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 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 period became 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 Grandes Heures du Duc de Berry. 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 Missal were 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, 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. 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.
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 Altarpiece of Saint Barbara is a painting by Gonçal Peris conserved at the National Art Museum of Catalonia.Bartolini Salimbeni Chapel
The Bartolini Salimbeni Chapel (Italian: Cappella Bartolini Salimbeni) is a chapel in the church of Santa Trinita, Florence, central Italy. Its decoration by Lorenzo Monaco, dating to the 1420s, are one of the few surviving examples of International Gothic frescoes in Italy. The chapels has kept other original elements, such as its altarpiece, an Annunciation, also by Lorenzo Monaco, and the railings.Bernat Martorell
Bernat Martorell (died 1452 in Barcelona) was the leading painter of Barcelona, in modern-day Spain. He is considered to be the most important artist of the International Gothic style in Catalonia. Martorell painted retable panels and manuscript illuminations, and carved sculptures and also provided designs for embroideries.Czech art
Czech art is the visual and plastic arts that have been created in the present day Czech Republic and the various states that occupied the Czech lands in the preceding centuries. The Czech lands have produced artists that have gained recognition throughout the world, including Alfons Mucha, widely regarded as one of the key exponents of the Art Nouveau style, and František Kupka, a pioneer of abstract art.
The lands now forming the Czech Republic have produced several important finds of prehistoric art, notably the Venus of Dolní Věstonice, a pottery Venus figurine of a nude female dated to 29,000–25,000 BC, and a distinct style of Celtic art. For most subsequent periods, Czech art was especially close to Austrian and German art, and participated in most phases of this. In periods when Prague was the capital of the Holy Roman Empire, it was a key centre of the current artistic style, using artists of both Czech and foreign origin. This was especially the case for the International Gothic style of the 14th century, and the Northern Mannerism of the late 16th and early 17th. After the Thirty Years War, when the largely non-Catholic Czech lands were returned to Catholic Habsburg control, a massive propaganda effort by the church has left rich remains of Baroque art and architecture. From the 19th century, Czech nationalism had a strong influence on all the arts.Gentile da Fabriano
Gentile da Fabriano (c. 1370 – 1427) was an Italian painter known for his participation in the International Gothic painter style. He worked in various places in central Italy, mostly in Tuscany. His best-known works are his Adoration of the Magi from the Strozzi Altarpiece, (1423) and the Flight into Egypt.Gothic altarpiece of Santes Creus
The Gothic altarpiece of Santes Creus is an altarpiece painted by Guerau Gener and Lluís Borrassà between 1407 and 1411. It is one of the key works of the International Gothic altarpieces in Catalonia, created for the Santes Creus Monastery. The MNAC museum retains the Nativity, crowned by the figure of St. John the Evangelist, and the Resurrection of Christ, while the rest of the tables are kept in one of the chapels of the cathedral of Tarragona. The altarpiece was commissioned to Pere Serra but apparently died without starting it. Guerau Gener, a connoisseur of València international Gothic, replaced him, but his untimely death made Lluís Borrassà, one of the major figures in the painting of the first international Catalan Gothic, to complete the project.Gothic art
Gothic art was a style of medieval art that developed in Northern France out of Romanesque art in the 12th century AD, led by the concurrent development of Gothic architecture. It spread to all of Western Europe, and much of Southern and Central Europe, never quite effacing more classical styles in Italy. In the late 14th century, the sophisticated court style of International Gothic developed, which continued to evolve until the late 15th century. In many areas, especially Germany, Late Gothic art continued well into the 16th century, before being subsumed into Renaissance art. Primary media in the Gothic period included sculpture, panel painting, stained glass, fresco and illuminated manuscripts. The easily recognizable shifts in architecture from Romanesque to Gothic, and Gothic to Renaissance styles, are typically used to define the periods in art in all media, although in many ways figurative art developed at a different pace.
The earliest Gothic art was monumental sculpture, on the walls of Cathedrals and abbeys. Christian art was often typological in nature (see Medieval allegory), showing the stories of the New Testament and the Old Testament side by side. Saints' lives were often depicted. Images of the Virgin Mary changed from the Byzantine iconic form to a more human and affectionate mother, cuddling her infant, swaying from her hip, and showing the refined manners of a well-born aristocratic courtly lady.
Secular art came into its own during this period with the rise of cities, foundation of universities, increase in trade, the establishment of a money-based economy and the creation of a bourgeois class who could afford to patronize the arts and commission works resulting in a proliferation of paintings and illuminated manuscripts. Increased literacy and a growing body of secular vernacular literature encouraged the representation of secular themes in art. With the growth of cities, trade guilds were formed and artists were often required to be members of a painters' guild—as a result, because of better record keeping, more artists are known to us by name in this period than any previous; some artists were even so bold as to sign their names.Limbourg brothers
The Limbourg brothers (Dutch: Gebroeders van Limburg; fl. 1385 – 1416) were famous
Dutch miniature painters (Herman, Paul, and Johan) 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.List of art movements
See Art periods for a chronological list.This is a list of art movements in alphabetical order. These terms, helpful for curricula or anthologies, evolved over time to group artists who are often loosely related. Some of these movements were defined by the members themselves, while other terms emerged decades or centuries after the periods in question.Lluís Borrassà
Lluís Borrassà (died 1424/1426) was a Catalan painter born in Girona. He died in Barcelona. He is widely considered to have introduced the International Gothic painting style into Catalonia.Lorenzo Monaco
Lorenzo Monaco (born Piero di Giovanni; c. 1370 – c. 1425) was an Italian painter of the late Gothic-early Renaissance age. He was born Piero di Giovanni in Siena. Little is known about his youth, apart from the fact that he was apprenticed in Florence. He was influenced by Giotto and his followers Spinello Aretino and Agnolo Gaddi.
