Essay on Comparison between Jan van Eyck and Fra Angelico

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The Renaissance in Western Europe brought a “rebirth” to the arts. No longer was the church the only accredited patron for the arts. Instead, a wealthy middle class arose as patrons and were able to purchase artist’s works. Although many pieces still had religious themes, the styles, freedom of creativity, and less reserved pieces were created. The Renaissance was not only confined to Italy, although it is often mistaken as the birthplace of the movement. All over Western Europe artwork flourished. Artists from the north came to Italy to study the classical arts and the renowned Italian Renaissance artists. Many of the same themes and subject matters were depicted throughout Western Europe. One such subject matter, the Annunciation, was…show more content…
The Italians may not have had detailed frescos and vivid colors; however they were the leaders in creating a harmonious scale between the landscape and the objects or figures that adorned it. They developed a focused on perspective and made their art a science. They used mathematical measurements and thus the piece was given a great deal of depth and realism. The fresco appears to be an extended recessed space in the room. In Angelico’s piece, linear perspective is created by the placement and angles of the walls. The edge of the porch, the base of the first column and the lines of the bench establish a linear perspective. Italian painters also focused on the studying of classical art and architecture. In Angelico’s piece, the arches supported by the stance of the ionic columns show the interest and study that the Italians adapted into their work. The Northern Renaissance painters eventually incorporated perspective in their work. Van Eyck used intuitive perspective, making objects appear smaller and closer together as they are placed further in the distance to create the feeling of depth in his piece.
Iconography is more prevalent in the Northern Renaissance artwork compared to the Italian Renaissance artwork. Upon first glance, there are two distinct and obvious similarities between the two works. The most noticeable is how Mary is wearing blue and is very similarly depicted. Just like white, the color blue is thought to be the symbol of purity and
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