Art & design in late Renaissance Europe 1500–1600

During this period the taste for ornament inspired by ancient Roman art, characteristic of the Renaissance, continued to co-exist with exuberant designs and compositions that recalled more recent 'Gothic' fashions and eastern influences. The ideals of harmony and balance fundamental to Classical art gave way to a more contorted and exaggerated style later labelled 'Mannerism'.

The new technology of the printing press was crucial to the ever-wider circulation of new fashions and designs. Printing technology also spread new controversial ideas about the role of statues, images and painting in Christian worship which fuelled debate between Catholics and Protestant reformers. Printed pictures and accounts introduced Europeans to the previously unknown peoples and landscapes of the Americas, as well as disseminating information about more familiar neighbours, such as the Turks.

By 1600 buildings and objects made in the styles now known as Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance and Mannerism could be found throughout Europe. In many cathedrals and churches that survive today objects and phases of architecture reflecting these styles can still be found, frequently side-by-side.

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Design and the Decorative Arts: Tudor and Stuart Britain 1500-1714

Design and the Decorative Arts: Tudor and Stuart Britain 1500-1714

The V&A's bestselling Design and the Decorative Arts, Britain 1500-1900 is now also available in three separate paperback volumes. This volume tel…

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Event - Renaissance Portraits

Fri 05 June 2015 11:00

FOUR WEEK SHORT COURSE: Explore the evolution and important social role of portraiture in the Renaissance. Discover how portraits were made, and how they were used in contexts ranging from marriage to death, dynasty to devotion.

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