HART3371 The Northern Renaissance

6 points
Not available in 2020UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 3 option in the History of Art major sequence
  • The area of knowledge for this unit is Design and Creative Arts
  • Category B broadening unit for students
  • Level 3 elective
In the early fifteenth century, art produced in the Burgundian Netherlands (an area consisting of present-day Netherlands, Belgium and Northern France) was celebrated and exported as far afield as Italy and Spain. The introduction of oil paint had given rise to a revolutionary style of painting, allowing artists like Jan van Eyck to create seemingly hyper-realistic representations that reflected new interests in the depiction of nature and human emotion. This unit charts principal developments of the so-called Northern Renaissance, from its origins in court art of the Burgundian Netherlands around 1400, its dominance over the European market for much of the fifteenth century up until the increasing engagement of sixteenth-century artists like Albrecht Dürer with developments in contemporary Italian art. Students are introduced to the visual language of the period and the ways in which figures like Hieronymus Bosch subverted traditional iconographies. Key themes include the use of art in religious ceremony, the rise of new artistic genres, changes in art patronage and the art market, and the emerging awareness of national styles and their historiographies. While special emphasis is placed on painted works, the unit also considers other art forms such as manuscript illumination, carved wooden altarpieces, tapestries and stained glass.
Students are able to (1) synthesise visual analysis and the contextualisation of art works in broader historical and theoretical frameworks; (2) demonstrate critical awareness of how historiography has shaped our image of the Northern Renaissance; (3) employ skills in research, expression and critical thought including the use of library resources, essay writing and the critical use of primary and secondary materials; (4) actively participate in discussion and provoke debate; and (5) understand the history of the Northern Renaissance in its relationship to other areas of art history.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) research proposal; (2) oral assessment; and (3) research essay. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit except in the case of a bachelor's pass degree student who has obtained a mark of 45 to 49 overall and is currently enrolled in this unit, and it is the only remaining unit that the student must pass in order to complete their course.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Susanne Meurer
Unit rules
at least one Level 2 unit from the History of Art major sequence
VISA2297 Special Unit: Studies in the Renaissance, VISA3371 The Northern Renaissance
Contact hours
lectures: 2 hours per week; tutorials: 1 hour per week
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
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  • Books and other material wherever listed may be subject to change. Book lists relating to 'Preliminary reading', 'Recommended reading' and 'Textbooks' are, in most cases, available via the Booktopia Textbook Finder, which has the functionality to search by course code, course, ISBN and title, and may also be posted or available at the appropriate school's administrative offices. Where texts are listed in the unit description above, an asterisk (*) indicates that the book is available in paperback.