What is Renaissance Art? | Its Enduring Beauty

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Renaissance Art

What is Renaissance art? It is an art form dating back to the fifteenth century that depicts European culture and the height of renaissance art in Spain, Italy and the Netherlands during the reign of King Philip the Fair (ruled 1475-1519). Renaissance art is the visual arts, sculptures and painting of this period of European history referred to as the Renaissance, that evolved into a unique style in Italy at around AD 1400, following changes that took place in science, literature, architecture, music and technology. The term ‘Renaissance’ itself combines the term ‘arts’ and ‘culture’ to suggest a rich and varied heritage.

During the Renaissance period, there was a marked artistic progression, with different artistic styles emerging that included the Baroque art movement, the Italian Neoclassicism and the Italian renaissance. The most famous Italian artists during this period were the artist Michelangelo (Spanish), Leonardo da Vinci (Italian) and Donatello (Spanish). They used a variety of portrait style subjects, such as religious depictions, natural scenes, conventional scenes, famous battles, heroic figures and complex landscapes in their art.

Renaissance Art - Interior of St. Peter's Basilica, Rome by Italian Painter Giovanni Paolo Panini (1691 - 1765)
Interior of St. Peter’s Basilica, Rome by Italian Painter Giovanni Paolo Panini (1691 – 1765)

One of the most popular themes in this era of Italian art was the depiction of the human body, particularly the figure of the Virgin Mary. Most Renaissance paintings of this time period feature Madonna and child, usually accompanied by other figures such as Jesus and the Saints. The renaissance painting of the Virgin Mary shows her as a highly cultured and beautiful woman, dressed in the latest fashions of the day. The artist also gives Madonna a sensuous look, making her appear quite seductive. Renaissance painting of the Virgin Mary is seen as a supreme example of realism and is considered one of the most beloved art pieces of all time.

Another highly respected art form of the Italian renaissance period was the Baroque art movement. The term ‘Baroque’ refers to a style that differs from Neoclassicism in the way it depicts natural landscapes and figures. The most famous Baroque artists include Michelangelo, Parmigiano, Jove, Rubens, Manet, Vien, Giotto, and Delphinino. All of these artists are regarded as some of the most influential artists in the history of art.

The genre of Renaissance art, especially the works of Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci, have greatly influenced the thinking of people in the European middle ages. In the middle ages, artists were heavily inspired by religious art, particularly what is known as the Medieval Church. This art is often referred to as’re-painting’ the medieval churches. Some of the most prominent figures in this period were Sir Philip Sidney, Bishop of Bath and Wells, and Valentine of Orleans. Many of the paintings done in the medieval times are considered to be amongst the best examples of renaissance art.

The term ‘Renaissance’ was actually derived from the term ‘rome’. It was named after the city of Florence, which was the seat of power during the Renaissance. Most of the paintings done during this era were based on the religious movements that were prevalent at the time. Many of the subjects seen in renaissance paintings are based on Biblical stories. Most of these artists also heavily colored their work. One of the most famous works of this genre would be the ceiling painted by Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel.

The main difference between the Renaissance art and the baroque art is that baroque works try to portray natural landscapes and natural scenes while the Renaissance art tries to depict natural scenes but with a heavy amount of human element. Renaissance and baroque art share a number of key differences. For example, both forms of art use a wide range of colors such as red, purple, yellow and green. They also both use animals, trees and other objects to give depth and dimension to the portrayed scene.

The main difference between Renaissance and baroque art is that they use many other media such as painting, drawings and sculptures. Also, there are some key differences in terms of style, subject and theme. Baroque art belongs to the late European renaissance to renaissance art belong to the early renaissance period.

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