Renaissance art is the painting, sculpture and decorative arts of that period of European history known as the Renaissance, emerging as a distinct style in Italy in about 1400, in parallel with developments which occurred in philosophy, literature, music and science. Renaissance art, perceived as a "rebirth" of ancient traditions, took as its foundation the art of Classical antiquity, but transformed that tradition by the absorption of recent developments in the art of Northern Europe and by application of contemporary scientific knowledge. Renaissance art, with Renaissance Humanist philosophy, spreadthroughout Europe, affecting both artists and their patrons with the development of new techniques and new artistic sensibilities. Renaissance art marks the transition of Europe from the medieval period to the Early modern age.In many parts of Europe, Early Renaissance art was created in parallel with Late Medieval art. By 1500 the Renaissance style prevailed. As Late Renaissance art (Mannerism) developed, it took on different and distinctive characteristics in every region.
The influences upon the development of Renaissance art in the early 15th century are those that also affected Philosophy, Literature, Architecture, Theology, Science, Government and other aspects of society. The following list presents a summary, dealt with more fully in the main articles that are cited above. Classical texts, lost to European scholars for centuries, became available. These included Philosophy, Prose, Poetry, Drama, Science, a thesis on the Arts and Early Christian Theology. Simultaneously, Europe gained access to advanced mathematics which had its provenance in the works of Islamic scholars. The advent of movable type printing in the 15th century meant that ideas could be disseminated easily, and an increasing number of books were written for a broad public. The establishment of the Medici Bank and the subsequent trade it generated brought unprecedented wealth to a single Italian city, Florence. Cosimo de Medici set a new standard for patronage of the arts, not associated with the church or monarchy. Humanist philosophy meant that mans relationship with humanity, the universe and with God was no longer the exclusive province of the Church. A revived interest in the Classics brought about the first archaeological study of Roman remains by the architect Brunelleschi and sculptor Donatello. The revival of a style of architecture based on classical precedents inspired a corresponding classicism in painting and sculpture, which manifested itself as early as the 1420s in the paintings of Masaccio and Uccello. The improvement of oil paint and developments in oil-painting technique by Netherlandish artists such as Jan van Eyck, Rogier van der Weyden and Hugo van der Goes led to its adoption in Italy from about 1475 and had ultimately lasting effects on painting practices, worldwide. The serendipitous presence within the region of Florence in the early 15th century of certain individuals of artistic genius, most notably Masaccio, Brunelleschi, Ghiberti, Piero della Francesca, Donatello and Michelozzo formed an ethos out of which sprang the great masters of the High Renaissance, as well as supporting and encouraging many lesser artists to achieve work of extraordinary quality. A similar heritage of artistic achievement occurred in Venice through the talented Bellini family, their influential inlaw Mantegna, Giorgione, Titian and Tintoretto.
RENAISSANCE ARTIST Donatello 1386-1466 the greatest sculptor of the 15th century. He was interested in the ideas of humanism and nature. Leonardo da Vinci 1452-1519 man of many accomplishments. Painter of Mona Lisa, and of the Last Supper. He was also a sculptor, an architect, and a man of science who did serious investigations into the natural and physical sciences, mathematics, mechanics, and engineering.
Michelangelo 1475-1564 sculptor, painter, architect. Michelangelo was the greatest artist of his time. Between 1508 and 1512 Michelangelo painted the vaulted ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in Rome. Raphael [Raffaello Sanzio] 1483-1520 master painter and architect of the Italian High Renaissance. He is most famous for painting angels and Madonnas, in which he painted over 300 in his lifetime. Raphael also painted portraits including one of Pope Julius II. Angelico, Fra 1400-1445 painter who combined Gothic tradition with the Italian Renaissance. His works are praised for their religious qualities and artistic excellence. In 1421 he entered the Dominican monastery at Fiesole. He spent most of his life in Florence at the monastery of San Marco.
Botticelli, Sandro 1445-1510 was a ward of the Medici family. He painted portraits of the family and many religious pictures. From 1481-82 he painted wall frescoes in the Sistine Chapel of the Vatican. Most of his paintings were religious in nature.