The Northern Renaissance

Trace the spread of Renaissance ideas to Germany, Flanders, Holland, and England.

Spread of the Renaissance

In the 15th century, from its birthplace in Florence the Renaissance began to spread quickly. It first spread to the rest of Italy and them to all Europe. The creation on the printing press allowed the people to express and pass on these ideas. As these ideas spread through the whole Europe, they changed and applied to certain cultures and methods. By the 20th century, people began to break the Renaissance into regional and national movements.

By the 15th century, the ideas of the Renaissance were beginning to spread to Germany and other Low Countries, were the idea of printing press and the influence of many artists and composers came from Italy. Many things changed in Germany during this period. However, their gothic style and their medieval philosophy remained the same until the turn in the 16th century.


Migration as the Key to Greatness

The Renaissance in Northern Europe began due to the contact between Italy and these countries. When France invaded Naples in 1494 most artists and writers moved to France, Flanders, Germany, and England, they wouldn't obviously stay in that areas of war, they had to go elsewhere to find the inspiration they needed to create their wonderful givings to the world. These migrations changed these people since artists not only brought their talent but also their ideals, the new thoughts and perceptions of life they had acquired recently. Also many people from Northern Europe went to live to Italy to study the arts, since at first these weren't available in their countries and were surely hearing all the time about this master coming to his homeland making these wonderful things and they surely wanted to do the same. They maybe returned home to show off what they had learned or just to visit family and when they returned to their countries they changed many peoples ways of thinking. In all these places we notice that they took the original idea and molded it, converting it to something that would help them or that could relate to them in some way. They also added to what they had acquired, just to make the whole concept way lot easier. For example, the Germans invented the printing press, so that the time taken to copy a single book could instead be used in making about 500 of them.

Also, in Northern Europe, they merged the humanistic ideas to the Church, to manage a way of making Christian life to be more appealing to them in some sort of way, since they had really been disappointed by the Church after the Bubonic Plague and the Hundred Years’ War. In Flanders, as in Italy, wealthy families began sponsoring this movement, this causing Flanders to being the artistic center of Europe. As in Italy,also, women didn’t help in the development of the movement, they didn't contribute as much as men, just wanting the make the point clear, because THEY WEREN'T ALLOWED TO, not because they didn't have the talent or because men are superior than women. This was a really dumb idea, since women can have the same or EVEN MORE artistic feeling than men. Well, moving on, the women that wrote during that time weren’t credited much and what they really talked about was their emotions, how they wanted women to be as well educated as men-time which they could have taken to prove their points, not just to talk about, in other words, wasted time. In Britain they didn’t call the Renaissance period this way, but the Elizabethan Age, even though it occurred thanks to the Renaissance and at about the same period of time, but, nevertheless, they really developed in the field of writing. What the point is, these people took Renaissance ideas from the Italian and added something here or took off something there. If it wasn’t for migration, their Renaissances and Elizabethan period may have not happened.

-Gaby H.(:


Elizabethean Age

The Elizabethan era was a time associated with Queen Elizabeth I's reign and is often considered to be the golden age in English history. It was the height of the English Renaissance and saw the blossoming of English poetry, music and literature. During this time Elizabethan theatre grew, and William Shakespeare and many others composed plays that broke free of England's past style of plays and theatre.

The Elizabethan Age is viewed so well because of the contrasts with the periods before and after it. During this period of largely internal peace between the English Reformation, the battles between Protestants and Catholics and the battles between parliament and the monarchy had diminished. The Italian Renaissance had come to an end because of foreign domination of the peninsula. Because France had religious battles within each other and also because the English had been expelled from their last outposts on the continent, the centuries long conflict between France and England was largely suspended for most of Elizabeth's reign.England during this period had a centralised, well-organised, and effective government, largely a result of the reforms of Henry VII and Henry VIII. Economically, the country began to benefit greatly from the new era of trans-Atlantic trade.


