Renaissance painting of Italy: discover the most famous works

If you are one of those who visit each city in museums and art galleries that can be visited before a hotel, this article is for you. We are going to talk to you about some of the most famous works of Italian Renaissance painting. Most, but not all, can be admired in the main cities of this beautiful country.

Renaissance painting of Italy: what to know

The historical period in which the Renaissance is situated in Italy began at the end of the 13th century and continued until the beginning of the 15th century. The cradle of the Renaissance, without a doubt, is the beautiful city of Florence, in Italian Tuscany.

Renaissance painting of Italy It can be divided into four periods:

  • Protorrenacimiento (1300-1400), with Giotto as maximum exponent.
  • Early renaissance (1400-1475), where Uccello and Verrocchio stand out.
  • High renaissance (1475-1525), with Leonardo da Vinci, Rafael, Miguel Ángel and Tiziano as great figures.
  • Mannerism (1525-1600), which includes Tintoretto and Pontormo.

A large percentage of the works of the Renaissance painting of Italy was commissioned by the Catholic Church. Therefore, the themes were closely related to biblical episodes, with the life of Christ or the saints.

Rafael's Athens school -

However, other types of work were also done. Government buildings were decorated with frescoes and, as early as the 15th century, portraits of prominent figures became common.

With the growth of Humanism, the Renaissance turned to classic themes, since the artists were hired by rich clients to decorate their rooms.

Renaissance painting of Italy: summit works

The Renaissance left thousands of wonderful works, and choosing is always very complicated. Among the most representative works of the Renaissance painting of Italy, we can highlight:

1. La Gioconda

«La Gioconda» -

Leonardo da Vinci represents as nobody the figure of 'Renaissance man', although already in his time he was recognized above all as the great painter he was. One of his most famous works has its own name, La Giogonda, wave Mona Lisa, as this lady with an enigmatic look is also known.

This is the most recognized work of Italian Renaissance painting. The exact date of its realization is unknown, although it is estimated that it was between 1503 and 1519. Of course, to admire it you do not have to travel to Italy, but to Paris, to the Louvre Museum, which is where it is exposed.

2. The Last Supper

«The Last Supper» /

Another masterpiece of the great Leonardo, also wrapped in all kinds of legends. He painted it between 1495 and 1497, on the orders of Duke Ludovico Sforza of Milan.

It is a tempera and oil mural made on two layers of plaster. It measures 460 cm high and 880 cm wide.

In this work, the apostles are grouped three by three, following the schemes of the Platonic triads. Where can you admire this jewel? In the refectory of the Dominican convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie, in Milan.

3. The Holy Family

La Sagrada Familia - Miguel Hermoso Cuesta /

Also known as Tondo Doni, It is one of the first works of Michelangelo. It dates from 1503 and was held in commemoration of the wedding between Agnolo Doni and Maddalena Strozzi. It is the only wooden panel that this artist executed. It can be admired in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence.

"Perfection is not a small thing, but it is made of small things"
-Miguel Ángel Buonarroti-

4. The Sistine Chapel

Sistine Chapel - Adré Fischer /

Again Michelangelo, and this time one of the greatest and most famous Renaissance paintings in Italy in the world. The frescoes of the Sistine Chapel were made by this artist between 1508 and 1512. They can be admired in the Vatican.

In the central part scenes of the Old Testament are contemplated, between them The creation of the world or The creation of Adam and Eve. The altar wall occupies it The final judgement.

5. The birth of Venus

The birth of Venus -

This painting is one of Sandro Botticelli's most important works. It is believed that the inspirational muse of Venus was Simonetta Cattaneo, chosen by the Medici family for that role. The birth of Venus It can be admired in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence.

These are only five representative works of the Italian Renaissance painting, but many others can be highlighted, such asThe Assumption of the Virgin wave Venus of Urbino of Titian, Spring from Boticcelli or The school of Athens of Rafael.

Video: The Renaissance: Was it a Thing? - Crash Course World History #22 (November 2019).


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