• In 15th –century in the Italian city state of Florence,
many people believed themselves to be living in a
new age. The term "Renaissance," already coined by
the 16th century, describes the "rebirth" from the
dark ages of intellectual decline that followed the
brilliance of ancient civilization.
• The contributions of Brunelleschi in
architecture, Donatello in sculpture, Masaccio and
Leonardo in painting changed Western art forever.
They aimed, like Greeks before them, to create an
ideal form of beauty based on nature.
• Brunelleschi measured ancient buildings in
Rome to understand the harmony of classical
proportions and reintroduced such elements
of classical architecture as the columned
arcade. He applied engineering genius to
design the huge dome for the cathedral of
Florence. Which is a major attraction to
Santa Maria Novella
The Sagrestia Vecchia
or Old Sacristy
Donato di Niccolò di Betto Bardi
• Donatello, who accompanied Brunelleschi to Rome,
carved some of the first large-scale, freestanding
statues since antiquity. Like those ancient figures, his
were sometimes nude.
Donatello, Annunciation (detail) c. 1435
Gilded pietra serena Santa Croce, Florence
Donatello, Cantoria (detail) 1431-39 Marble
Museo dell'Opera del Duomo, Florence
Michelangelo, marble, 1501-1504
Donatello, bronze, c-1430,
Both look towards
the ancient classical
examples found in
Greek or Roman
earlier version was
created over 70 years
earlier and was
inspired by the
ancient art he saw on
his trip to Rome.
Tommaso di Ser Giovanni di Simone
• Masaccio painted a series of innovative frescoes that
used light, coming strongly and consistently from a
single direction, to model figures with shadow and
give them robust three-dimensionality.
The Tribute Money, fresco
in the Brancacci Chapel in
Santa Maria del Carmine,
Holy Trinity, in full: "Trinity with the
Virgin, Saint John the Evangelist, and
Donors" (c. 1427) - Fresco, Santa Maria
Virgin Mary with a pseudo-Arabic halo,
and baby Jesus, surrounded by
Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci
• Known as the Renaissance man, Leonardo was a
genius in every area but struggled to finish his works
because he was fascinated by everything. Mona Lisa
and The Last Supper are his masterpieces.
The Last Supper (1498)—Convent of
Sta. Maria delle Grazie, Milan, Italy
Mona Lisa or La Gioconda (1503–
1505/1507)—Louvre, Paris, France
•Throughout his lifetime, Leonardo
not only painted, but also he made
multiple ideas for inventions.
•He had the idea of a helicopter.
•He made many weapons, and in his
notebook, he had the idea of a giant
Design for a Flying Machine is a
•In his scientific career, Leonardo
studied the shoulder muscles of a
human as well as other body parts.
Why did this happen in Florence ?
• Florence was one of the wealthiest areas in Italy during the
Renaissance. It was also a MAJOR trade route because of it's
geographic location, and it was a very active commerce
• Also, the feudal system began to come to an end, giving
people more freedom and independence which also helped
them focus on building wealth and patronize the arts.
• The Medici family was also a major force at play here. They
were a banking family and based in Florence and huge
patrons of the arts so they alone helped to stimulate a lot of
the artistic culture there.
• As a result, Florentine society was in a state of flux between
the old, stable medieval world and a new dynamic
commercial world. There was greater social mobility than
before with many opportunities for individuals to go up
socially. The new merchants and bankers had money to
spend and they were not afraid of showing off their new
wealth by building magnificent palaces and filling them with
superb works of art.