Renaissance

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Proto Renaissance art, 1280-1400
Italian Renaissance painting

Giotto, Lamentation, Cappella degli Scrovegni

In Italy in the late 13th and early 14th centuries, the sculpture of Nicola Pisano and his son Giovanni Pisano, working at Pisa, Siena and Pistoia shows markedly classicizing tendencies, probably influenced by the familiarity of these artists with ancient Roman sarcophagi. Their masterpieces are the pulpits of the Baptistery and Cathedral of Pisa. Contemporary with Giovanni Pisano, the Florentine painter Giotto developed a manner of figurative painting that was unprecedentedly naturalistic, three dimensional, life-like and classicizing, when compared with that of his contemporaries and teacher Cimabue.

Early Renaissance in Italy, 1400-1479
Italian Renaissance painting

Donatello, David Museo Nazionale Del Bargello

Donatello became renowned as the greatest sculptor of the Early Renaissance, his masterpieces being his Humanist and unusually erotic statue of David, one of the icons of the Florentine republic, and his great monument to Gattamelata, the first large equestrian bronze to be created since Roman times.

High Renaissance art in Italy, 1475-1525
Italian Renaissance painting

Michelangelo, (c. 1511) The Creation of Adam, from the Sistine Chapel ceiling

The art of Leonardo's younger contemporary Michelangelo took a very different direction. Michelangelo, in neither his painting nor his sculpture demonstrates any interest in the observation of any natural object except the human body. He perfected his technique in depicting it, while in his early twenties, by the creation of the enormous marble statue of David and the group the Pieta, in St Peter's Basilica, Rome. He then set about an exploration of the expressive possibilities of the human anatomy. His commission by Pope Julius II to paint the Sistine Chapel ceiling resulted in the supreme masterpiece of figurative composition, which was to have profound effect on every...
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