B.N. Ryzhov - Sistem psychology



B. N. Ryzhov,THE PSYCHOLOGICAL AGE OF CIVILIZATION: XV Century, the North Renaissance

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XV Century, the North Renaissance


B. N. Ryzhov,

MCU, Moscow


The article is the continuation of the publication cycle devoted to system periodization of development of European civilization and the comparison of the stages of its development to the corresponding periods of a person’s life. The beginning of this research published in № 14–24 of the journal «Systems psychology and sociology» includes the description of analogies between the psychological development of a child from birth up to the age of 13–14 and the development of European civilization from the fifth to the beginning of the fifteenth centuries. The present part of the work is devoted to the next stage of onto- and phylogenetic development aimed to describe the analogy between the psychological characteristics of the early adolescence age and the main features in the art and culture of the early Northern Renaissance epoch in Flanders, when it was the center of the Northern seat of European civilization at that time.

In this regard the characteristics of emotional and personal development at the age of 15–16 are given, when a sense of beauty appears and the discovery of «Self» comes, but this kind of «Self» becomes moreholistic and it has some certain realistic features. While recognizing the revolutionary nature of these changes, indicating the end of the childhood and the beginning of the youth era, there is a fundamental similarity in the revolutionary processes taking place in the XV century in Flemish art, where the famous Ghent altar has become a peculiar manifesto of the epoch. That was the first time for the art of Western Europe when at the same time the perception with admiration for the beauty of some images changes to displaying heightened interest in the sensual reality of others, that just what young people do.

At the same time, the youthful desire for truthfulness and self-knowledge was reflected in the genre of realistic portrait arising in the first half of the XV century. The art of portrait has passed only a few decades from the first almost photographic paintings by Jan van Eyck, whose works have been marked with one peculiar feature, — the artist tried to highlighted a social status of a person depicted in the paintings, to Rogier van der Weiden’ s works, in the best of which there is an attempt to emphasise a psychological world of a person depicted in the paintings.

Finally, the comparison of the rapidly growing cognitive activity in early youth together with the information revolution that followed the invention of printing in the middle of the XV century is an additional confirmation that clarifies the psychological congruence of the considered epochs of life of a person and civilization.


Keywords: system periodization of development; systems psychology; psychological age of civilization; seats of European civilization; early adolescence; Jan van Eyck; Rogier van der Weyden; the invention of printing.


For citation: Ryzhov B. N. The psychological age of civilization (the continuation: XV century) // Systems psychology and sociology. 2018. № 1 (25). P. 55–66.




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