The Renaissance, meaning rebirth, was an enormous cultural movement which focused on the importance of art including painting, sculpting, and various forms of music. Lasting from the 14th to the 17th century, this period changed the art and sciences worlds forever. It also helped produce some of the world’s most famous artist in various areas that are still respected as some of the best today.
One of the most famous artists being Leonardo da Vinci, who is characterized as being the original ‘Renaissance Man’ because he was both a master in art and in science. His most famous works being: “The Last Supper”, a painting that depicts Jesus Christ eating his last meal with his followers, The “Mona Lisa”, a curious picture of a peculiar girl with a half-smile on her face, and for making up blue prints for the first helicopter and a military tank. He was a man of science as much as art leaving many journals behind full of human anatomy projects and even war machines. He was born in 1452 and died in 1519 with at least four known incomplete works.
Botticelli was a Renaissance artist who was rather unconventional. He often painted large color painting with pagan themes, unlike most great artist who were sponsored by the church; Botticelli was sponsored mostly by the rich Medici family. This allowed him to paint the non-secular paintings that were not very popular. His most famous being “ The Birth of Venus”, which displays a young , beautiful, naked Venus coming out of a sea shell while many gods and creatures greet her. Just because his paintings had different themes does not make them any less breath taking. He was born in 1445 and died in 1510.
Raphael was very different than Botticelli, in that he was extremely popular with Popes; he even served as an architect for Saint Peter’s. His most famous painting is “The School of Athens” which shows how classical thought from the Romans and Greeks influenced Renaissance thinking. In this piece he honored the men who he respected such as da Vinci and Plato by painting their faces in the painting. It is rumored that he also painted his own face within the same painting. He was born in 1483 and died in 1520 on Good Friday, leaving the rest of his work to his many students.
Giotto although technically a medieval artist falls on the cusps and his works such as, Campanile of the Florence Duomo or the “Life of St. Francis of Assisi” influenced many artist of the Renaissance including Raphael and Michelangelo. His works show the transformation between stiff medieval art into fluid life like Renaissance art.
The Renaissance art and famous artists have made their mark on history. It was a time of rebirth for all art and science when all creativity was at a standstill. Many famous artist came from this period including Leonardo da Vinci, Botticelli, and Raphael, they were often inspired the early artist Giotto. They still make an impact on today’s art world.