Iconic Renaissance Artists of Great Period


Renaissance art is timeless and still appreciated to this day. It has informed much of the art that followed this period and helps us better understand our history. Below you’ll find everything you need to know about famous renaissance artists and art during the renaissance period!

What Is Renaissance Art?

It is art made between the 14th, 15th, and 16th centuries. Famous artists during the renaissance explored a new awareness of nature, individuality, and a revival of classical learning. The focus was primarily on renaissance art in Europe. Italians renaissance artists made up most of this category, followed by other countries across the continent. This period of art is almost priceless and featured in museums globally for public viewing.

Leonardo da Vinci

renaissance artists

Leonardo was born on April 1452 in the republic of Florence, Italy. Recognized as one of the few greatest renaissance painters of all time, Leonardo surely made his mark in the High Renaissance world. He is specifically remembered for the “Mona Lisa”– the most highly acclaimed portrait ever made, his depiction of “The Last Supper” and “The Vitruvian Man”.

These works are scattered in famous museums around the world. He made an impact by challenging traditional techniques, mirroring the human body immaculately, and exploring dimension. His untamed curiosity resulted in many unfinished works but also unveiled the most compelling works he has ever made. His ability to convey tenderness and maintain lifelike detail was unlike no other. His work was both bold and intimate for its time, beautifully encapsulating human nature. A total of approximately twenty-five of his finished pieces have survived to this day. Following his passing in 1519, he left behind many unfinished scribbles and processes, but not many completed works. Leonardo da Vinci manages to remain brilliantly singular as one of the most famous renaissance artists the world will ever see.


renaissance painters

Another brilliantly talented Italian renaissance artist was born March 6th, 1475 in Caprese, Italy. He emerged from humble beginnings as a painter’s apprentice into a widely celebrated multi-disciplinary artist. Michelangelo is appreciated for his virtuosity and mastery. He is known for being talented from a very early age and ironically short-tempered. As one of the early renaissance artists, he gained his expertise through studying in the exclusive sculpture gardens under the ruling Medici family. His most famous sculptures are “Pieta” and “David”. These religious pieces can be found in St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City, and Accademia Gallery, Florence. He also wrote over 300 different poems during his life and spent four years painting the integral Sistine chapel ceiling. He passed away at age 88 in his favorite city, Rome. His work has held the test of time century after century and is still considered to be one of the greatest renaissance artists to ever exist. He will live on through his art and continue to be appreciated for the many years to come.

Raphael Sanzio da Urbino

famous renaissance artists

Born between March and April of 1483, Raphael joins the group of great renaissance painters of our renaissance artist list. Along with Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci, these three make up the most important renaissance artists or the holy trinity. Raphael was known specifically for his impressive visuals, understanding of form, and effortless ease. His skill and technique were of the highest caliber. He was made famous mainly by his Madonnas and, of course, his work for the Vatican. Not to mention his paintings like “Transfiguration” and “School of Athens.” Raphael’s art was strongly influenced by religious figures and composition. Two works that stray away from this religious mold are “La Fornarina,” said to be a suggestive painting related to his mistress, and his “Self-Portrait” where he depicts himself as a dreamboat in mournful black. Raphael was extremely productive, which may have resulted in working himself to death at the early age of 37.

Sandro Botticelli

early renaissance artists

Sandro Botticelli, originally named Alessandro di Mariano di Vanni Filipepi, was born March 1st, 1445 in Florence, Italy. He was another famous artist from the Renaissance. At the peak of his artistic fame, he was one of the most popular artists in the entire country. His tender images of the Madonna and Child, altarpieces, and finally his life-size fantasy paintings, such as “Venus and Mars”, favored his lifetime. His early work often focused more on the human figure than the space surrounding it and then evolved to smaller details over the years. Consumed entirely by his art, he never married and lived with his family. He died in 1510, like many other artists, in Florence, Italy.

The Best Museums and Galleries to Witness Renaissance Art Firsthand

art during the renaissance
  1. The Musee Du Louvre (Paris, France)
  2. Royal Museum of Fine Arts (Antwerp, Belgium)
  3. Gemäldegalerie (Berlin, Germany)
  4. J. Paul Getty Museum ( Los Angeles, California)
  5. Bargello National Museum (Florence, Italy)
  6. The Cloth Hall (Krakow, Poland)
  7. Brancacci Chapel (Florence, Italy)
  8. Faras Gallery at the National Museum in Warsaw (Warsaw, Poland)
  9. Musée Constantin Meunier Museum (Brussels, Belgium)
  10. Rijksmuseum (Amsterdam, Netherlands)
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