Erialbania Lopez

Italy's Influential "Rebirth" Spreads to Northern Countries


As we all know, the period of "rebirth", that occurred in Europe after the Middle Ages, known as the Renaissance, took place in Italy. The Italians had it going very well for themselves, as a matter of fact. The Renaissance caused an outbreak of creativity towards what was art, writing, and thoughts or ideas which lasted about 300 years. On the other hand,the Italians also had 3 major advantages to them, which were, "thriving cities, a wealthy merchant class, and the classical heritage of Greece and Rome."(World History Patterns and Society: Chapter 17: Section 2:page 471). The Italians had become so successful in what was a recreation of the classical period, that other neighboring countries had noticed. The noticing of the Italian Renaissance influenced these countries to start their own.

The "Northern Renaissance", as they call it, began at around the 1400s in the countries of Northern Europe. The most successful of the arts category was painting itself. Artists in the northern region focused mostly in realism. They tried to develop and add their own ways of painting and their own culture to the Italian ideas. They basically just used them as a reference. During this period, the king of France claimed the throne in Naples, Italy and wanted to take over northern Italy, for which he launched an invasion. Italian writers and artists here migrated, for a safer place, to Northern Europe, taking all of their creativity and knowledge with them. Some people from Northern Europe had studied in Italian universities, and were therefore able to carry Renaissance ideas to their homes. In Germany, whom are mostly known are the artists. Painters such as Albrecht Dürer and Hans Holbein the Younger are greatly acknowledged for their amazing works and contribution to Renaissance art. In Flanders, artists were supported by wealthy families, and the city was cast as the "artistic center of northern Europe". The most influential painter here in Flanders is Jan Van Eyck, whom used the oil-based painting techniques and added more layers, creating many different sophisticated colors in clothes and jewels. In England, the Elizabethan Age, named after Queen Elizabeth I whom reigned from 1558 to 1603, occurred, were writers, such as William Shakespeare, were the focus. The Northern Renaissance opened many doors for northern European artists to be able to fulfill and demonstrate their oh so amazing abilities.

Betsy Rodriguez

Spread of the Renaissance through Germany, Flanders, Holland, and England.

The Renaissance ideas spread to Germany and Flanders in pretty much the same way; painting techniques. Germany many prints portrayed religious subjects. Others portray classical myths or realistic landscapes. Germany painters were specialized in painting portraits that are almost photographic in details.
Flanders painters applied layer upon layer of paint, they were able to create a variety of subtle colors in clothing and jewels. Oil painting became popular and spread to Italy.
In addition new painting techniques were added for example; Van Eyck’s paintings display unusually realistic details and reveal the personality of their subjects. His work influenced later artist in Northern Europe.
In Holland and England Renaissance was different it spread through there way of literature. For example Erasmus a Holland writer wrote a famous work called “The Praise of Folly”. This book poked fun at a greedy merchants, heartsick lovers, quarrelsome scholars, and pompous priests. In England another writer called Thomas More tried to show a better model of society. Utopia to be presided means the ideal place, In England it has come to mean an ideal place as depicted in More’s Book.
Basically the Renaissance spreaded to Germany, Flanders, Holland, and England in Literature and painting.

