North vs. South
By the 16th century there was a marked difference between the cultural dynamics of the Renaissance in the north (Flanders and Germanic regions) as opposed to how it developed in the south of Europe (Italy). Most notable was the growing dominance of Protestantism in the north leading to a different artistic aesthetic than the traditional Catholicism that dominated the closer the region was to Rome. No less significant was the growing influence of market capitalism and a merchant class in the north leading to a cultural fusion between faith and economics. In this project I present you with unknown works that you first classify as northern or southern, and then attempt to determine the artist that produced the work based on your understanding of their style.
A pretty straight forward, but effective way to first delve into the world of symbolism used by Renaissance artists. I present you with a Wedding Portrait painted by van Eyke and to the side a list of symbols. Can you find them in the painting? Watch out though, just for fun I included a few "fakes."
in Religious Painting
So you have already memorized the narratives, symbols, and key people found in Renaissance religious paintings... are you ready to put your skills to practice? This is a 6-part learning project allowing you to explore the complex symbolism in some Renaissance paintings. From simply naming the narrative, to the more elaborate process of actually writing the theological statement reflected in the painting, this is one of the best ways to begin honing your analytical skills.
Mythology in Renaissance Painting
One more chance to use all that knowledge you acquired reading Ovid's Metamorphoses. Six works from the Renaissance depicting a myth as Ovid told it almost 1500 years earlier. Can you identify each? As a bonus, I also give you a chance to discover the same thing happening in today's popular culture.