What Is Renaissance in Art History?

Art|Art History

The Renaissance in art history is a period of European cultural revival that began in Italy in the 14th century and ended roughly in the 17th century. It was marked by a renewed interest in classical antiquity and its culture, as well as the emergence of a distinct artistic style.

During this period, there was an explosion of creativity, with new styles of painting, sculpture, architecture and literature being developed. The Renaissance is often considered to be the most influential period of European art history and had a profound impact on subsequent artistic movements.

The Renaissance began with the rediscovery of classical philosophy and science. This led to a renewed appreciation for ancient Greek and Roman art forms, which were seen as embodying human perfection and beauty.

Artists such as Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and Raphael were some of the most famous masters during this time, creating iconic works such as the Sistine Chapel ceiling, Mona Lisa and The School of Athens, respectively. These artists greatly influenced how people viewed art from this point forward.

Painting was at the forefront during this period as artists sought to capture their subjects’ inner beauty with more realistic techniques. The use of chiaroscuro (the contrast between light and dark) gave paintings greater depth while more vibrant colors created a sense of movement within artwork. Scenes from everyday life became increasingly popular subjects for paintings alongside religious imagery.

Sculpture was also an important part of Renaissance art history with master sculptors such as Donatello creating some truly stunning works. He perfected his technique by combining realism with classical elements to create sculptures that looked almost like real people or animals rather than just stone figures. His style had a huge influence on other artists during this era who sought to emulate his skillful technique.

Architecture was another area that saw significant growth during this time thanks to the advancements made by architects such as Filippo Brunelleschi who designed churches based on classical principles such as perfect proportions and symmetry. This meant buildings were constructed with greater stability while also looking aesthetically pleasing.

Literature, too, experienced great change during this era with writers such as Dante Alighieri creating works that explored themes such as religion, morality and love in ways not seen before.

The Renaissance is considered one of the most influential periods in European art history due to its lasting impact on subsequent artistic movements. Its emphasis on realism gave way to an appreciation for beauty in all its forms while inspiring new ways for people to express themselves through various mediums.


The Renaissance is an important period in art history due to its lasting influence on subsequent artistic movements. It was marked by an appreciation for classical antiquity combined with innovative techniques which enabled artists to create stunning works that still inspire us today.