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6,662 artworks, 286 artists
The Renaissance era is characterized by a new understanding of the man’s personality and his place in the world around, the desire to cognize reality and express its diversity and beauty through art. The basic principle of the Renaissance painters is to depict reality as it is, as we can see it, as realistic and vital as possible.
At the beginning of the 14th century, the rapid growth of the republic cities living outside feudal systems of values and relationships gave rise to a new philosophy – humanism. Its main value was the creative activity of man and one’s personal freedom. The Renaissance gave humanity cultural and scientific meanings devoid of strict control by the church. To a considerable extent, the invention of printing, the organization of libraries and scientific institutes contributed to the growth of humanistic values.
The basic concept of Renaissance painting, which reigned until the middle of the 16th century, was a naturalistic visual perception and a straightforward perspective. Many artists delved into the development of geometric theories of space depicting, applying the scientific principles of aerial and linear perspective in their works. The Renaissance gave impetus to the development of the study of the human body anatomical structure, which was directly reflected in the paintings by the artists of that time, as opposed to the church canons that had existed before. As a result, the Renaissance is characterized by the start of the development of a realistic portrait genre. Also, artists included landscape in their subjects, placing it in the background, thereby giving their works realism and volume.
The outstanding Renaissance artists were Giotto, Botticelli, Raphael, Michelangelo Buonarroti, Caravaggio. Separately, it is worth mentioning the ingenious Leonardo da Vinci, a scientist and engineer, who not only anticipated many modern technical inventions, but also left a bright mark in painting, departing from clear contour line. He invented the technique of sphumato – light haze, which gave the paintings mystery and weightlessness, softened the lines and contrasts of colours, became a revolution in depiction of scattered light and a new step in the painting evolution.