ARTH213: Art of the Northern Renaissance




Text Box: Professor: 			Mónica Domínguez Torres

Teaching Assistant:  	Isabelle Havet (

Lecture Hours: 		MW 3:35-4:50 pm

Lecture Hall: 			WHL006

Office Hours: 		M 2-3 or by appointment 

Office Location: 		308 Old College

  BOSCH, Hieronymus
(b. ca. 1450, 's-Hertogenbosch, d. 1516, 's-Hertogenbosch)

Triptych of Garden of Earthly Delights (detail)
c. 1500
Oil on panel
Museo del Prado, Madrid

The picture shows a detail of the central panel, representing the Bird Wedding (aft





Course Description | Textbook | Calendar | Grading | Research Resources | ARTstor






Course Description


This course surveys the artistic developments in Northern Europe around 1350-1600, from their late medieval foundations to the art of the early modern cities. Pieces by Jan van Eyck, Rogier van der Weyden, Albrecht Dürer, Hieronymus Bosch, Hans Holbein, and Pieter Bruegel, among others, will be discussed within the context of contemporary working conditions, artistic patronage, courtly life, religious climate, and scientific developments. The course will explore major cultural and historic events such as the Protestant Reformation and the discovery of the Americas, and will look at how these events widened intellectual and religious horizons. The works range from tapestries, altarpieces and illuminated manuscripts to churches, palaces and civic architecture.










·      Jeffrey Chipps Smith, The Northern Renaissance. London: Phaidon Press (Art and Ideas Series), 2004.








Sep 7



Reading: Smith, pp. 4-12



Sep 12, 14

The Beholder’s Eye: Art, Artists and the Marketplace


Reading: Smith, pp. 13-32


ARTstor images: Beholder



Sep 19, 21

An Emerging Reality: Court Art and the ars nova


Reading: Smith, pp. 33-66


ARTstor images: Reality



Sep 26, 28

Pride of Place: Art in the Cities


Reading: Smith, pp. 67-92


ARTstor images: Pride



Oct 3, 5

Tangible Success: Early Portraits and Domestic Art


Reading: Smith, pp. 93-118


ARTstor images: Portraits



Oct 10

First Exam



Oct 12, 17

The Inner Gaze: Private Devotional Art


Reading: Smith, pp. 119-146


ARTstor images: Private



Oct 19, 24

The Well-Dressed Church: The Materialization of Faith


Reading: Smith, pp. 147-196


ARTstor images: Church



Oct 26, 31

Dancing with Death: The Art of Dying Well


Reading: Smith, pp. 197-238


ARTstor images: Death



Nov 2, 7

Mass Communication: Prints and Printmaking


Reading: Smith, pp. 239-272


ARTstor images: Prints



Nov 9

Second Exam



Nov 14, 16

Theatre of the World: Exploring Nature and Human Nature


Reading: Smith, pp. 309-350


ARTstor images: Nature



Nov 21

Reading Pictures: The Reformation Challenge


Reading: Smith, pp. 351-380


ARTstor images: Reformation



Nov 28, 30

Beyond Mere Craft: The Knowledgeable Artist


Reading: Smith, pp. 273-308


ARTstor images: Artist



Dec 5

The Artist and the Connoisseur: Courts, Cities and Collectors


Reading: Smith, pp. 381-408


ARTstor images: Courts



Dec 7

Third Exam









·      There will be three (3) exams throughout the term, each worth 20%. See dates in the calendar above.

·      There will also be a short research paper worth 30%. Deadline: Nov 21, 2011. Instructions are found in the assignments section of Sakai.

·      The remaining 10% of the final grade would be assessed taking into account attendance and class participation.






Research Resources



Reference books at Morris Library:

·      Sylvan Barnet, A Short Guide to Writing About Art (New York, 2005)

·      Sarah Carr-Gomm, The Dictionary of Symbols in Western Art (New York, 1995)

·      Irene Earls, Renaissance Art: A Topical Dictionary (New York, 1987)

·      James Hall, Dictionary of Subjects and Symbols in Art (various editions)

·      Matilde Battistini & Stephen Sartarelli, Symbols and Allegories in Art (Los Angeles, 2005)

·      Rosa Giorgi & Stefano Zuffi, Angels and Demons in Art (Los Angeles, 2005)

·      Chiara de Capoa & Stefano Zuffi, Old Testament Figures in Art (Los Angeles, 2003)

·      Stefano Zuffi, Gospel Figures in Art (Los Angeles, 2003)

·      Rosa Giorgi, Stefano Zuffi & Thomas M. Hartmann, Saints in Art (Los Angeles, 2003)

·      Lucia Impelluso, Stefano Zuffi & Thomas M. Hartmann, Gods and Heroes in Art (Los Angeles, 2003)

·      Lucia Impelluso, Nature and its Symbols (Los Angeles, 2004)

·      Erika Langmuir, The Yale Dictionary of Art and Artists (New Haven, 2000)

·      Peter and Linda Murray, The Penguin Dictionary of Art and Artists (various editions)



Books in reserve at Morris Library:

·      Harbison, Craig. The Mirror of the Artist: Northern Renaissance Art in its Historical Context. New York, NY: H.N. Abrams, 1995.

·      Nash, Susie. Northern Renaissance Art. London: Oxford University Press, 2008.

·      Snyder, James. Northern Renaissance Art: Painting, Sculpture, the Graphic Arts from 1350 to 1575. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2005.

·      Stechow, Wolfgang (ed.). Northern Renaissance Art, 1400-1600: Sources and Documents. Evanston, Ill.: Northwestern University Press, 1989.



Image Databases

·      ARTstor (requires connection from the UD network or UDel proxy connection)

·      Art History Resources on the Web: Renaissance Art in Northern Europe and Spain



Reference Resources

·      The Grove Dictionary of Art (requires an UDel proxy connection)

·      The Catholic Encyclopedia

·      Britannica Online (requires an UDel proxy connection)

·      Roman Catholic Saints by Name