Renaissance art

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Information about Renaissance art

Published on March 9, 2014

Author: Anriette1


Compiled by Anriette van Wyk by utilising the studies of various subject matter experts as source documents.

Renaissance Era 1,200 A.D. - 1,700 A.D. • Renaissance means rebirth. • Revival of cultural awareness and learning • Renewed interest in ancient Greek and Roman art and design • Emphasis on human beings, their environment, science, and philosophy. • Artwork was done on walls and ceilings of churches, public buildings, and private dwellings.

• Renaissance art wanted to show joy in human beauty and life’s pleasures. Renaissance art is more lifelike than in the art of the Middle Ages.

Artistic Advancements • Invention of oil paints • Discovery of perspective drawing and painting • Beginning of printmaking

Invention of Oil Paint • Tempera paint was made by mixing pigment powder with egg yolks or gum VERY RESTRICTIVE. • Oil paint was invented by mixing pigments with linseed oil • Oil paint was easily blended, long lasting, slow drying, many different colors

Renaissance Terms • Quattrocento: – Century beginning in 1400 • Humanist: – scholars who studied classical texts • Vernacular: – common, everyday language

Three Major Periods I. Early Renaissance II. Italian Renaissance III. Northern Renaissance

Early Renaissance • Florence - early 1400s • Patron - a person who financially supports an artist • Major Players: • Masaccio • Donatello* • Botticelli*

Masaccio (1401-1428) • Christ Descending from the Cross • Used the technique of perspective, which had been developed by Brunelleschi, to give the appearance of distance.

Donatello di Niccolo Bardi (1386-1466) • Donatello is known for his sculpture. • Acquired great fame in his lifetime and was called to many Italian cities to share his gift of sculpture


David, 1425 A.D. • First free-standing nude sculpture in a 1000 years • Church was finally less restrictive • Depicts David slaying the Goliath • The sculpture of David became a symbol for Florence

The condottiere Gattamelata in Padua by Donatello

Botticelli (bought tee Chel lee) -His nudes epitomized the Renaissance Birth of Venus -Rebirth of Classical mythology

Botticelli, Birth of Venus, 1482, Tempera on Canvas

Venus – Roman Goddess of Love and Beauty Zephyrus – God of Wind with his lover, Chloris Pomona – Nymph greeting Venus with a robe • Painting inspired by a poem by Angelo Poliziano, an Italian Humanist • Commissioned by the Medici for the Medici family, a powerful wealthy Italian family • From a series of paintings based on Classical themes Botticelli, Birth of Venus


The Annunciation

Italian Renaissance • 16th Century, artistic leadership spread from Florence to Rome and Venice • There was a focus on technical mastery including: composition, ideal proportions, and perspective • Major Players: – – – – Da Vinci* Michelangelo* Raphael* Titian

Leonardo Da Vinci 1452-1519 • Trained in Florence, Italy as a painter and sculptor not a scholar • Was a genius both scientifically and artistically • Was not interested in books and what scholars had to say-he was interested in his own explorations and ideas • Always had to prove everything • Struggle to work for commission and finish work • Did drawings and sculptures on his own terms.

Leonardo Da Vinci • Renaissance Man • Stressed the intellectual aspects of art and creativity • Didn’t like the solemnity of most portrait paintings so he hired musicians and jesters to amuse his subjects • Most important contribution might be his notebooks

“Mona Lisa” • Most famous portrait of all time • Painting is the wife, Lisa, of Francesco del Giocondo • Painting has no hard lines or contours, technique called sfumato • Painting leaves us something to guess • Most striking is her ambiguous half smile

First portrait in which a woman looked straight into the viewer. Portrait suggests a history, personality, mood, and feeling. First recognized for its background.

The Last Supper

“The Last Supper” 1498

• Painting demonstrates one point perspective • Jesus' head is the vanishing point • Leonardo would spend a full day just looking at the painting-studying

• Located on end wall of the refectory of Santa Maria delle in Millan • One of the most renowned paintings of the Renaissance • Painting depicts the scene Jesus and the apostles at the last supper, when Jesus tells the apostles that one of them will betray him

• Leonardo painted himself • Controversial Mary Magdalene

The problem with frescos

His notebooks… Machine gun flight flight canon Designs for: canals, central heating, printing press, telescope, portable bombs, theory of circulation 100 years before Harvey, studies of fetus in womb so accurate that they could be used today to teach embryology

• Was a pioneer in the study of human anatomy • Dissected over thirty bodies • Almost 2,500 drawings and studies of his ideas left in notebooks • Most of his notes and drawings were kept-people knew of the importance of them and the genius of Leonardo

• Leonardo was left handed • He took all of his notes from right to left • Need a mirror to read his notes

Inventor • Created many drawings of machines and different items of functions • Examples of war machines: armored car, ladder for besieging walls, rock thrower

Different architectural designs

Drawings of Flying Machines

• • • • • Pulleys Drilling machines Furnace designs Pile driver Fans

Michelangelo Buonarroti • He was one of the greatest artists of all time. Like Leonardo, Michelangelo was a “Renaissance Man” of many talents. He was a great sculptor, a painter, and an architect.

Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475-1564) • Trained in Florence, Italy • Dissected humans and drew the human body in many different positions • Influenced by Greek and Roman Sculptures • Sculpture was his true love, he hated to paint

• Michelangelo was a prickly-tempered, mistrusting and lonely man, lacking in both interpersonal skills and confidence in his physical appearance. • Was often hated by other artists because of his supreme talent and he often told you about how good he was • His conceit and arrogance cost him many friends and found himself working alone • Nobody could argue his brilliance and geniuses

Michelangelo • Patron = Lorenzo de’Medici at the age of 15 as a sculptor • Believed that creativity was divinely inspired • Lived a life of solitude – never apprenticed anyone • Like Da Vinci, he dissected corpses to study anatomy • Later in life focused on architecture improving several structures for popes and civic leaders

The statue of “David” • Stands over 14’ tall carved of marble • Three long years to complete the sculpture

The Statue of “David” • • • • “A civic hero, he was a warning...whoever governed Florence should govern justly and defend it bravely. Eyes watchful...the neck of a bull...hands of a killer...the body, a reservoir of energy. He stands poised to strike." -Michelangelo Combined beauty with powerful meaning Statue stood Palazzo Vecchio, as a symbol of our Republic Statue took 40 men 5 days to move it in place

Sistine Chapel How it began: • • • Michelangelo, while working on what he loves most (sculpture), is summoned to The Vatican by Pope Julius II to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Bramante, persuaded the Pope to commission Michelangelo to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel Bramnate did not want Michelangelo involved in the construction of the St. Peters Cathedral • • • Bramante knew that Michelangelo was a selfproclaimed “terrible painter” Hoping he would “screw” up the paintings and the Pope would have him killed and Raphael (his friend) would take the paintings over. Plan did not succeed

Ceiling of the Sistine Chapel “Genius is Internal Patience” • Commissioned by Julius II • Began creating drawings and studies in 1508 • Him and a team of artist starting painting in the fall of 1508 • 1509, Michelangelo fired all of his assistants and removed all paintings and took the job over himself • Kept his work hidden to all except the Pope • He painted high on scaffolding on his back

"After four tortured years, more than 400 over life-sized figures, I felt as old and as weary as Jeremiah. I was only 37, yet friends did not recognize the old man I had become." -Michelangelo

“The Creation of Adam and Eve”

David The Pieta

When Michelangelo did a statue of Moses, he included veins and muscles in the arms and legs. He also did the same in David’s sculpture.


Moses from the tomb of Julius II - St. Peter of the Chains Rome, Italy

Marble quarries of Tuscany

Raphael Sanzio (1483-1520) • Raphael was strictly a painter • Raphael was well liked with an easy going attitude • Had a tough artistic reputation to live up with Leonardo (31 years older) and Michelangelo (8 years older) • Heavily influenced by both • Had a short career

Raphael • Most popular by the people who lived at the time • Decorated rooms in the Vatican • Star of the Papal Court and with the ladies… • He combined the strengths of Da Vinci and Michelangelo

Raphael (1483-1520) Raphael was a favorite painter of Pope Leo X. Notice realistic forms and expressions even in a painting with a religious theme.

Raphael Notice realistic facial features and expressions in this portrait.

School of Athens, 1510-1512

Sistine Madonna


Titian (TISH un) • Father of Modern Painting • First to really use oil on canvas as his main medium • Used strong colors • Venetian (different from Florence and Rome in that they were fascinated with color, texture and mood)

Assumption of Mary Bacchus and Ariadne

Northern Renaissance • • • • This is the Renaissance north of Italy Netherlands, Belgium, Holland, and Germany Lacked Roman ruins, inspiration was nature Lacked Classical sculpture, painted reality as they saw it instead of ideal proportions • Used perspective by making objects in the back appear “hazy” suggesting depth.

Hans Holbein • One of the greatest portraitists ever • His patron was Erasmus • Enjoyed symbolic knickknacks (typical of this movement)

The French Ambassadors

It is an anamorphic image of a human skull. An anamorphosis is an image that is distorted in such a way that it only assumes the proportions of a recognizable image when viewed from a certain angle, or by reflection in curved surface. The image of the skull in The Ambassadors is only visible as a skull when viewed from below and to one side of the painting. It has been suggested that it was meant to be displayed above a staircase, so that those climbing the stairs would be startled by the apparition of the skull as they glanced upward at the painting. You can see a photographic restoration of the skull image as seen from that angle here.

Erasmus von Rotterdam King Henry VIII

Dürer (DEWR er) • -”Leonardo of the North” • Believed art should be based on scientific observation • Raised the status of artist from craftsman to near prince • First to do many self-portraits • Famous for his woodcuts • First to use printmaking as a major medium for art


Erasmus von Rotterdam Wing of a Blue Jay

Saint Jerome

Albrecht Durer(Germany) • Artists like Durer helped spread Renaissance ideas to Northern Europe. Durer traveled France to work for Francis I. When he returned to his home in Germany, he brought with him Renaissance techniques and ideas.

Hans Holbein (Germany) • Known for painting portraits, including Henry VIII of England.

Jan van Eyck (Flanders) • Italian merchant and his wife living in Flanders • Symbolism in the painting: • Candle in the chandelier represents Jesus • Fruit on the windowsill represents the innocence of humanity

Jan Van Eyck • Painted microscopic details in brilliant color • -Portrait painting = had sitter look at painter (1st)

The Arnolofini Marriage

Bruegal (BROY gull) • Flemish painter of peasant life • -satiric edge • -Elevated genre painting (scenes of everyday life) to the stature of “high art”

Hunters in the Snow or Return of the Hunters

Peasant’s Dance

The Peasant Wedding

Resources: • • • • • Boyer-Switala, J. (2011). Renaissance Art. [Online], Available: Accessed: 8 March 2014 Coon, I. (2012). Art history. [Online], available: Accessed: 8 March 2014 Dale, A. (2013). Early Renaissance Art in Italy. [Online], available: qid=48890e77-ddc1-4c33-8712-91473f1508cc&v=qf1&b=&from_search=11 Accessed: 8 March 2014 David, J. (2010). Renaissance. [Online], available: Accessed: 8 March 2014 MrRed. (2009). Renaissance Art. [Online], available: Accessed: 8 March 2014

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