In 1390 he joined the Camaldolese monastery of Santa Maria degli Angeli. He was thenceforth generally known as Lorenzo Monaco (English: "Lawrence the Monk"). In the 1390s he executed three panels of the Biblioteca Laurenziana for his convent.
Starting from around 1404 his works show the influence of the International Gothic, of Lorenzo Ghiberti's earliest works and of Gherardo Starnina. From this period is the Pietà in the Gallerie dell'Accademia in Florence. His works, often over a gilded background, showed in general a spiritual value, and usually did not feature profane elements.
In 1414 he painted the Coronation of the Virgin (now at the Uffizi), characterized by a great number of saints and brilliant colors. In the late part of his life, Lorenzo did not accept the early Renaissance innovations introduced by artists such as Masaccio and Brunelleschi. This is visible in the Adoration of the Magi of 1420–1422, where the now widespread geometrical perspective is totally absent. Lorenzo's works remained popular in the 1420s, as testified by the numerous commissions he received, such as the Stories of the Virgin in the Bartolini Salimbeni Chapel of Santa Trinita, one of his few frescoes.
Giorgio Vasari includes a biography of Lorenzo Monaco in his Lives. According to the Florentine historian, he died from an unidentified infection, perhaps gangrene or a tumour.Master Bertram
Master Bertram (c.1345–c.1415), also known as Meister Bertram and Master of Minden, was a German International Gothic painter primarily of religious art.Nativity of Jesus in art
The Nativity of Jesus has been a major subject of Christian art since the 4th century.
The artistic depictions of the Nativity or birth of Jesus, celebrated at Christmas, are based on the narratives in the Bible, in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, and further elaborated by written, oral and artistic tradition. Christian art includes a great many representations of the Virgin Mary and the Christ Child. Such works are generally referred to as the "Madonna and Child" or "Virgin and Child". They are not usually representations of the Nativity specifically, but are often devotional objects representing a particular aspect or attribute of the Virgin Mary, or Jesus. Nativity pictures, on the other hand, are specifically illustrative, and include many narrative details; they are a normal component of the sequences illustrating both the Life of Christ and the Life of the Virgin.
The Nativity has been depicted in many different media, both pictorial and sculptural. Pictorial forms include murals, panel paintings, manuscript illuminations, stained glass windows and oil paintings. The subject of the Nativity is often used for altarpieces, many of these combining both painted and sculptural elements. Other sculptural representations of the Nativity include ivory miniatures, carved stone sarcophagi, architectural features such as capitals and door lintels, and free standing sculptures.
Free-standing sculptures may be grouped into a Nativity scene (crib, creche or presepe) within or outside a church, home, public place or natural setting. The scale of the figures may range from miniature to life-sized. These Nativity scenes probably derived from acted tableau vivants in Rome, although Saint Francis of Assisi gave the tradition a great boost. This tradition continues to this day, with small versions made of porcelain, plaster, plastic or cardboard sold for display in the home. The acted scenes evolved into the Nativity play.Old Master
In art history, "Old Master" (or "old master") refers to any painter of skill who worked in Europe before about 1800, or a painting by such an artist. An "old master print" is an original print (for example an engraving or etching) made by an artist in the same period. The term "old master drawing" is used in the same way.
In theory, "Old Master" applies only to artists who were fully trained, were Masters of their local artists' guild, and worked independently, but in practice, paintings produced by pupils or workshops are often included in the scope of the term. Therefore, beyond a certain level of competence, date rather than quality is the criterion for using the term.Pietro Cavallini
Pietro Cavallini (1259 – c. 1330) was an Italian painter and mosaic designer working during the late Middle Ages. Little is known about his biography, though it is known he was from Rome, since he signed pictor romanus.
His first notable works were the fresco cycles for the Basilica di San Paolo fuori le Mura, with stories from the New and Old Testament (1277–1285). They were destroyed by the fire of 1823.
His Last Judgment in the Church of Santa Cecilia in Trastevere in Rome, painted c. 1293 and considered Cavallini's masterwork, demonstrates an artistic style known as Roman naturalism. This naturalism influenced the work of artists working in other Italian cities such as Florence and Siena.
In the Sienese school, the influence of classical Roman forms combined with the Byzantine artistic heritage of the region and with northern Gothic influences to form a naturalized painting style that was one of the origins of International Gothic.
