An essay describing the differences between the Northern and Italian Renaissance Artists. Written for an AP Art History Course.

Essay by a67smHigh School, 11th grade March 2004

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The artworks of the Northern Renaissance and Italian Renaissance artists are different. Robert Campin's (Master of Flamalle) Merode Altarpiece and Massacio's Holy Trinity demonstrate this. These works are each very good examples of their location, and are different despite the fact they were created around the same time.

Massacio's Holy Trinity shows how detail was important. It also shows the rational space that many Italian artists used. Massacio did this by making it so that a normal adult's would see a linear perspective fresco. Also the fact that it is a fresco alludes to what was popular at the time. The ruling class was the patronage of arts and they are depicted in the painting by the red robes. Also like many other in the Italian Renaissance he used classical architecture as inspiration. This is demonstrated in the barrel vaults (Trome l'oeil). Also like many other artists of the Italian Renaissance Massacio did not want to do something out of the ordinary so he depicted Christian scenes.

Campin also depicted Christian scenes in his work. The difference is that the scenes that are depicted in the Merode altarpiece are not the most well known scenes. There is too much iconography to list that is found in the Merode altarpiece not the least of it in the center panel. The windows with landscapes painted in them were very distinctive of the Flemish artists of the renaissance. The detail is also something that was a concern of Northern artists.

Overall these two artworks are more different than alike. This goes along with the difference between Northern and Italian artists during the Renaissance. It all depends on the paintings chosen because not all paintings contain all elements and some contain elements that others would normally not have. The biggest differences are shown in...