What is the Renaissance Art Movement?

The renaissance art movement was said to start with Giotto at around 1300 AD; it ended with the death of El Greco in 1614.

Introduction to Renaissance Art Movement

Renaissance art is an art movement that started in the 1300s and ended in the 1400s. It happened when Europe became more wealthy and powerful, and people had more money to spend on art. The renaissance art movement involved artists departing from medieval traditions and creating their unique paintings, sculptures, and architecture.

About renaissance art

Renaissance art was a cultural movement that changed the way people thought about and created artwork during its time. It is one of the most critical movements in defining Western civilization. During renaissance art, Michelangelo and Raphael painted religious paintings and sculptures, whereas Leonardo da Vinci developed new techniques for using oils to paint on canvas. They also developed new styles of architecture, such as Brunelleschi's "Duomo di Firenze" (Florence Cathedral) and Palladian Villas (Villa Rotunda). The renaissance art movement is said to have ended with the death of El Greco.

What is renaissance architecture?

Renaissance Architecture or Italian Renaissance Architecture marks one of the most critical and innovative periods in the history of Western architecture. Beginning in Italy, it was principally characterized by new explorations of Roman architectural examples, which served as models for a more significant proportion of buildings to be built in the classical or "post-antique" manner. From this point, the changes were somewhat fundamental to other areas on the continent. Renaissance architecture was very functional compared to previous buildings made during medieval times, which used stone columns that didn't fit together. During renaissance architecture, they used stone columns that fit into each other very well. This type of renaissance architecture is called "Palladian," after Andrea Palladio, who inspired the style.

What are renaissance paintings?

Renaissance paintings are one of the most notable pieces of the art movement. They typically depict religious themes using a unique blend of renaissance art styles and symbolism and accurate portraiture to convey their messages. Renaissance painters such as Michelangelo painted frescos on people's walls in churches or homes to educate people about life during renaissance times. Other renaissance artists include Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Sandro Botticelli, Domenico Ghirllandaio, and Titian.

Origin of renaissance art

The renaissance art movement began in Florence, Italy, when artists started looking at the world around them rather than just repeating what they had been taught to paint. This led to them developing new techniques that let them capture life more realistically instead of using stiff religious paintings used previously during medieval times. They explored new ways to use line, color, light/shade, and space to create more realistic renderings on their paintings and statues.

Renaissance art timeline

The renaissance art movement was said to start with Giotto at around 1300 AD; it ended with the death of El Greco in 1614. The renaissance began due to the medieval period and lasted about 400 years before it transformed into the Baroque art movement.

Italian renaissance painting style

Italian renaissance paintings were some of the most well-known pieces of artwork from the renaissance period. Renaissance paintings used natural objects such as fruit or flowers to draw attention to the image, not just dull religious subjects. The paintings were much more realistic in that they painted what they saw when looking at an object or person instead of trying to create a separate world with gods and angels in the background. Examples of renaissance paintings are Sandro Botticelli's "Birth of Venus" and Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa.

Who contributed?

Many renaissance artists contributed to this movement such as: Da Vinci, Michelangelo Buonarroti, Raphael Sanzio, Donatello di Betto Bardi, Fra Lippo Lippi, Giovanni Antonio Bazzi (Il Sodoma), Piero della Francesca, Antonio del Pollaiolo (Antonio Begarelli),mento, Sandro Botticelli , Andrea Mantegna, Pietro Perugino, Luca Signorelli and many more.

Types of renaissance art

The renaissance art movement has three different styles: early renaissance, high renaissance, and late renaissance. The early renaissance style involves artists such as Giotto di Bondone and his followers. They tried to rediscover the rules of human proportions and perspective used in ancient Greek and Roman painting. High renaissance is when renaissance art became very popular in Europe where famous artists like Da Vinci painted Mona Lisa or "La Gioconda." The late renaissance was when the baroque style started becoming popular in European countries where artists like Rembrandt created their unique paintings.

