The Netherlands had become one of Europe’s most fertile artistic cultures by the sixteenth century. Hieronymus Bosch and Pieter Bruegel are famous today for their paintings of Hell and peasant life. Other painters introduced mythological and erotic subject matter, while practitioners in the other arts were perhaps even more widely known. Netherlandish sculptors created the tombs of northern European rulers, defining their public identity in the communal space of church and chapel. Miniature carved altarpieces helped guide modes of private devotion and were widely imitated from Italy to Scandinavia. Netherlandish tapestries broadcast the heroic deeds of the Caesars and the patriarchs in the palaces of kings and high nobles as prototypes for their reigns. We will examine the rise of the Renaissance manner in northern Europe, the role of the religious arts, the ideology of urban culture, the consequences of the Reformation and iconoclasm, the functions of various species of portraiture, and the particular properties of different media, while dedicating much attention to Bosch and Bruegel. And we will concentrate on the sixteenth century, the era in which the Netherlands was closely linked to the rest of Europe, from Italy to Sweden, from England to Ukraine.