Researching a Novel with Help from My Favorite Renaissance Artists

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Information about Researching a Novel with Help from My Favorite Renaissance Artists

Published on March 6, 2014

Author: Braveluck



The saying goes that a picture is worth a thousand words, and a masterpiece by a Renaissance master equals at least ten thousand words in my opinion.

When I chose to use a historical setting for my newest fantasy novel, I knew I would need to do a lot of research. Werelord Thal: A Renaissance Werewolf Tale is set in 1561 Bohemia in the heart of the Holy Roman Empire.

In addition to reading many books, I poured over art books. The great Renaissance masters let me see their world in marvelous emotive detail.

Researching a Novel with My Favorite Renaissance Artists By Tracy Falbe Art was an important part of my research when writing Werelord Thal: A Renaissance Werewolf Tale set in 1561 Bohemia. The meticulous talent of the great masters of Renaissance Europe provided details about clothing, ideals, the land, the economy, and their feelings.

Albrecht Dürer This is my favorite Albrecht Durer self portrait because his hair is so awesomely rock-n-roll, the fur collar is glistening, and his slender fingers are vital. He distinguished himself for being internationally famous in his own life. His intricate woodcuts that captured and shaped popular sentiments were widely distributed via the new medium of printing, an enormously influential technology in the Renaissance.

Albrecht Dürer Madonna and Child by Durer was a pen and water color done in 1503. The details of the landscape helped me imagine the homesteads and villages of the time.

Albrecht Dürer The Revelation of St John: 4. The Four Riders of the Apocalypse is likely Durer’s most famous work. In this image I saw the mythology, the violent world, and the people’s resentment of authority.

Caravaggio Bask in the indolent warmth of this dreamy portrait of Bacchus by Caravaggio, painted in 1595.

Caravaggio The Musicians by the Italian master Caravaggio was painted around 1594 to 1595. Because only two of the four figures face the viewer, my curiosity is aroused to know what is going on in this intimate group.

Titian Venus by Titian is a provocative painting of a nude young woman. Painted in 1538 for a Duke of Rovere this painting shows a young woman proudly displaying sexual desire. Look in the background at the matron telling the little girl what to do, but no one is telling the young woman what to do.

Pieter Bruegel the Elder The Seven Deadly Sins by Pieter Bruegel the Elder shows a world where sinners are judged harshly and punished with overt inhumanity. Image from 1558.

Pieter Bruegel the Elder Hunters in the Snow by Pieter Bruegel the Elder gives folk life an epic flair with this snowy landscape populated by common people. Note the people playing on the ice. Thankfully life was not all toil and damnation. Image from 1565.

Pieter Bruegel the Elder In the Peasant Wedding by Pieter Bruegel the Elder the food, clothing, and furnishings of the Renaissance era are provided. Note the sheaves of grain on the wall. Image from 1566 to 1569.

Werelord Thal: A Renaissance Werewolf Tale by Tracy Falbe Thal is wanted for Devil worship and shape shifting but still boldly walks the streets of 16th century Prague. Jesuits hunt him. Mercenaries fear him. Musicians sing his praise, and women are captivated by his alpha swagger. Ebook & Paperback at

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