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Notherneurope (Pp Tminimizer)

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  • 1.Parmagianino Self-portrait in a Convex Mirror c. 1524

2. Lucas Cranach the Elder The Judgment of Paris c. 1528 Oil on wood, 101,9 x 71,1 cm Cranach was one of the most versatile artists of the Northern Renaissance, a staunch patron of the Reformation, and a close friend of Martin Luther. He painted didactic religious paintings, but he also produced mythological scenes and explored the depiction of the female nude. Although his style, unlike that of Drer, borrowed little from the Italians, he favoured mythological and classical subjects and painted the story of the Judgment of Paris many times during the course of his career. Here the artist has chosen a German version of the story, in which Mercury presents the three goddesses - Juno, Venus, and Minerva - to Paris in a dream. Cranach signals Venus's victory by placing Cupid, her son, in the upper left, aiming in her direction as she points to him. The figures of the three women give the artist an opportunity to make a visual tour of the female nude from different perspectives. Paris wears the armor of the German knight and not the garb of antiquity. 3. The Isenheim Altarpiece by Matthias GRNEWALD The Isenheim Altarpiece was executed for the hospital chapel of Saint Anthony's Monastery in Isenheim in Alsace, which explains the presence of the plague saint, St Sebastian, and the patrons of the more austere and solitary forms of monasticism, St Antony Abbot and St Paul the Hermit. The altarpiece is now at the Unterlinden Museum in Colmar, a nearby town.The Isenheim Altar is a complicated structure with four layers of painted surfaces - that is, two sets of folding wings, like a double cupboard, enclosing the final altarpiece, which consists of three carved wood statues of saints. There are also two side panels and a predella. In form, therefore, it harks back to the type of Burgundian and German carved altar of which the Broederlam at Dijon is a classic example.There are three views of the altarpiece. The first, with the wings closed, is a Crucifixion showing a harrowingly detailed, twisted, and bloody figure of Christ on the cross in the center flanked, on the left, by the mourning Madonna being comforted by John the Apostle, and Mary Magdalene kneeling with hands clasped in prayer, and, on the right, by a standing John the Baptist pointing to the dying Saviour. At the feet of the Baptist is a lamb holding a cross, symbol of the "Lamb of God" slaughtered for man's sins.Mah-tee-us Groo-nuh-valt 4. Art for Grnewald did not consist in the search for the hidden laws of beauty - for him it could have only one aim, the aim of all religious art in the Middle Ages - that of providing a sermon in pictures, of proclaiming the sacred truths as taught by the Church. The central panel of the Isenheim altarpiece shows that he sacrificed all other considerations to this one overriding aim. Of beauty, as the Italian artists saw it, there is none in the stark and cruel picture of the crucified Saviour. Christ's dying body is distorted by the torture of the cross; the thorns of the scourges stick in the festering wounds which cover the whole figure. There is one unreal and fantastic trait: the figures differ greatly in size. We need only compare the hands of St Mary Magdalene under the Cross with those of Christ to become fully aware of the astonishing difference in their dimensions. It is clear that in these matters Grnewald rejected the rules of modern art as it had developed since the Renaissance, and that he deliberately returned to the principles of medieval and primitive painters, who varied the size of their figures according to their importance in the picture. Just as he had sacrificed the pleasing kind of beauty for the sake of the spiritual lesson of the altar, he also disregarded the new demand for correct proportions, since this helped him to express the mystic truth of the words of St John.His suffering is reflected in the traditional group of Mary, in the garb of a widow, fainting in the arms of St John the Evangelist, to whose care the Lord has commended her, and in the smaller figure of St Mary Magdalene with her vessel of ointments, wringing her hands in sorrow. On the other side of the Cross, there stands the powerful figure of St John the Baptist with the ancient symbol of the lamb carrying the cross and pouring out its blood into the chalice of the Holy Communion. With a stern and commanding gesture he points towards the Savior, and over him are written the words that he speaks (according to the gospel of St John iii. 30): 'He must increase, but I must decrease.' 