The Northern Renaissance, is in reality Renaissance happenings that occurred within Europe, but outside of Italy. The most innovative art was created in France, the Netherlands and Germany during this time, and because all of these places are north of Italy, the "Northern" tag has stuck.
There were some significant differences between the Italian Renaissance and the Northern Renaissance. For one thing, the north held on to Gothic, Middle Ages art and architecture with a tighter, longer grip than did Italy. (Architecture, in particular, remained Gothic until well into the 16th century.) In many instances it kept apace with Italian doings. The Northern Renaissance artists, however, were scattered about and few in number initially (very unlike their Italian counterparts).
Well-known art includes: