International Gothic is a period of Gothic art which began in Burgundy, France, and northern Italy in the late 14th and early 15th century.It then spread very widely across Western Europe, hence the name for the period, which was introduced by the French art historian Louis Courajod at the end of the 19th century.
Artists and portable works, such as illuminated manuscripts, travelled widely around the continent, leading to a common aesthetic among the royalty and higher nobility and considerably reducing the variation in national styles among works produced for the courtly elites. The main influences were northern France, the Netherlands, the Duchy of Burgundy, the Imperial court in Prague, and Italy. Royal marriages such as that between Richard II of England and Anne of Bohemia helped to spread the style.
It was initially a style of courtly sophistication, but somewhat more robust versions spread to art commissioned by the emerging mercantile classes and the smaller nobility. In Northern Europe "Late Gothic" continuations of the style, especially in its decorative elements, could still be found until the early 16th century, as no alternative decorative vocabulary emerged locally to replace it before the Renaissance revival of Classicism.
Usage of the terms by art historians varies somewhat, with some using the term more restrictively than others.Some art historians feel the term is "in many ways ... not very helpful ... since it tends to skate over both differences and details of transmission."
The important Bohemian version of the style developed in the court of Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor in Prague, which for a brief periodbecame a leading force in the development of European art. Charles came from the Luxembourg dynasty, was tutored by the future Pope Clement VI, and as a youth spent seven years at the French court, as well as visiting Italy twice. This and family relationships gave him intimate links with the various courts of France, including that of the Avignon Papacy, and from 1363 the separate Valois Duchy of Burgundy under Philip the Bold. The Bohemian style initially lacked the elongated figures of other centres, but had a richness and sweetness in female figures that were very influential. Charles had at least one Italian altarpiece, apparently made in Italy and sent to Prague, near where it remains today in his showpiece Karlštejn Castle. For St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague, he first used a French architect, and then the German Peter Parler.
Much of the development of the style occurred in Italy, and it probably spread north of the Alps to influence France partly through the colony of Italian artists attached to the Papal Court at Avignon, and the works displayed from the residence there in the 1330s and 1340s of Simone Martini, a Sienese precursor of the style. Republican Siena had a large influence on the development of the style, but kept to its own dignified Gothic style throughout the period, and afterwards, while the flamboyant Visconti court at Milan, also closely related to the French royal family, was the most important Italian centre of the courtly style.As the style developed in Northern Europe, Italian artists were in turn influenced by it.
The marriage in 1384 between the young King Richard II of England and Charles IV's daughter Anne of Bohemia helped to connect Prague and London, and bring the style to England, although Anne died in 1394.
A number of central works of International Gothic work are votive portraits of monarchs with a sacred figure – in some cases being received into Heaven by them, as with a miniature of Jean, Duc de Berry, and some of his relatives, being welcomed by Saint Peter in the Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry .Lat. 5888</ref> From this period come the earliest surviving panel portraits of monarchs, and royal manuscripts show a greatly increased number of realistic portraits of the monarch who commissioned them.
In architecture, where the style was long-lasting, local varieties of it are often known as Perpendicular architecture in England, and as Sondergotik in Germany and Central Europe, Flamboyant Gothic in France, and later the Manueline in Portugal, and the Isabelline in Spain.
In painting and sculpture, the style is sometimes known in German as the "Schöne Stil" or "Weicher Stil" ("Beautiful style" or "Soft style").Stylistic features are a dignified elegance, which replaces monumentality, along with rich decorative colouring, elongated figures and flowing lines. It also makes a more practised use of perspective, modelling, and setting. Figures begin to be given more space in their settings, and interest is taken in realistically depicted plants and animals. In some works, above all the famous calendar scenes of the Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry, the beginnings of real landscape painting are seen. Decoration became increasingly ornate as the style developed in Northern Europe, whereas in Italy the increased sophistication of figure painting was absorbed into Early Renaissance painting.
In sculpture the leading Italian artists remained closer to classicism, and were less affected by the movement; Lorenzo Ghiberti is in many respects close to the style, but already seems infused with Early Renaissance classicism. Claus Sluter was the leading sculptor in Burgundy, and was one artist able to use the style with a strongly monumental effect. Most sculptors are unknown, and the style tended to survive longer in Northern sculpture than painting, as the detailed realism of Early Netherlandish painting was harder to translate into sculpture. Smaller painted wood figures, most often of the Madonna, were significant, and being relatively portable, probably helped to disseminate the style across Europe.
