Wednesday, April 27, 2005

My Renaissance Personal Preference

When it comes to the Renaissance and art, I'll take the Northern version over the Italian version any day of the week. I mean, talk about powerful images. They move me down at the heart of my being. There are no soft, blonde angels gently smiling with their hands tucked in prayer. No, the Northern Renaissance was all about reality. Biblical scenes are portrayed with more everyday feeling than angelic bliss.

For example. Check out Matthias Grünwald's Isenheim alterpiece. Mary looks about to faint in John's arms, while Christ himself shows great physical pain in the distortion of his hands and feet.

In the engraving of the crucifixion done by Albrect Dürer we see the people around Christ weeping as if in great distress. Mary is cradled and supported in the arms of another woman.

Instead of showing fine young dukes out winning battles or gracing fine ladies with thier presence we see everyday people in everyday activities in Pieter Bruegel's work.

Now for you purists out there. You can have your Italian Renassaince. Heaven forbid that I should question it's place in art history or even the quality of it's artists and their work. But as for me, I connect with the Northern Renaissance much better and there are a lot of others out there who do as well and I would just like the "other" guys to get some recognition too.

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