Famous Renaissance Artists

Many renaissance artists became famous during the renaissance art movement, and the renaissance paintings they created are still known today. Some of these renaissance artists include:

Sandro Botticelli was born in 1445 and is one of the most well-known renaissance painters. He worked as a painter for different renaissance patrons who paid him to paint highly realistic paintings like his Primavera. This painting is considered one of the best examples of renaissance art because it depicts Venus's nymphs as though they were humans (with proportions that look human, not godlike). Its use of perspective made it more life-like than other renaissance paintings.

Another one of his famous pieces is Birth Of Venus. It has been one of the most recognizable renaissance paintings globally since it was created during the renaissance period.

Michaelangelo was born in 1475 and became one of renaissance art's best-known renaissance artists. His paintings include The Last Judgement, David, Pieta, and his famous renaissance sculpture, making him a household name amongst renaissance men throughout history even up to today.

Raffaello Santi was born in 1483, just after Michaelangelo died at age 38. He is still known for his contribution to renaissance art ranging from renaissance paintings, sculptures, architecture, and tapestries that are all extremely well-done, according to others who appreciate quality renaissance art. 

Italians weren't the only ones creating renaissance art; Renaissance paintings were also famous in Germany. Albrecht Dürer was born in 1471, and his renaissance art is still highly sought after by those who like renaissance artwork that features religious themes.

Titian was another renaissance artist known for making renaissance paintings about religion during the renaissance period. He started as a goldsmith but became interested in Renaissance painting and made it his career choice even though renaissance painters weren't always taken seriously at the time. After painting The Death Of Actaeon, he became more widely known across Europe during the renaissance era.

What made Renaissance Art Unique?

Several aspects made renaissance art unique. For one, renaissance women started to look more realistic because renaissance artists were beginning to use shading to the advantage of their renaissance paintings instead of exaggerating features like renaissance women's noses. Another thing that made renaissance art unique is that renaissance painters worked with many different mediums such as watercolors and oil paints which allowed them to change their style on a whim depending on what they needed for a specific renaissance painting.

While using black paint was still popular among Renaissance painters who wanted to add shadows and highlights in their artwork, renaissance artists also started mixing colors to create certain shades and pigments, making Renaissance Paintings brighter than some other older pieces of renaissance art. 

Renaissance Art and Religion

Since renaissance art revolved around religion, renaissance paintings often depicted stories from the Bible like The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci. This renaissance painting shows Jesus's last meal with his apostles, and it is known for its expressionist style because renaissance artists were starting to use more shading in their paintings.

Another example of renaissance art about renaissance religion is Raphael's Portrait Of Pope Leo X . Although this renaissance painting doesn't have any religious figures, it depicts Pope Leo X. He was part of the catholic church during the Renaissance Period. This renaissance portrait gives insight into how other people viewed him behind closed doors when he wasn't being watched by everyone else. 

Another thing that made renaissance art unique is that art became more symbolic with renaissance religious imagery. Bramante's renaissance painting, The School Of Athens, was done in this renaissance style because artists were tired of following all the rules for renaissance art and wanted to add their artistic flourishes. Renaissance Art in Europe mostly took off in Italy since it started there. Still, renaissance painters traveled around a good amount when they were beginning to learn new things about art from one another.

One thing that made renaissance art unique is that various artists would travel around and do commissions for kings and queens throughout Europe, like the case of Durer, who spent time doing commissions for royals in Germany. There wasn't always a large art community in the cities, so artists usually traveled to find better opportunities.

People wanted their portraits painted so they could give them as gifts, and this is why Leonardo da Vinci spent so much time painting The Mona Lisa.


The Renaissance Period lasted about 400 years, and renaissance art continued to evolve throughout that time. When artists started, they followed strict rules about what renaissance art was supposed to look like and how it should be done as far as colors and features.

But as the renaissance period went on, painters started getting more creative with their paintings which is why renaissance art became a big part of European history. Artists were allowed to do more than paint pretty pictures using colors and shapes according to renaissance conventions. As a result, renaissance paintings ended up being more realistic and artistic than other old pieces of renaissance art, which made painting unique during the renaissance era.