Notable painters included Master Theoderic and the Master of the Třeboň Altarpiece in Bohemia, the Master of the Parement, Jacquemart de Hesdin and the Netherlandish Limbourg brothers in France, and Gentile da Fabriano, Lorenzo Monaco and Pisanello in Italy, the last taking the style into the Early Renaissance. In Burgundy Jean Malouel, Melchior Broederlam and Henri Bellechose were succeeded by Robert Campin and Jan van Eyck who took Early Netherlandish painting in the direction of greater illusionism. Master Bertram and Conrad von Soest were leading regional masters in Germany, working largely for city burghers. Surviving panel paintings of the best quality from before 1390 are very rare except from Italy and the Prague court. Many of these artists moved between countries or regions during their careers, exposing them to the styles of other centres. In particular Broederlam had spent some years in Italy, and it has been speculated that the Master of the Parement was himself Bohemian, as his known French works are very few, and extremely close to Bohemian art.
Illuminated manuscripts remained important vehicles of the style, and in works like the Sherborne Missalwere the main English contribution, apart from the stained glass of John Thornton in York Minster and of Thomas Glazier in Oxford and elsewhere. Nottingham alabaster carvings, produced in considerable quantities by workshops to standard patterns, were exported all over Western Europe to value-conscious parish churches. The Hours of Gian Galeazzo Visconti from Milan was a key work, as was the Wenceslas Bible (with the text in German) of Charles IV's son. Both, like the Sherborne Missal, are marked by extravagantly decorated borders. John, Duke of Berry, son and brother of French kings, was the most extravagant commissioner of manuscripts, and the main employer of the Limbourg Brothers and Jacquemart de Hesdin, as well as using many other artists. Other large-scale collectors included Wenceslas, the son of Charles IV, John of Lancaster, 1st Duke of Bedford, son of Henry IV of England and "Regent" of English-occupied France, and the Dukes of Burgundy. In the fifteenth century the cities of Flanders, especially Bruges, came to outstrip Paris as a centre of both manuscript illumination and panel painting.
A further vehicle of the International Gothic style was provided by the tapestry-weaving centers of Arras, Tournai and Paris, 44). The Chatsworth Hunts (Victoria and Albert Museum) are inspired by Gaston de Foix's book on hunting and the many weavings of Trojan War cycles by contemporary romances.where tapestry production was permanently disordered by the English occupation of 1418–36. Under the consistent patronage of the Dukes of Burgundy, their courtly International Gothic style, elongated figures, rich details of attire, crowded composition, with figures disposed in tiers, owe their inspiration to manuscript illuminators and directly to painters: Baudouin de Bailleul, a painter established at Arras, supplied cartoons for tapestry workshops there and at Tournai, where elements of a local style are hard to distinguish (Weigert, p.
Tapestry too was an art that was portable. Suites accompanied their seigneurial owners from one unheated and empty château to another. Tapestry weavers themselves could be induced to move workshops, though they remained tied to the accessibility of English wool. Religious and secular subjects vied in this essentially secular art.
A medium of Late Gothic style that is easily overlooked because it has virtually entirely disappeared is that of painted hangings, which served as a less expensive substitute for woven hangings but could be produced, with appropriate themes, on short notice.
In a period lasting approximately between 1390 and 1420 there was a particularly close correspondence between works produced far apart in Europe. In the north the miniatures of the Très Riches Heures Limbourg brothers, in Italy the Adoration of the Magi of Lorenzo Monaco, and sculpture and miniatures in many countries show very stylised tall figures, the older men with imposingly long beards and swaying figures. Exotic clothes, based loosely on those of the contemporary Middle East or Byzantine Empire, are worn by figures in biblical scenes; many figures seem to be included just to show off these costumes. The number of figures in many standard religious scenes is greatly increased; the Magi have large retinues, and the Crucifixion often becomes a crowded event. This innovation was to survive the style itself.
