ONLINE ART HISTORY COURSE
The Other Renaissance: Three Masters of 15th-Century Northern European Art
When we think of the “Renaissance,” often what comes to mind are the optical experiments and anatomical discoveries that define Italian art. But this is only part of the story. Northern Europe – France, Germany, Belgium, and Holland – simultaneously experienced their own artistic revolutions. Though the differences between North and South were distinct, artists shared a common goal – to produce simulacra of the real world that powerfully engaged their audience. In Italy, where remnants of Ancient Classical art could be found around every corner, artists were more directly influenced by Antique forms and subject matter. They employed optical effects and anatomical observations to enhance the immediacy and realism of their forms. Northern painters, however, achieved this effect through observational accuracy and complex iconography. The result was works that display microscopic realism and great depth of meaning. Many assume that communication between Northern European and Italian cultural centers did not exist, or was minimal at best in the 15th century. We will see that this was not true, as evidenced by three renowned Northern Renaissance painters: Jan van Eyck, Rogier van der Weyden, and Hugo van der Goes. Clearly, the word “Renaissance” applied to all of Europe.
Laurinda Dixon is a specialist in northern European Renaissance art. Currently retired, she served as the William F. Tolley Distinguished Professor of Teaching in the Humanities at Syracuse University for many years. Her scholarship considers the intersection of art and science – particularly alchemy, medicine, astrology, and music – from the fifteenth though the nineteenth centuries. She has lectured widely in both the USA and Europe, and is the author of many articles, reviews, and eleven books, including Perilous Chastity: Women and Illness in Pre-Enlightenment Art and Medicine (1995), Bosch (2003), and The Dark Side of Genius: The Melancholic Persona in Art, ca. 1500-1700 (2013). Laurinda holds a Ph.D. in art history from Boston University, as well as a degree in piano performance from the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music. She currently resides in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Virtual Classroom: Upon registration, participants will have full access to an online educational platform with videos of recordings, syllabus, readings and discussion forum. Each lecture lasts around 1 hour 15 minutes.
Credits: Certificate of Completion
Access: Students have lifetime and unlimited streaming access to the course content.
Readings are provided to students to enhance the course experience.