The Renaissance period (Italian for “rebirth”) was a time of cultural progress in Italy between the 14th and 17th centuries. This period is called the “dawn of modern civilization.” In many ways, it served as a shift from the Middle Ages and its basic values— witnessing the rise of literature, science, technology, and political systems.
Not surprisingly, art took centre stage as artists experimented with new styles and ideas. During this period, some of the most renowned painters in history were born.
And while there were many paintings by artist names in this wide-ranging movement, here’s a list of artists who worked to get the most out of their canvases and created masterpieces that are admired by art lovers today.
Leonardo da Vinci
With his detailed, dramatic, and lifelike art pieces, Leonardo da Vinci, one of the artist names, was the most famous painters from the Renaissance Era. He painted The Last Supper, Monalisa, and Vitruvian Man, among countless other masterpieces that continue to inspire today. When it was rare for an artist to have training in more than one subject area, Da Vinci was both a skilled painter and engineer.
In order to capture subtle expressions in his paintings, Da Vinci carried out extensive studies on human anatomy and facial expressions. Back then, it was highly unusual for an oil painting artist to dissect cadavers and make anatomical drawings of the bones and muscles; Leonardo da Vinci devoted himself to this task.
His detailed studies of landscape and light are noteworthy for both their technical mastery and innovation. Da Vinci pioneered techniques such as sfumato, in which tones and colors gently shade into each other, and chiaroscuro. Strong contrasts between light and dark shapes create a three-dimensional effect.
Jeroen van Aken, also known as Hieronymus Bosch in the Netherlands, was a famous artist of the renaissance period. He lived during the Dutch Renaissance and was an esteemed painter, draughtsman, and illustrator of the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries. Hieronymus Bosch’s art is best acclaimed for symbolism and religious imagery that reflected his desire to change how people saw life and death at that time.
His unique style can be witnessed in artworks such as ‘The Garden of Earthly Delights’ and ‘The Last Judgement. The use of vibrant colours with the portrayal of eclectic and fantastical creatures may make his art off-putting sometimes, but always fascinating and thought-provoking. In fact, his sublime imagery inspired the Surrealists of the early twentieth century to further explore fascinating paintings by artist name and appreciate human imagination.
The Divine Creator of Art! The Italian painter, sculptor, architect, and poet was one of Renaissance’s most influential artists. Michaelangelo started his career by painting frescoes in Florence but soon moved to Rome, becoming one of the most renowned and wealthiest artists in history.
A pioneering sculptor and painter, Michelangelo exerted an unparalleled influence on the development of Western art. Making use of his expansive knowledge of the human body, he created sculptures that convey a tremendous sense of movement and emotion. His ceiling fresco for the Sistine Chapel is a masterpiece in which his distinctive creativity inspired generations of artists who followed him.
In fact, St. Peter’s Basilica — listed as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World—is considered Michelangelo’s crowning architectural achievement.
Did you know? Michelangelo’s David is a magnificent sculpture that remains unrivalled to this day. This beautiful statue of the biblical hero David was sculpted from a single block of marble, and it is believed to represent strength, intellectual beauty, and power.
One of the famous artists names of the Italian High Renaissance, Raphael has long been celebrated as the quintessential “master of harmony”—someone who is equally adept at creating beautiful figures, carefully composed arrangements, and splendidly balanced visual scenes.
Raphael, along with Leonardo da Vinci as well as Michelangelo, forms the trinity of great masters of the Renaissance. His art is held in high esteem by art historians, who note its perfect craftsmanship, ease of composition, balanced clarity, and visual depiction of the beauty of the human form.
Pope Julius II commissioned him to paint what would become one of his best-known works – The School of Athens. Today, The School of Athens remains a true masterpiece and is still regarded as one of history’s most significant artworks. His noteworthy masterpieces include ‘Transfiguration,’ ‘The Sistine Madonna,’ ‘Portrait of Baldassare Castiglione,’ and many other famous paintings.
Sandro Botticelli was a leading figure in the early Renaissance who helped popularise the use of the pictorial perspective. In fact, his style of elegant linear lines and graceful figures came to be the hallmark of the Florentine school of painting.
Although Botticelli has been best known for his mythological paintings that have art historians debating their meaning and symbolism, some of his greatest work took a classical style more in line with the theme of Christianity. Arguably his most famous work is ‘The Birth of Venus’, which depicts the Roman goddess Venus emerging from the ocean as if it were a shell.
A man ahead of his time, he often portrayed women as independent and confident, in stark contrast to the traditional views of womanhood during this period. Botticelli’s most famous works include ‘The Primavera’, ‘Adoration of the Magi’, and several paintings in the Uffizi and Pitti palaces in Florence.
The Italian Age of Renaissance was a momentous period in painting. It was an age when art was emerging and expanding. The likes of Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, and many artists’ names were at the forefront of the movement. Its influence spread to other parts of Europe, which contributed significantly to establishing painting as one of the art forms in the world. Many artists are globally known by their last name, you can browse through a list of painters by last name. This makes searching for an artist search by last name much easier and quicker.