Guttenberg's invention of the printing press in the 1440s resulted in an explosion of knowledge. The advent of the printed book, previously only available as a symbol of prestige to the elite, was to revolutionise the spread of information. This was vital to the development of the Renaissance in the North and in Italy.
The Limbourg brothers from the city of Nijmegen in Holland are perhaps the best-known exponents of the late medieval illuminated manuscript. Their Très Riches Heures created for the French prince Jean de Berry is a fine example of their work.
Van der Goes.
The Fall. (detail)
Van der Weyden.
Columbia Triptych (detail).
Hieronymus Bosch . (Detail). Garden of Earthly Delights.
Other notable artists of this early period are Rogier van der Weyden and Hugo van der Goes. Van der Weyden had visited Italy but his art remained true to the Flemish style, he followed Van Eyke in the service of the Court of Burgundy. Van der Goes was also typically Northern in his approach to painting, however, his work was much admired in Italy.
The highly individual work of the artist Hieronymus Bosch, laden with twisted surreal imagery, perhaps set him apart from his contemporaries.
Albrecht Durer, self portrait. (s)
The Ambassadors (detail) (s) Hans Holbein.
Matthias Grunewald. Christ on the Cross.