliefs.

Part of the cultural similarities showed that both renaissances shared similar guilds in the process. Guilds provided for the best routes of learning the trade and craft of artistic expression. Training demanded sequential steps that were long, comprised, and rigorous in nature. In addition, both renaissances enabled self-policing throughout the society be it through painted materials, establishment, and subject matter. McClinton (11) notes that artistic centers were shared in both systems that encouraged the growth in stature of commercial avenues for the artists. The shared thriving success from native countries helped in the prosperity of their economies. The artistic thoughts therefore, fostered growth in both humanism in respective countries and success on the proceeds gained.


Some of the dissimilarities between the Italian and Northern European Renaissances were based on the subject matter. For the Italian renaissance, classical mythology was a common subject enhanced with additional religious scenes. As for the Northern European renaissance, the characteristic subject matter was based on domestic interiors, portraits, as well as religious scenes (Hankins 138). The Italian renaissance was marked by individualistic portrayal as depicted by the artists in their pieces, while the Northern European had generalizations without the individualism enabled in the art. The latter had a rediscovery from the gothic or middle ages while the former had development based on the religious undertone and belief of the Catholics. In this, the Northern European was held onto for a longer while as compared to the Italian Renaissance’s through religion.

On the cultural aspect, the Italian renaissance had provocative undertone in its delivery. The artistes, especially the sculptors created body forms that were nude in their expressions of free will. In comparison, the Northern European renaissance was typified by conservative and generalization entities. As port of the former renaissance, the Italian was based on the belief of inherent aspect as depicted by the goodness of humans. In the Northern European, the belief and worship of religious icons was common. Intimacy was profound in the Northern European renaissance as compared to the Italian.


Works Cited

Hankins, James. “Religion and Renaissance Humanism.” Interpretation of Renaissance Editorials, 1.1 (2006). 137-153. Print.

McClinton, Brian. “Humanism in the Renaissance.” Humani, 97. (2006). 10-21. Print.

O’Connell, Monique. “The Italian Renaissance in the Mediterranean, or between East and West.” California Italian Studies Journal, 1.1 (2010). 1-31. Print.


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