The work of Northern Renaissance artists is often incredibly beautiful, with marvellous colours and textures conjured up from their hallmark technique of oil painting. Yet there is much more to the work of Jan van Eyck, his contemporaries and their followers, than simple aesthetics, for it evolved from, and reflected, an intriguing range of religious and cultural beliefs. This online course will explore some of the fascination of these images and their meanings.
Fifteenth-century artists working in Flanders and the Netherlands seem to have suddenly developed a new way of seeing along with new techniques of representation. Their art can be breathtakingly realistic, with glowing colours and tangible textures conjured up magically from oil paint, and credible interiors and landscapes which strongly evoke Northern Europe at the end of the Middle Ages. Yet the apparent realism of artists such as Jan van Eyck, Rogier van der Weyden and their followers is more than mere imitation of the world they saw around them: it embodied a whole wealth of religious and cultural symbolism, and pushed back the boundaries of what it meant to be an artist, a patron or a viewer. Although it is generally counted among the lesser known branches of art history, the work of these artists was hugely influential on their Italian contemporaries, and in turn helped to shape the history of art in Western Europe and beyond up to the present day. This online course will explore some of the fascination of these images and their meanings.
For information on how the courses work, and a link to our course demonstration site, please click here.