The Arnolfini Portrait by painter Jan van Eyck

Northern Renaissance Art Part I


This course was available in the past and may be presented again as part of the Open Enrollment curriculum.

Was there a "Renaissance" in Northern Europe? In this course, students will investigate the evolving traditions and techniques of the period, focusing particularly on the impact of new media (oil paint, printmaking); religious developments (private devotion, Christian humanism, and the Protestant Reformation); and types of painting (landscape, still life, portraiture). We will also reflect on "realism" and symbolism, Italy and the North, courtly and bourgeois patronage, class divisions and popular art, gender and witchcraft, and the rise of art markets. New students are welcome; previous quarters are not required.

Course Outline


Susie Nash, Northern Renaissance Art (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2008).

RECOMMENDED TEXTBOOK (available for rental from and for purchase from other online retailers such as Abebooks)

(Due to the exceptional expense of purchasing this textbook, which can also be rented from Amazon, it is recommended rather than required. Page numbers will be suggested but not required.)

James Snyder, Northern Renaissance Art: Painting, Sculpture, and the Graphic Arts from 1350-1575, 2nd. ed., rev. by Larry Silver and Henry Luttikhuizen (Pearson-Prentice Hall, 2004).


Jeffrey Chipps Smith, The Northern Renaissance (London and New York: Phaidon, 2004).

Craig Harbison, The Mirror of the Artist (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson-Prentice Hall, 1995).

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


Online registration deadline: Thursday, September 22, 5 pm CT.