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Paintings by Famous Renaissance Artists

The Renaissance is one of the most important periods in the history and development of world art, which graced humanity with many brilliant masters. Renaissance painting determined the direction of the development of art several centuries in advance, and the principles deduced by the artists of that time are no less relevant even today.

The innovations that appeared during that era were not spontaneous: they were preceded by medieval art, International Gothic style and Byzantine painting. These directions had long echoed in the famous paintings by Renaissance artists – the works of Giotto, Botticelli, and Carpaccio. Moreover, the Gothic style was also typical of masters of the Northern Renaissance, which, despite the strong influence of the revived ancient art, still often acted as an antagonist of Italian painting. The list of famous European painters of that time includes the van Eycks, Bosch, Bruegel, Dürer, Holbein, the Dumonstier dynasty and many others.

Stages of development of Renaissance painting

Starting from the 17th century, periods in the history of Italian painting got their special names. The first of them, Duecento, was characterized by the influence of the International Gothic style, religious painting and the art of Byzantium. The grotesque, lack of perspective, excessive decorativeness, lack of volume and the conditionality of images are the distinctive features of these directions, which ceased to attract painters.

Need for change led to artists of the next period, the Proto-Renaissance or Trecento, gradually abandoning the ideas of the past, applying new principles of depicting the world around them. A critical part in the development of these principles was played by general advance in science: anatomy, mathematics, physics and geometry. One of the outstanding masters of that time was Giotto: his works have perspective and volume in them, as well as a clear distinction between a foreground and a background. There was an interest in ancient art, while its subjects, including the religious ones, were then interpreted from a more secular point of view.

Famous artists of the Early Renaissance (Quattrocento) got the opportunity to depict reality in their paintings (i.e. nature, animals, and, of course, the central subject of Renaissance painting – a person) more accurate. The aim of the painters became an extremely accurate and detailed depiction of the surrounding world. The outstanding masters of this period were Botticelli, Masacciodella Francesca and others.

The High Renaissance (the end of the Quattrocento – the beginning of the Cinquecento) is the heyday of this pictural era, the time that gave the world brilliant artists and scientists. Humanity and anthropocentrism became the main features of the Renaissance: a person was not only considered the highest value, but also almost likened to God, since humanistic ideas presuppose people's unlimited right to creativity. Renaissance painting is characterized by the depiction of real human feelings and emotions, and even religious scenes looked realistic. Symbolism and conditionality were discarded: instead, tangibility and materiality of the world came to the fore. The most famous creators of Renaissance paintings from the beginning of the 16th century were Leonardo da Vinci, Titian, MichelangeloGiorgione and Raphael. It is impossible to assess the contribution of these brilliant painters to the development of classical art.

Paintings of the Renaissance: famous works

It is impossible to choose only one canvas or fresco from the huge number of masterpieces created in the Renaissance. The majority of art lovers consider Leonardo da Vinci's La Gioconda, Raphael's Sistine Madonna, and Dürer's engravings to be one of the best works of that time. However, the list of famous Renaissance paintings also includes Bruegel's "folk" works, van Eyck's pictures that clearly bear features of medieval Gothic painting, and unusual works by Bosch, whom many scholars consider to be the pioneer of not only Dutch realism, but also Surrealism.

The art of the Renaissance is multifaceted, but its main ideas – the triumph of the human mind and treating an individual as the perfection of nature – in some way or another manifest themselves in the work of every famous painter of that time.

Renaissance paintings are now in the largest art museums in the world. However, far from every painting lover has the opportunity to visit them and see the masterpieces of the past for themselves.

Our portal invites all lovers of classical and contemporary art to visit one of the most extensive virtual galleries of the Russian web space. Our thematic collections include high-quality photos of both the most famous and little-known paintings of the Renaissance, which can be examined in minute detail.
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