Renaissance painting

Renaissance painting bridges the period of European art history between the art of the Middle Ages and Baroque art. Painting of this era is connected to the "rebirth" ("renaissance" in French) of classical antiquity, the impact of humanism on artists and their patrons, new artistic sensibilities and techniques, and, in general, the transition from the Medieval period to the Early modern age.

In the visual arts, significant achievements occur around 1400 in both Italy and north of the Alps. Masaccio's art and the writings of Leon Battista Alberti helped establish linear perspective and the idealisation of the human body as primary ideas of Italian Renaissance painting in the early 15th century. Likewise, Early Netherlandish artists such as Jan van Eyck were innovators in oil painting and intuitive spatial compositions. The brief High Renaissance (c. 1500–1520) centred around Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and Raphael in Florence and Rome, was a culmination of the Italian achievements, while artists like Albrecht Dürer brought a similar level of intellectual and artistic innovation to northern Europe. Late Renaissance painting, from about 1520 until the end of the 16th century, is marked by various Mannerist tendencies that spread from Italy through the rest of France.

Themes and symbolism

Renaissance artists painted a wide variety of themes. Religious altarpieces, fresco cycles, and small works for private devotion were very popular. For inspiration, painters in both Italy and northern Europe frequently turned to Jacobus de Voragine's "Golden Legend" (1260), a highly influential source book for the lives of saints that had already had a strong influence on Medieval artists. The rebirth of classical antiquity and Renaissance humanism also resulted in many Mythological and history paintings. Ovidian stories, for example, were very popular. Decorative ornament, often used in painted architectural elements, was especially influenced by classical Roman motifs.


*The use of perspective: The first major treatment of the painting as a window into space appeared in the work of Giotto di Bondone, at the beginning of the 14th century. True linear perspective was formalized later, by Filippo Brunelleschi and Leon Battista Alberti. In addition to giving a more realistic presentation of art, it moved Renaissance painters into painting more paintings.

* foreshortening - The term foreshortening refers to the artistic effect of shortening lines in a drawing so as to create an illusion of depth.

* sfumato - The term sfumato was coined by Italian Renaissance artist, Leonardo da Vinci, and refers to a fine art painting technique of blurring or softening of sharp outlines by subtle and gradual blending of one tone into another through the use of thin glazes to give the illusion of depth or three-dimensionality. This stems from the Italian word sfumare meaning to evaporate or to fade out. The Latin origin is fumare, to smoke. The opposite of sfumato is chiaroscuro.

* chiaroscuro - The term chiaroscuro refers to the fine art painting modeling effect of using a strong contrast between light and dark to give the illusion of depth or three-dimensionality. This comes from the Italian words meaning light (chiaro) and dark (scuro), a technique which came into wide use in the Baroque Period.; Sfumato is the opposite of chiaroscuro.

*Balance and Proportion: proper sizes and the use of airy, bright colors. The human anatomy wasn't as idealized as during the ancient times.

Italian artists

* Leone Battista Alberti (1404-1472)
* Fra Angelico (c.1395-1455)
* Biagio d'Antonio
* Giotto di Bondone (1267-1337)
* Donatello
* Sandro Botticelli
* Masaccio
* Domenico Veneziano
* Filippo Lippi
* Andrea del Castagno
* Piero di Cosimo
* Paolo Uccello
* Antonello da Messina
* Pisanello
* Andrea Mantegna
* Luca Signorelli
* Alessio Baldovinetti
* Piero della Francesca
* Masolino
* Andrea del Verrocchio
* Domenico Ghirlandaio
* Benozzo Gozzoli
* Carlo Crivelli

Artists of the Low Countries

"Main articles: Early Netherlandish painting for 15th century artists, Dutch and Flemish Renaissance painting for 16th century artists"

* Jean Bellegambe (c.1470-1535)
* Hieronymus Bosch (c.1450-1516)
* Dirk Bouts
* Robert Campin (c.1380-1444)
* Petrus Christus (1410/1420-1472)
* Jacques Daret
* Gerard David (c.1455–1523)
* Hubert van Eyck (1366?-1426)
* Jan van Eyck (1385?-1440?)
* Geertgen tot Sint Jans
* Hugo van der Goes
* Adriaen Isenbrant (c.1490-1551)
* Limbourg brothers
* Quentin Matsys (1466-1530)
* Hans Memling (c.1430-1494)
* Joachim Patinir
* Roger van der Weyden (Rogier de la Pasture)

German artists

* Albrecht Altdorfer (c.1480-1538)
* Hans Baldung (c.1480-1545), Alsatian
* Lucas Cranach the Elder (1472-1553)
* Lucas Cranach the Younger (1515-1586)
* Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528)
* Matthias Grünewald (c.1470-1528)
* Hans Holbein the Elder (c.1460-1524)
* Hans Holbein the Younger (c.1497–1543)
* Ambrosius Holbein (1494-1519)

French artists

* Jean Fouquet
* Jean Clouet
* Francois Clouet
* Barthélemy d'Eyck (born Netherlands),
* Nicolas Froment
* Jean Hey (formerly known as the Master of Moulins)
* Simon Marmion
* Enguerrand Quarton

panish Artists

* Bartolomé Bermejo
* Ayne Bru
* Juan de Flandes
* Jaume Huguet
* Pablo de San Leocadio


* Ghent Altarpiece, by Hubert and Jan van Eyck
* The Arnolfini Portrait, by Jan van Eyck
* The Portinari Triptych, by Hugo van der Goes

Major collections

::General Collections:
* National Gallery, London
* Louvre, Paris
* National Gallery of Art, Washington
* Gemäldegalerie, Berlin
* Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City

* Musee Communal des Beaux-Arts, Bruges, Belgium
* Groeningemuseum, Bruges, Belgium
* Museo del Prado, Madrid, Spain - for works of Hieronymus Bosch

* Uffizi, Florence

ee also

* Italian Renaissance painting
* History of painting
* International Gothic
* Danube school
* Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects

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