The outline must contain:
-the social and cultural similarities between the Italian and Northern European Renaissance
-the social and cultural differences between the Italian and Northern European Renaissance?
-the relationships between the arts and the cultures of the Italian Renaissance and the Northern European Renaissance
-the social and cultural differences reflected in the arts? Use at least two specific artistic examples to illustrate your points
In order to write a paper or essay discussing the similarities and differences between the Northern Renaissance and the Italian Renaissance, I would construct the outline in the following way:
I. Begin with defining the term "Renaissance" (rebirth - referring to the renewed interest in the art and philosophies of the Classical cultures of Ancient Greece and Rome.)
A. Discuss the progression of the Renaissance movement geographically. Present early works such as "Les Tres Riches Heures" by the Limbourg Brothers, and perhaps the altarpiece by Robert Campin, "The Merode Altarpiece") in the North, and the Brancacci chapel frescoes by Masaccio and Masolino and the San Marco "Annunciation" by Fra Angelico. These four early Renaissance pieces show how the Italian and Northern Renaissance artists already differed by the beginning to middle of the 15th Century. Some of this was due to the fact that the Northern Renaissance artists created work that had ties with an artistic tradition firmly steeped in a love for the natural world, while Italian artists lived and worked among the ruins of Roman grandeur and were therefore inspired by the idealism of the Classical artists.
*Note: this section should just be a brief overview of the fundamental differences. The next two sections will delve more deeply into the stylistic and content similarities and differences, as well as list a few more of the major players (most famous artists of the time.)
II. Northern Renaissance
A. Subject matter: Reiterate that Northern Renaissance artists shared a love for the natural world. Discuss how this is represented in the artwork. (The February page of Les Tres Riches Heures is a good example because of the attention to minute detail - including the specific species of plant, the detailed surfaces and textures, and the breath of the figure in the cold air.) Northern Renaissance artists were known to use the tiniest of brushes to accomplish these minute details. Precision in execution was of key importance. Also point out the profusion of objects, textures, and other key elements (many with iconographic importance) found in Northern Renaissance paintings (especially altarpieces.) The "Merode ...
The following post helps with developing an outline comparing the Italian Renaissance and the Northern European Renaissance.