Compare and Contrast Italian Renaissance Art and Northern Renaissance Art

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The Italian Renaissance art is usually referred to the rebirth of art in Europe between 1400 and 1600. It started in Italy, in the city state of Florence. The Renaissance art was inspired by ancient Greece and Rome with the central idea of Humanism. Later on, trade and commerce brought the Italian ideas northward. Along with the invention of the printing press in the mid-fifteenth century, the Renaissance artistic developments spread to other parts of Europe and started the creation of the Northern Renaissance. Religion played a big part in both the Italian Renaissance and the Northern Renaissance, which is one of the biggest similarities in their art. With the central idea of Humanism, both Italian Renaissance and Northern Renaissance emphasized man and individualism. However, they were different in many ways due to the culture, social, timing and the geography differences. For example, while the early Italian Renaissance abandoned the traditional Gothic style during the 15th century, the Northern Renaissance didn’t break out from it so quickly due to a host of social and political reasons including the Reformation. In general, there are several differences between the Italian Renaissance art and the Northern Renaissance art. The Italian Renaissance art focus largely on the balance, the perspective and the sense of mass, while the Northern Renaissance art pay a lot of attention to the surface details no matter how small. Objects are often used as symbols that have hidden meanings in the Northern renaissance art. The subject matters are usually different; the Italian Renaissance art prefers classical mythology and religious scenes, but the Northern Renaissance art favors domestic interiors, portraits along with religious scenes. We will take a closer look at the difference by using two paintings from these two time period: The Last Judgment by Michelangelo

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