Jonathan Vargas

Ideas about Renaissance started to Northward of Italy. Although it is called Rennaissance, Northern Renaissance developed its own character. Some causes of the Northern Rennaissance include the invasion that a french king triggered through northern Italy that dragged on the Southern Italian ideas of Renaissance; also those Northern European artists who studied in Italy carried Renaissance ideas back to their homelands. The most famous painter that stands out from the rest was the German artist Albrecht Durer. He would portray religious subjects, classical myths or realistic landscapes. His work helped to spread Renaissance styles. Durer's emphasis on realism influenced another German artist Hans Holbein, he specialized in painting portraits. The support of wealthy families in Flanders helped to make Flanders the artistic center of Northern Europe. Another famous painter emerged as well as in Germany, Jan Van Eyck (developed oil-based paints).
One of the best known of the Christian humanists in Northern Europe were Desiderius Erasmus of Holland and Thomas More of England. During this period (16th century) the majority of Europeans were unable to read or write. those families who could afford schooling usually sent only their sons. Christine de Pizah spoke out against such practice. she was the first women to earn a living out of her writing. although she fought for equality of sexes, formal education for both sexes would not be achieved until several centuries. The Renaissance spread to England in the mid-1500s. This period was known as the Elizabethan Age, after Queen Elizabeth I (reigned from 1558-1603). As a queen she supported the development of English art and literature. The most famous writer of this age was William Shakespeare. By 1592 he was living in London and writing poems and plays of his own. Shakespeare's most famous plays include the tragedies Macbeth, Hamlet, Othello, Romeo and Juliet, and King Lear, and the comedies A Midsummer Night's Dream and The Taming of the Shrew. the works of writers such as Shakespeare were now part of the people after the block printed items reached Europe. Around 1440 Johann Gutenberg (from Mainz, Germany) developed a printing press. With this achievement books were now cheaper and faster to make, Gutenberg even printed a complete Bible.
-Gabriela Jimenez

+** The Spread of Renaissance - Art, and Humanism**

by Ely


Unlike Italian artists, Northern painters were not looking to rediscover the spirit of ancient Greece.
The Renaissance came to Northern Europe via the French king, Francis I. Francis rebuilt the palace at Fontainebleau, introducing the Italian Mannerist Style, with its dense Roman detailing to its interior decor. He also brought the famed Italian artist, Leonardo Da Vinci to the French Court. Da Vinci undoubtedly had a great influence over many local artists.Northern art was practical, down-to-earth, and dispassional. Despite French beginnings, the bustling city of Flanders became the artistic center of the Northern Renaissance. Artists had their own unique styles, differing from the south. German artist, Albrecht Durer, painter and printmaker,known for his outstanding draftsmanship,self - portraits, oils,and watercolors,created realistic landscapes, and blended religious themes with classical myths. He was also known for woodcuts and engravings. Another German artisit, Hans Holbein the younger, produced almost photographic quality portraits. One of his most famous portraits was of Anne of Cleves, the fifth wife of Henry VIII.Specially after the Reformation,the Church in Rome ceased to be a major patron of the arts in N. Europe.Flemish artist Jan Van Eyck used oil paints to create unusually realistic detail and reveal the personality of his subjects. Fellow Flemish artist, Pieter Bruegel captured everyday peasant life, and used his work as a political platform, to protest Spanish rule over his Flanders.

+ Northern Humanism

Northern humanists had more interest in religious ideas than secular (worldly) themes. They strove to blend the new thinking with core religious values. Human dignity helped to develop plans for social reform, based on core Christian values. Desiderius Erasmus of Holland wrote The Praise of Folly which poked fun at greedy merchants, lovers, scholars and priests. He believed that in order to improve society all people should study the bible. Englishman, Thomas More, penned Utopia which literally means “no place.” More believed there was little use for money, as all it did was promote greed. Rabelais believed humans were basically good creatures, and that they should live by instinct, rather than religious rule. › … › W European History

Genesis Landestoy

The North had just recovered from the bubonic plague and the population was going on a steady rise. The Renaissance, having begun in Italy gradually spread north due to conflict between Italy and France. The Renaissance brought a whole new perspective on art, literature, and philosophy to France, Germany, and the Low Countries of Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands.

Art flourished in the city of Flanders, despite its early roots in France. Artists started developing their own unique styles, which made them relatively different from its graceful counterpart. German Artists such as Albrecht Durer created realistic landscapes and blended religious themes with classical myths. A Flemish artist called Jan Van Eyck used oil- based paints to create remarkably realistic details that unveiled the personality of his subjects. Pieter Bruegel painted scenes of peasant life. Besides art something that also really flourished in the North was humanist ideas. Humanists strove to blend the new secular thinking with religious values. Thomas More an English writer, created Utopia which literally means “no place” but later evolved to mean a place where there is no greed, violence or war. In this place there was little use for money, as all it did was promote greed.

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