The unveiling of Gentile da Fabriano's Adoration of the Magi (below) in Florence in 1423, "the culminating work of International Gothic painting", was almost immediately followed by the painting of the Brancacci Chapel by Masolino and Masaccio (1424–26), which was recognised as a breakthrough to a new style.In similar fashion the Limbourg brothers' masterpiece the Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry was followed within a few years by the Turin-Milan Hours, a continuation of a manuscript started decades before by the Parement Master for the Duke of Berry, which despite a Gothic framework pioneered a very different style of painting.
But outside Florence and the leading courts the International Gothic still held sway, gradually developing in directions that once again diverged considerably between Italy and Europe north of the Alps. The arts and architecture transitioned into the Early Renaissance.
The Limbourg brothers were famous Dutch miniature painters from the city of Nijmegen. They were active in the early 15th century in France and Burgundy, working in the style known as International Gothic. They created what is certainly the best-known late medieval illuminated manuscript, the Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry.
John of Berry or John the Magnificent was Duke of Berry and Auvergne and Count of Poitiers and Montpensier. He was the third son of King John II of France and Bonne of Luxembourg; his brothers were King Charles V of France, Duke Louis I of Anjou and Duke Philip the Bold of Burgundy. He is primarily remembered as a collector of the important illuminated manuscripts and other works of art commissioned by him, such as the Très Riches Heures. His personal motto was Le temps venra.
The book of hours is a Christian devotional book popular in the Middle Ages. It is the most common type of surviving medieval illuminated manuscript. Like every manuscript, each manuscript book of hours is unique in one way or another, but most contain a similar collection of texts, prayers and psalms, often with appropriate decorations, for Christian devotion. Illumination or decoration is minimal in many examples, often restricted to decorated capital letters at the start of psalms and other prayers, but books made for wealthy patrons may be extremely lavish, with full-page miniatures. These illustrations would combine picturesque scenes of country life with sacred images. Books of hours were usually written in Latin, although there are many entirely or partially written in vernacular European languages, especially Dutch. The English term primer is usually now reserved for those books written in English. Tens of thousands of books of hours have survived to the present day, in libraries and private collections throughout the world.
The Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry or Très Riches Heures, is the most famous and possibly the best surviving example of manuscript illumination in the late phase of the International Gothic style. It is a book of hours: a collection of prayers to be said at the canonical hours. It was created between c. 1412 and 1416 for the extravagant royal bibliophile and patron John, Duke of Berry, by the Limbourg brothers. When the three painters and their sponsor died in 1416, possibly victims of plague, the manuscript was left unfinished. It was further embellished in the 1440s by an anonymous painter, who many art historians believe was Barthélemy d'Eyck. In 1485–1489, it was brought to its present state by the painter Jean Colombe on behalf of the Duke of Savoy. Acquired by the Duc d'Aumale in 1856, the book is now MS 65 in the Musée Condé, Chantilly, France.
Millefleur, millefleurs or mille-fleur refers to a background style of many different small flowers and plants, usually shown on a green ground, as though growing in grass. It is essentially restricted to European tapestry during the late Middle Ages and early Renaissance, from about 1400 to 1550, but mainly about 1480–1520. The style had a notable revival by Morris & Co. in 19th century England, being used on original tapestry designs, as well as illustrations from his Kelmscott Press publications. The millefleur style differs from many other styles of floral decoration, such as the arabesque, in that many different sorts of individual plants are shown, and there is no regular pattern. The plants fill the field without connecting or significantly overlapping. In that it also differs from the plant and floral decoration of Gothic page borders in illuminated manuscripts.
Giovanni di Paolo di Grazia was an Italian painter, working primarily in Siena, becoming a prolific painter and illustrator of manuscripts, including Dante's texts. He was one of the most important painters of the 15th century Sienese School. His early works show the influence of earlier Sienese masters, but his later style was more individual, characterized by cold, harsh colours and elongated forms. His style also took on the influence of International Gothic artists such as Gentile da Fabriano. Many of his works have an unusual dreamlike atmosphere, such as the surrealistic Miracle of St. Nicholas of Tolentino painted about 1455 and now housed in the Philadelphia Museum of Art, while his last works, particularly Last Judgment, Heaven, and Hell from about 1465 and Assumption painted in 1475, both at Pinacoteca Nazionale (Siena), are grotesque treatments of their lofty subjects. Giovanni's reputation declined after his death but was revived in the 20th century.
