|Altarpiece of the Holy Sacrament, 1463-4, Dieric Bouts|
|Dieric Bouts by Hendrick Hondius|
|Christ in the House of Simon, 1440, Dieric Bouts. |
Painted at the age of 25, Bouts' instinctive perspective is awkward, at best.
|Lamentation, 1450, Dieric Bouts|
Even as it developed in Italy during the mid-15th century, the Early Renaissance migrated north. By 1464 when Bouts painted his Altarpiece of the Holy Sacrament (top) for a Leuven church, there is much improvement. After just three or four years, we see him trying to assimilate Brunelleschi's rediscovered formulas for one-point perspective. His central panel, featuring the first Northern Renaissance depiction of the last supper, shows a reasonable grasp of the fundamentals, though his single vanishing point (above the head of Christ) is too high for his horizon (seen through background windows) while his adjacent room employs a separate vanishing point (also too high). As my seventh grade students used to complain, perspective is tricky. I might add, the same could be said for art history.