5. The work of Grnewald expresses the torment of the early sixteenth century more fully than that of any other artist. This was painted before Luther nailed his theses to the door of Wittenberg Cathedral in 1517, but it is painted by a man who, like Bosch, used his great technical powers to express a simple, unmistakable message of emotional intensity and terrible realism..In the Alsase region of France, in the little town of Issenheim, a monastery dedicated to St. Anthony was founded to take care of people suffering from a disease known as "St. Anthony's fire." The disease is known today asergotismand is caused by a poisonous fungus that lives on rye grain a staple in that part of the world. St. Anthony's fire is a truly horrible disease. It produces putrefying sores all over the body. The sores generate a burning sensation, as though one is truly being attacked by fire. There are patches of gangrene all over the skin. In the advanced stages, patients are subject to terrifying hallucinations in which they think they are being attacked by demons and fiends from Hell. The only treatment available, at the time, was to amputate the limbs in the hopes of keeping the poison from spreading to the brain. The cure, as is often the case, was often as bad as the disease. So, the members of the Order of St. Anthony wanted to try something else. They commissioned the artist, Matthais Grunewald, to paint a marvelous triptych of the crucifixion to hang over the altar of their chapel. Patients admitted to the monastery had to go, every day, to the altar and simply stare, for hours at a time, at the suffering and crucified Christ a Christ who was painted, in horrifying detail, with the exact symptoms of St. Anthony's fire. Anyone who has suffered, anyone who loves someone who suffers, is awestruck in the presence of this tremendous work of art The predella (lower section) opens to expose an inner scene.The sliding of the pieces make Christs legs appear to amputated. 6. In the second view, when the wings are opened, three scenes of celebration are revealed: the Annunciation, the Angel Concert for Madonna and Child, and the Resurrection. 7. And just as he used his brush to depict the dead and tormented body of Christ, he used it on another panel to convey its transfiguration at the Resurrection into an unearthly apparition of heavenly light. It is difficult to describe this picture because, once more, so much depends on its colors. It seems as if Christ has just soared out of the grave, leaving a trail of radiant light the shroud in which the body has been swathed reflecting the colored rays of the halo. There is a poignant contrast between the risen Christ, who is hovering over the scene, and the helpless gestures of the soldiers on the ground, who are dazzled and overwhelmed by this sudden apparition of light. As we cannot assess the distance between foreground and background, the two soldiers behind the grave look like puppets who have tumbled over, and their distorted shapes only serve to throw into relief the serene and majestic calm of the transfigured body of Christ.Piero dellaFrancesca 8. The third view with wings opened again discloses on either side of the carved innermost shrine two panels, Sts Paul and Antony in the Desert and a Temptation of St Antony . 9. Albrecht Durer ALL-brekt DYURE-ur 10. 11. The Revelation of St John: 4. The Four Riders of the Apocalypse 1497-98 Woodcut, 399 x 286 mm The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse is the best known and most frequently referred to scene in the Apocalypse. After the opening of the first four seals (Rev. 6, 1- 8), the Horsemen enter the world and bring plague, war, hunger and death to mankind.The four horsemen are 1) The `conqueror' holding a bow; 2) `War' with. a sword; 3) `Famine' with a pair of scales; 4) `Death', on a `sickly pale' horse, closely followed by Hades, a gaping jawed Leviathan. The horsemen have been variously interpreted. To the Middle Ages the first stood for Christ and the Church; but more commonly all four are seen as the agents of divine wrath.The group of riders, accompanied by an angel, thunders across mankind and does not appear to touch the ground. Finally, Hades, the hellish creature at the side of the Four Horsemen is swallowing everything in his enormous jaws that Death, the final rider, has passed. 12. The Fall of Man/Adam and Eve 1504 Engraving, 252 x 194 mm This engraving is one of Drer's most famous engraved works. It draws on the sum of his four-year study of the ideal proportions of the human body (ie. Influence of Italian Renaissance).The poses are reminiscent of the Apollo Belvedere and the Medici Venus.His interest in the biblical narrative is subordinate to his depiction of Adam and Eve as ideal proportioned female and male nudes in imitation of classical sculptures.The elk, hare, cat and ox symbolize the four humors into which the human soul divided after the Fall of Man. The four humors were four fluids that were thought to permeate the body and influence its health. ( blood, phlegm, yellow bile and black bile)The "humours" gave off vapors which ascended to the brain; an individual's personal characteristics (physical, mental, moral) were explained by his or her "temperament," or the state of theat person's "humours." The parrot represents Mary as a second Eve and the ibex in the background re