In Florence, the influence of classical Roman forms combined with the Byzantine artistic heritage of the region to spark an interest in volumetric, naturalistic paintings and statuary. This work is in stark contrast to the comparatively flat and ornamented Gothic, International Gothic, and Byzantine styles.
This naturalism is also evident in the Basilica of San Francesco d'Assisi in Assisi, built in the early years of the 13th century in honor of the newly canonized St. Francis. As the shrine was commissioned by the Roman church, its interior is painted in the Roman tradition. The identities of the artists at work in this church are for the most part not known but at least one team of artists came from Rome. Owing to the similarity of the work in San Francesco to that of Florentine artist Giotto, he was traditionally credited with some of the frescoes, although most scholars no longer believe he was involved.
Giotto's work in the Arena Chapel (also known as the Scrovegni Chapel) at Padua strongly shows the influence of stylized Roman naturalism in a newly individualized style which would come to characterize the work of Florentine Renaissance artists.
From 1308 Cavallini worked in Naples at the court of King Charles II of Anjou, notably in the churches of San Domenico Maggiore (1308) and Santa Maria Donnaregina (1317), together with his fellow Roman Filippo Rusuti. He returned to Rome before 1325, beginning the external decoration of the Basilica di San Paolo fuori le Mura in 1321, with a series of Byzantine-style mosaics.
Cavallini's pupils included Giovanni di Bartolommeo.Province of Ancona
The province of Ancona (Italian: provincia di Ancona) is a province in the Marche region of central Italy. Its capital is the city of Ancona, and the province borders the Adriatic Sea. The city of Ancona is also the capital of Marche.To the north, the province is bordered by the Adriatic Sea, and the Apennine Mountains to the west. The population of the province is mostly located in coastal areas and in the provincial capital Ancona, which has a population of 101,518; the province has a total population of 477,892 as of 2015. Due to its coastal location, it is strategically important. The president of the province is Liana Serrani.Its coastline of sandy beaches is popular to Italians but has not been greatly affected by tourism. A large area of the province's land is farmland often used for wine production; the province produces wines using the Montepulciano, Sangiovese, and Verdicchio varieties of grape. Annually, feasts occur in the province during the harvesting period. It contains mountainous regions and the Conero Regional Park, which contain dense forests where black truffles are found. These are sold in Acqualagna in the neighbouring province of Pesaro e Urbino.
Famous people born of the province of Ancona include Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor (Jesi); International Gothic painter Gentile da Fabriano (Fabriano); writer Rafael Sabatini (Jesi); composer Gaspare Spontini (Maiolati, which has since been named after him as Maiolati Spontini); composer Giovanni Battista Pergolesi (Jesi); mathematician and physicist Vito Volterra (Ancona); footballer Roberto Mancini (Jesi); Pope Leo XII (Genga); Pope Pius IX (Senigallia); and actress Virna Lisi (Jesi).Quattrocento
The cultural and artistic events of Italy during the period 1400 to 1499 are collectively referred to as the Quattrocento (Italian pronunciation: [ˌkwattroˈtʃɛnto]) from the Italian for the number 400, in turn from millequattrocento, which is Italian for the year 1400. The Quattrocento encompasses the artistic styles of the late Middle Ages (most notably International Gothic), the early Renaissance (beginning around 1425), and the start of the High Renaissance, generally asserted to begin between 1495 and 1500.Simone Martini
Simone Martini (c. 1284 – 1344) was an Italian painter born in Siena.
He was a major figure in the development of early Italian painting and greatly influenced the development of the International Gothic style.
It is thought that Martini was a pupil of Duccio di Buoninsegna, the leading Sienese painter of his time. According to late Renaissance art biographer Giorgio Vasari, Simone was instead a pupil of Giotto di Bondone, with whom he went to Rome to paint at the Old St. Peter's Basilica, Giotto also executing a mosaic there. Martini's brother-in-law was the artist Lippo Memmi. Very little documentation of Simone's life survives, and many attributions are debated by art historians.Sondergotik
Sondergotik (Special Gothic) is the style of Late Gothic architecture prevalent in Austria, Bavaria, Saxony and Bohemia between 1350 and 1550. The term was invented by art historian Kurt Gerstenberg in his 1913 work Deutsche Sondergotik, in which he argued that the Late Gothic had a special expression in Germany (especially the South and the Rhineland) marked by the use of the hall church or Hallenkirche. At the same time the style forms part of the International Gothic style in its origins.
The style was contemporaneous with several unique local styles of Gothic: the flamboyant in France, the perpendicular in England, the Manueline in Portugal, and the Isabelline in Spain. Like these, the Sondergotik showed an attention to detail both within and without. In many Sondergotik buildings, fluidity and a wood-like quality were stressed in carving and decoration, particularly on vaults. The rib patterns of Sondergotik vaults are elaborate and often curved (in plan), sometimes using broken and flying ribs (features extremely rare in other regions). Outside, the buildings tended towards mass buttressing.
Among the most famous Sondergotik constructions is Saint Barbara Church in Kutná Hora (modern Czech Republic), built by the Parlers, a family of masons.