Renaissance started in Italy around 1400 and spread throughout Europe until it ended in late Renaissance/ Mannerism in the late 16th/ early 17th century, making room for Baroque. It describes parallel developments in philosophy, literature, music, science and the arts and marks the shift of Europe from the Middle Ages to the Early Modern Age.
The word Renaissance means ‘to be born again’ and it means the ‘rebirth’ of ancient traditions. Yet though the ideas are based on those of Classical Antiquity, the way they are translated into art is different. They are transformed by the absorption of recent developments in the art of Northern Europe and by the application of contemporary scientific knowledge, new techniques and new artistic sensibilities.
Renaissance is marked by the serendipitous presence of some of the greatest geniuses of art in close vicinity of each other and the Medici’s new standards for art patronage, not associated with the church or monarchy. The advent of movable type printing and improvements of oil paint left lasting marks.
Renaissance painters painted a wide variety of themes from religious to mythology and history. They used perspective, created the illusion of depth through the shortening of lines and the setting of sharp contrasts between dark and light, softened the so far always sharp outlines by subtly and gradually blending one tone into another through the use of glazes and used the right proportions and sizes.
Well-known artists from the Renaissance period include Botticelli, Titian, da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael, Bosch, van Eyck, Duerrer, Holbein etc.