Week 8 ~ Hannah Lingel

The Renaissance time period has always been one that strikes me. The art that was created is some of the most eye-opening, heart-stopping, and thought-provoking I have ever seen. I would have to agree that the Renaissance is one of the crowning achievements in the story of human endeavor at least from an artistic standpoint. I also think that this period has important lessons in what it means to be a well-rounded learner through art, literature, music, language, etc. Every time period has its flaws, but I do think the Renaissance was something special.

Looking at artwork from the Renaissance, it is hard to choose just one piece to analyze. I think what makes Renaissance art so special is its depth and symbolism. Each piece of art has a story behind it that is told not only through the artistic elements, but through the objects that appear in the art. I love Jan van Eyck and all of the symbolism he uses as well as his lines, shading, and color.


The Virgin of Chancellor Rolinis an oil painting by Van Eyck that currently resides in the Louvre Museum. It is 66 x 62 cm in dimension and was painted in 1435. The painting itself is of the Virgin Mary holding baby with Jesus with Nicholas Rolin kneeling in front of them. An angel is about to place a crown on Mary’s head behind her.

Van Eyck creates dimension by having the landscape in the distance be smaller and blurred compared to the individuals in the painting. He also creates textures all around and in the painting through his use of pattern and designs. Chancellor Rolin is wearing a detailed cloak and the tiles beneath them are patterened with geometric shapes. The painting is supposed to be realistic and naturalistic. This is shown through the thin lines of Mary’s hair creating a softness around it, the wrinkles and lines in the chancellor’s face and neck, and even with the detailed engravings in the pillars holding up the building. Texture is also created through lines and shading in Mary’s cloak. This gives it not only movement, but the feeling of velvet or satin.

The body position of Chancellor Rolin is symbolic. He is dressed in a fur coat that is ornate and decorated, yet he is kneeling before a woman and her child. This shows the status of Mary and Jesus above Nicholas Rolin. Mary is dressed in a large, red cloak and an angel is putting a crown on her head. This alludes to her queenship in heaven as well as her characteristics of royalty and holiness. Van Eyck uses space and position to get his symbolism across. Humanity is at the left of the painting in the form of Chancellor Rolin. Divine and heavenly things are in the right-side of the painting in the angel. Mary and Jesus are in-between these two individuals placing them on the spectrum of humanity and divinity. This painting really is stunning in its use of position, shading, color, and symbolism.

I think we could learn a thing or two when it comes to the Renaissance. I think we are on the verge of a re-birth of some sort and I think it is time to have one. Americans especially are caught up in their own culture and their own education system (when I say “they” I am including myself in that). They are unfamiliar with other cultures therefore they are afraid and often times act out in anger. The education system is also flawed. It seems like a very one-track mind with more and more classes being cut from the public-school system. Art, music, and even PE are being pulled from schools because of funding. I think we could learn from the Renaissance in what it means to be a well-rounded student. I also think they understood the importance of culture and how it should shape and guide us. I am not saying everything in this time period was perfect and glorious, but I do think that in modern-day America, we could use a Renaissance.


Art and the Bible. (2018). Jan van Eyck. Retrieved from Art and the Bible Site: https://www.artbible.info/art/large/589.html

Louvre Museum. (2018). The Virgin of Chancellor Rolin. Retrieved from Louvre: https://www.louvre.fr/en/oeuvre-notices/virgin-chancellor-rolin


3 thoughts on “Week 8 ~ Hannah Lingel”

  1. Your first paragraph was really well-said. It made me think, and I realized that I made a mistake in my own blog post by crowning the Renaissance just by it’s artistic achievements. You mentioned that there is also music and literature and language and other things to a historic time period and I think that is VERY important to highlight. However, the Renaissance was pretty well-rounded in many areas. The Van Eyck painting you analyzed is beautiful and I’m amazed by the intricate details put into it. It is so naturalistic that it looks like a photograph! I love how Renaissance artists include symbolism in their pieces; it adds even more meaning to an already spectacular work. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The Renaissance is such an amazing time period to learn about. Artists produced some of the most creative pieces during this time. I also agree that the Renaissance is one of the crowning achievements in history. I had a hard time picking an artwork to analyze as well! I think the piece you ended up choosing is amazing. There is so much symbolism embedded in it. Your art analysis was very well done. I can tell you really took the time to reflect on the piece. I agree with you that we can learn from the Renaissance. I also think that not including art in our academics is stopping us from being well-rounded people. Great job!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I really like the painting you chose. There are so many details that make everything seem so realistic, yet at the same time, it is clear that it’s a painting. I like how you analyzed the body position of the Chancellor and what that means.

    I’m really glad George Fox is a liberal arts school. Although there are some classes that I don’t enjoy that are outside of my major, I’m glad I took those classes (such as micro econ). What class outside your major have you enjoyed the most at Fox?My knowledge may be limited in some subjects, but at least I have some sort of foundation in them.


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