1. The nickname of Domenikos Theotokopoulos was El Greco.
What was unique about when Count Orgaz died and when the painting was created?
One of El Greco’s most impressive works was The Burial of Count Orgaz wjocj was created in 1586 in Toledo. The commission emphasizes the Roman Catholic position that good works are required to achieve salvation as well as the saints being our intercessors to Heaven. The burial occurred in 1323, but El Greco chose to portray the event with many local nobility and clergy from the time of the painting and not the time of the burial.
2. How did the Protestant Reformation effect religious art?
In the 16th Century France, Spain, and Italy still adhered to the strict guidelines set forth by the Catholic faith. October, 1517 the reformation began with a former Augustinian friar named Martin Luther when he nailed his famous thesis, Ninety-five, to a church door. The thesis complained about many contemporary Catholic practices including the selling the promise of redemption, the veneration of Mary and the saints, as well as critiquing the claim that the Bible and natural reason were the sole bases of religious authority. He also stated that saints and clerics were unnecessary for salvation which can be freely given by God. All of these statements had a huge effect on its readers, especially Swiss pastor Ulrich Zwingli, who began denouncing visual arts.
This caused a lot of repercussions for the art world. Many people began thinking of Medieval and Renaissance art as idolatry that needed to be cleansed, and the period of iconoclasm began with the destruction of hundreds of paintings and church frescos.
Painters also adapted to a protestant style by altering their subject matter into courtly patrons, classicizing themes, and emphasizing detail in the natural world. They contended with protestant leader’s ambivalence towards images, which began a comic layout style of images being subordinate to text.
3. Explain the difference in subject matter between the open and closed views of the Isenheim Altarpiece [#18.13 & 18.13]. When was the altar open?
The Isenheim Altarpiece is a transforming nine panel triptych made to be displayed in monastery hospital for people with St. Anthony’s fire. The altarpiece has three “views” because it is made of two sets of movable wings. The first view (or #18.13) displays the crucifixion of Christ and emphasizes his suffering as well as Mary’s grief. The first view best relates to a medieval traditional heroic view of the Andachtbild with the very descriptive views of how Christ was tortured and disfigured in an unfamiliar setting of a ghostly landscape with a deepened sky and eerie lighting heightening the character’s presence.
Christ’s apostles are also present in the first view of Isenheim’s Altarpiece. John is pointing at Christ to indicate the significance of the sacrifice, with water behind him to indicate the importance of baptism. Mary is shown with her ointment jar, and a small lamb is last reminder of the sacrament of the Eucharist.
On Sundays and feast days the wings were opened and the mood changed dramatically to that of the annunciation and the Madonna and child with with angels as well as the resurrection. The wings all depicted the cycle of salvation from incarnation to resurrection and the promise of heaven. Grunewald also depicted images of healing rituals to be performed on those who were suffering in the hospital and how to console the dying.
4. This artist’s skill as a printmaker makes his woodcuts look as fine as engravings. Who was he?
Durer was both a skilled draftsman and printmaker. He was trained in engravings and woodcut, which helped him to push the limits for both of these mediums.
5. Who was the portraitist of the English King Henry VIII?
6. As cities became more prosperous during the 16th century, a market for art for wealthy merchants was developed that did not include religion. What three subjects of paintings were created to fill this niche?
Portable portraits, exotic mythic nudes with nobles, Italianate style which included landscapes, buildings, and anything else the artist could think of that was not religious and could be made as a print or small painting to be sold.
7. Which Northern artist is known for his images of peasants? What ‘trick’ did he employ to get close to the peasants?
Peiter Bruegel was friends with a nobleman named Hans Franckert. Together the two would venture out to peasant weddings with gifts, dressed down, and told stories to the attendants of being distant relatives so that they would fit in. They were amused by how the peasants ate, drank, capered, and even made love. Then Peiter would return home and accurately portray how dull they were in a realistic style of portraits and oil paintings.