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Art Movement in Focus: The Rennaissance – An Introduction

Welcome to Art Movement in Focus! In this section, we explore significant art movements in history through a series of articles dedicated to each movement. Here’s looking at Renaissance.

An Introduction – Renaissance

The term “Renaissance” classically refers to ‘revival’. It was applied to the period after the Middle ages, an era that saw tremendous development in scholarship, explorations and discovery. It was time to emerge from the darkness of the Feudal systems that had stifled cultural growth. New innovations like printing, the compass, and new findings in astronomy and geography heavily influenced the thinkers, artisans, craftsmen, and scientists of the day.

The growth of Humanism during this period stressed on the dignity of the human being, his form and spirit. The movement was away from the religious orthodoxy and towards inquiry without fear. The possibilities of thought brought great confidence in various fields. The Renaissance is still regarded as one of the most iconic turnovers of generational thinking. It was an age of ideas and a complete makeover of old ideals.

In the field of art it spelled a rejuvenation of the classical arts. Art that were strung with an investigation into the humanities, inspiring artists of unparalleled mastery. They created pieces that were informed by the close knowledge of anatomy and other branches of science. These creations remain to date, some of the most revered works in the historical art canon.

Specifically, the term “Renaissance man” referred to the proficiency and mastery of multiple subjects and interests, over being self-limiting.

The techniques that were developed included engaging a linear perspective to create depth of vision. At once highly accurate and scientifically correct depicting human anatomy. The artists experimented with the foreshortening of subjects within elevated paintings. This with the objective to achieve an authentic viewing experience from below. Incorporating architectural elements into artworks was the order of the day.

The Dialogue

Renaissance art brought to the fore a host of ideas that sympathised and resonated acutely with human ideals, It was a far cry from the dark ages that banned all study, investigation and was threatened by questioning.

It can be said that the artists of this period were keenly concerned to present pieces of visual, symmetrical, and compositional perfection.

OUR TOP 6 Rennaisance Artists:

The artists of the era defined what truly meant by the term ‘Renaissance man’ and it was something that was evident in all of their works, as they employed facets of architecture, physics and anatomy in creating their masterpieces. 

  1. Leonardo Da Vinci
  2. Michaelangelo
  3. Raphael
  4. Donatello
  5. Botticelli
  6. Andrea Del Sarto


Each of the works are of an unparallel magnitude in the narrative that they undertake, the presentation and the unique story behind the commission and the completion of the same. This apart the individualities of the paintings and the sculptures are a study on their own for art history students for generations to come.

Leonardo Da Vinci
Virgin of the Rocks
c. 1483-85

Virgin of the Rocks 1483-1485, Leonardo da Vinci (1452 – 1519 )
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Creation of Man: Ceiling of the Sistine Chapel

Ceiling of the Sistine Chapel 1535 – 1541, Michaelangelo (1475-1564 )
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The Transfiguration
1516 -1520

The Transfiguration 1516-1520, Raphael (1483-1520 )
Image Source :—secolo-xvi/raffaello-sanzio–trasfigurazione.html

Donato di Niccolò di Betto Bardi

David 1440, Donatello (1386-1466)
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Sandro Botticelli

Primavera 1480, Sandro Botticelli (1445-1510 )
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Andrea del Sarto
Noli me tangere

Noli me tangere 1510, Andrea Del Sarto (1486-1530)
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For more such quick introductions and lists regarding Art History, visit Art Movement in Focus.

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