1.5- Visual Arts During the Italian Renaissance

Innovations in the Visual Arts of the Renaissance

Many innovations mark the differences between art of the Italian Renaissance and works from the Middle Ages.   Some of these innovations were:

Read about some of the techniques that made the Renaissance paintings and sculptures such a departure from the works of Medieval times.

View how art has evolved by examining the depiction of the Virgin Mary.

Three Artists Everyone Should Know (Read about them)

Leonardo da Vinci (more about the man)

Important Works: Use the links below to learn more each piece

Michelangelo (more about the artist)

Important Works

Optional Material – A collection of videos on Michelangelo’s works
(Suitable for broadband connections)

Raphael – Raffaello Sanzio (more about the artist)

Important Works

Mannerism – A Departure from the Renaissance

The climate of the Italian High Renaissance shifted.   With it came a new, modern, and short lived style of art – Mannerism.

Madonna with the Long Neck  - Parmigianino, Parma, Italy c. 1535-40

Madonna with the Long Neck – Parmigianino, Parma, Italy c. 1535-40

 Click on Painting to hear lecture on Mannerism!

Get acquainted with Mannerism


The Prince is a literary work, that is the written equivalent to Mannerism in the visual arts.

  • Written by Niccolo Machiavelli
  • A guidebook for rulers
  • Based on his observations of Florence politics
  • “It is better to be feared than loved,’
  • Based on unfavorable traits of human nature
  • Very widely read during its day Browse parts of The Prince in English
The cover of The Prince

The cover of The Prince by Machiavelli

Other Artists to Know

There were many, many other artists during the Italian Renaissance. Begin your exploration HERE with a glance at a few masterpieces.

Lorenzo Ghiberti
Gates of Paradise

Mary Magdalene

Venus of Urbino
Fete Champetre

Birth of Venus

The Tribute Money – a work that depicts all the chronological events in the story in continuous narration
Trinity with the Virgin (more about this work)

Fra Angelico

Explore Further With These Links

Tour the Louvre
A Multitude of Links – EARLY RENAISSANCE: 15th Century
Even More Links! – HIGH RENAISSANCE AND MANNERISM: 16th Century
Commercial – But Good Links on the Left
Properzia de’Rossi —A Female Artist

Next: Music During the Italian Renaissance

10 Responses to “1.5- Visual Arts During the Italian Renaissance”

  1. jessica wert writes:

    I never thought of churches as art. I would marvel at their architecture but never associated them as a piece of art.

  2. Rebecka writes:

    I was intrigued to learn that Leonardo da Vinci was allowed to stay left handed, and that he often wrote backwards. I am left handed, and my mother tells of when I began writing as a child; everything was backwards. I just thought I was strange.
    When I began to learn a bit of Hebrew I found it very easy to get used to the text going from right to left, and seemed very comfortable for me. I tend to agree with he author of the article on da Vinci, I lean towards the thought that lefties often see the world a bit differently than many right handed people.

  3. Chaitanya Borade writes:

    This was a very good insight in the musical era of the period.

  4. jzollman writes:

    I wonder if the mannerist style evolved as a reaction to the religious and political control of artistic expression during the renaissance. As artists gained more power to express themselves and develop their art, they must have resented the manipulation of their ideas and talents by leaders of the day. The focus on beauty of subjects but placed in unrealistic poses and settings possibly denotes this feeling among mannerist artists.

  5. Catherine writes:

    The link on “Other Artists to Know” (the ‘HERE’ link) does not work.

  6. ljkljaich writes:

    Please send me an email or a note in Blackboard. I don’t check here very often.

  7. 1.4- Influences on the Italian Renaissance | ART/MUS/THR F200 writes:

    […] Next: The visual arts during the Renaissance […]

  8. morgan925igap@yahoo.com writes:

    good knowledge for me to learn about the artists. mannerism made me think that the artist put himself in his paintings so that the beholder would evoke thought about it

  9. Rebekah Mitchell writes:

    I like the picture of Trinity. It is done beautifully.

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