7 Famous Artists Of The Renaissance

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When we talk about Renaissance, the word literally means a revival or rebirth of interest in a particular subject. In the 13th century Europe, particularly Italy, Renaissance started as a cultural movement which later spread to other countries and through their colonies spread across the world. Dated between 13th and the late 16th centuries, the era saw the rise of literature, education, painting, diplomacy, science and social outlook. The place known to be responsible for the rise of renaissance was Florence, Italy and was one of the major strongholds for the renaissance painters. Italian renaissance paintings can be divided into 4 categories, the proto-renaissance, the early renaissance, the high renaissance and the mannerisms.

Most of the Renaissance paintings were commissioned by the authorities of the Roman Catholic Church, and several of the paintings depict the life and times of Jesus Christ. However, several paintings also depicted a direct or a satirical take on politics, war, and other mythological themes. Most of the world’s most prized paintings are from the renaissance era and are almost priceless. For those who cannot resist the beauty and majesty of the renaissance era paintings then you must know about the famous artists that made this era a remarkable one.

  1. Raphael Sanzio

7 Famous Artists Of The Renaissance

From Public Domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Known to most people as simply ‘Raphael’, he was one of the most remarkable painters Italy ever produced and was also known for his work as an architect. He was born in a small city of Urbino, with his father, the legendary Giovanni Santi who was the court painter to the Duke. During his time as a painter and architect Raphael led like a nomad and moved from various cities in Italy and landed in Rome where he was invited by the Pope to paint frescoes in the Vatican. The Madonna of the Meadows, Deposition of Christ, the Deliverance of St. Peter, Il Spasimo, and the Transfiguration etc. are some of his most famous works.

  1. Leonardo da Vinci


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Known to be a painter, sculptor, inventor, architect, botanist, mathematician and musician, Leonardo da Vinci was one of the most important painters in the history of painting. He was one of the central figures in the Renaissance movement and he has often been said to be the example of a Renaissance Man. He was born in the artistic Republic of Florence and learned his arts under various renowned painters of the era. Apart from his paintings he was also known to be an inventor and made several designs for aircrafts, armored vehicles, adding machines, and small firearms etc. Virgin of the Rocks, Mona Lisa, the Last Supper, the Baptism of Christ and the Adoration of the Magi Etc. are some of his timeless masterpieces.

  1. Giovanni Bellini


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Born in a family of Venetian painters, Bellini was born in Venice where he was brought up as a painter in his father’s house. Venetian paintings were known to have a more pronounced use of colors and harsh contours, but Bellini changed that with the use of softer colors and seamless contours.  He painted several frescoes in the various churches located in Venice and his work depicted several features of Byzantine influences. St. Francis in Ecstasy, the Feast of the Gods, Pieta, the transfiguration of Christ, San Globbe altarpiece etc. are some of his most prized works.

  1. Sandro Botticelli


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Born and trained in Florence, Sandro Botticelli was one of the most famous painters during the Golden Age of Painting in Italy. He worked as an apprentice to the renowned painters in the Florentine school of art under Leonardo de Medici and was deeply influenced by the early renaissance painters and the rise of painting in Europe. He painted several artworks for various churches around Italy and Europe. Although his work was foreshadowed in the wake of artists like Michelangelo and Raphael etc. he is known to be one of the most influential artists of his era. Primavera, the Madonna of the Book, Punishment of the Rebels and the Birth of Venus remains his most revered works of art.

  1. Michelangelo


Photo by Robert Scarth, CC BY-SA 2.0

One of the most legendary painters of the High renaissance era, Michelangelo’s role in the spread of Renaissance rivals only to that of Leonardo da Vinci. Renowned not just for his paintings, Michelangelo was also a sculptor, poet, architect and engineer and is known to be one of the central figures responsible for the rise of Western arts. During the 14th century, Michelangelo was invited by Pope Julius II and was requested to build the tomb for the Pope, a project that would take five years to complete. He was then commissioned to paint the ceilings of the Sistine chapel in the Vatican City, which took 4 years to complete. Some of his most famous paintings are the Creation of Adam, the Fall of Man, the Last Judgment, Ignudo and the Deluge etc.

  1. Titian


From Public Domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Titian spearheaded the Venetian school of art during the majority of the 16th century and was one of its most important members. He was born in around 1490 AD in the Republic of Venice and was the son of the superintendent of the castle of Pieve di Cadore and also was in charge of a few mines around the area. He was later sent to Venice to study as a painter along with his brother. He also studied under the famous Giovanni Bellini and later developed himself as one of the most influential painters of the late renaissance painters. His early works follow a more Giorgionesque style and later into a more contemporary Venetian style under the patronage of Bellini. Salome with the Head of John, Venus and Organist and the Little Dog, Assumption of the Virgin and the Rape of Europa etc. are few of his most famous paintings.

  1. Caravaggio


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He was born in 1571 in Lombardy, Milan, and was known for his influential work as a painter in Milan, Napels, Rome, Malta and Sicily during the late 16th century. He left Milan under controversial conditions and arrived in Rome in 1592. There he started working as an artist and soon started working for Giuseppe Cesari and painted flowers and fruits. Drawing influences from his various friends he soon started figure paintings and became the most elaborate figure painter in Rome during the 16th century. Some of his famous works are The Musicians, Basket of Fruits, Judith Beheading Holofernes and the Crucifixion of St. Peter etc.

The main reason for the rise of Renaissance during the 13th and the 16th centuries was due to the huge inflow of money from the eastern world following the crusades. As money, a need for a revival of ideas and art went hand in hand; the paintings went from simple religious depictions to being marvelously philosophical. You can know more about paintings and renaissance on various websites like Niceartgallery etc. and get in touch with your philosophical side through these paintings.