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on 28 August 2008
I have had to buy this book whilst studying for a degree in Art History but would highly recommend it to anyone with an interest in art and particularly in fourteenth to sixteenth century Netherlandish and German art.

Beautifully illustrated and written in an easy to follow format.

I will read this again and again just for its sheer beauty.
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on 1 August 2010
Beautifully produced book with well reproduced illustrations typical of Phaidon. Content possibly superseded by Susie Nash's Northern Renaissance Art (2008), this work was first published in 2004.A lovely volume nevertheless and well worth having for anyone interested in the art of the period.
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on 15 March 2010
This small size thick volume is very well illustrated and provides information about Northern Renaissance art through 'a broader contextual approach that situates the art within the major creative and cultural developments of the period.' (p. 4) between c. 1380 and c. 1580.

Introduction, 4
1. The Beholder's Eye: Art, Artists and the Marketplace, 13
2. An Emerging Reality: Court Art and the Ars Nova, 33
3. Pride of Place: Art in the Cities, 67
4. Tangible Success: Early Portraits and Domestic Art, 93
5. The Inner Gaze: Private Devotional Art, 119
6. The Well-Dressed Church: The Materialization of Faith, 147
7. Dancing with Death: The Art of Dying Well, 197
8. Mass Communication: Prints and Printmaking, 239
9. Beyond Mere Craft: The Knowledgeable Artist, 273
10. Theatre of the World: Exploring Nature and Human Nature, 309
11. Reading Pictures: The Reformation's Challenge, 351
12. The Artist and the Connoisseur: Courts, Cities and Collectors, 381
Epilogue, 409
Glossary, 422
Brief Biographies, 424
Key Dates, 430
Map, 435
Further Reading, 436
Index, 441
Acknowledgements, 446
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on 10 December 2016
This book is the set text for an online course run by Oxford University. It is excellent. The simplicity of the cover belies the beautifully illustrated text within.

All types of artistic production are covered – jewellery boxes, dowry chests, globes, tapestries as well as painting and sculpture. All the principal talents are covered, particular attention is given to Durer and the emergence of the self-conscious artist and to the effect of the Reformation, both constructive and destructive. He discusses the emergence of landscape, portrait and genre. Closing pages analyse how later generations conceived of this seminal time in European civilization.

Colour illustrations of a very high standard are plentiful. Smith’s approach is to look at particular objects in depth, drawing from them more general points. If you want to appreciate “visual analysis” this book is exemplary.

I found it particularly valuable for the course. I assume it is recommended by many university programmes. I think it could be helpful to the interested general reader, especially if they have decided to make northern Europe their destination for an artistic holiday.

Quite wonderful.
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on 11 November 2015
very nicely presented book with good reproductions
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on 25 June 2015
Very good and readable book. PHAIDON books I always loved them because they have all Hi-res and colored pictures and very well organized in the book. Also, they way of writing is simple, readable for the lay reader. This book gives a sort of overview of the Early Netherlandish art by considering different aspects of that culture such as the devotional art and the churches architecture. Finally, the dimensions of the book makes it suitable for a tourism guidebook ideal to visit marvelous places like Ghent or Brussels or Bruges.

So, 5/5.
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on 11 November 2015
This book delivers what it says it will and does it in a very readable manner
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on 28 June 2013
A must have book.....it would seem this book is to be a useful aid to me in my forthcoming OU studies
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