Antwerp Mannerism is the name given to the style of a group of largely anonymous painters active in the Southern Netherlands and principally in Antwerp in roughly the first three decades of the 16th century, a movement marking the tail end of Early Netherlandish painting, and an early phase within Dutch and Flemish Renaissance painting. The style bore no relation to Italian Mannerism, which it mostly predates by a few years, but the name suggests that it was a reaction to the "classic" style of the earlier Flemish painters, just as the Italian Mannerists were reacting to, or trying to go beyond, the classicism of High Renaissance art.
The term Labours of the Months refers to cycles in Medieval and early Renaissance art depicting in twelve scenes the rural activities that commonly took place in the months of the year. They are often linked to the signs of the Zodiac, and are seen as humankind's response to God's ordering of the Universe.
The decade of the 1410s in art involved some significant events.
The decade of the 1420s in art involved some significant events.
Barthélemy d'Eyck, van Eyck or d' Eyck, was an Early Netherlandish artist who worked in France and probably in Burgundy as a painter and manuscript illuminator. He was active between about 1440 to about 1469. Although no surviving works can be certainly documented as his, he was praised by contemporary authors as a leading artist of the day, and a number of important works are generally accepted as his. In particular, Barthélemy has been accepted by most experts as the artists formerly known as the Master of the Aix Annunciation for paintings, and the Master of René of Anjou for illuminated manuscripts. He is thought by many to be the Master of the Shadows responsible for parts of the calendar of the Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry.
Jacquemart de Hesdin was a French miniature painter working in the International Gothic style. In English, he is also called Jacquemart of Hesdin. During his lifetime, his name was spelt in a number of ways, including as Jacquemart de Odin.
The Master of the Třeboň Altarpiece, was a Bohemian painter active in Prague around 1380-1390. His name is derived from the Třeboň Altarpiece from the church of Saint Eligius at the Augustinian convent of Třeboň. The triptych depicts Christ on the Mount of Olives, The Tomb of Christ, and the Resurrection. It has been dated to around 1380, and is today held at the Convent of St. Agnes branch of the National Gallery in Prague.
The Turin–Milan Hours is a partially destroyed illuminated manuscript, which despite its name is not strictly a book of hours. It is of exceptional quality and importance, with a very complicated history both during and after its production. It contains several miniatures of about 1420 attributed to an artist known as "Hand G" who was probably either Jan van Eyck, his brother Hubert van Eyck, or an artist very closely associated with them. About a decade or so later Barthélemy d'Eyck may have worked on some miniatures. Of the several portions of the book, that kept in Turin was destroyed in a fire in 1904, though black-and-white photographs exist.
The Belles Heures of Jean de France, Duc de Berry, or Belles Heures of Jean de Berry is an early 15th-century illuminated manuscript book of hours commissioned by the French prince John, Duke of Berry, around 1409, and made for his use in private prayer and especially devotions to the Virgin Mary. The Belles Heures is one of the most celebrated manuscripts of the Middle Ages and very few books of hours are as richly decorated as it.
Jean Colombe was a French miniature painter and illuminator of manuscripts. He is best known for his work in Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry. He was a son of Philippe Colombe and his wife Guillemette and thus the brother of the sculptor Michel Colombe.
The Petites Heures of Jean de France, Duc de Berry is an illuminated book of hours commissioned by John, Duke of Berry between 1375 and 1385–90. It is known for its ornate miniature leaves and border decorations.
The Bedford Hours is a French late medieval book of hours. It dates to the early fifteenth century (c. 1410–30); some of its miniatures, including the portraits of the Duke and Duchess of Bedford, have been attributed to the Bedford Master and his workshop in Paris. The Duke and Duchess of Bedford gave the book to their nephew Henry VI in 1430. It is in the British Library, catalogued as Add MS 18850.
The St. Vitus Madonna comes from the treasure of St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague and is exhibited in its original frame in the permanent collection of the National Gallery in Prague.
The Enthroned Madonna of Kłodzko is a Bohemian panel painting dating from 1343-1344 that was originally the central part of a larger winged altarpiece. The altarpiece's donor was Archbishop Arnošt of Pardubice, who is portrayed in the bottom left-hand corner.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to International Gothic .|