Renaissance Features with characteristics and causes artists


Artistic-cultural movement that took place in Europe during the 15th and part of the 16th centuries. In this article we will provide you the features of Renaissance.

The Renaissance was an artistic-cultural movement that, from Italy, spread throughout Western Europe from the 15th century .

It was the cultural manifestation of a change in the European mentality that went from a theocentric world view, typical of the medieval period, to an anthropocentric one . This change, manifested in the humanist philosophical current, is considered the beginning of the Modern Age . Anthropocentric thinking emphasized the human ability to access knowledge of the world through reason. In this sense, the people of the Renaissance considered themselves heirs to the values ​​of Greek and Roman culture .

The concept of “rebirth” refers to the recovery of these classical values ​​after the Middle Ages .

The artistic Renaissance is usually divided into two moments :

  • The Quattrocento , or First Renaissance : from 1400 to 1480 approximately, had the city of Florence as its center.
  • The Cinquecento , or High Renaissance : from 1480 to 1520, centered on Rome from where it spread across Europe.

The creation of Adam is part of the decoration of the Sistine Chapel vault made by Miguel Ángel Buonarroti between 1508-1512.

Renaissance Features

Among the main characteristics of the Renaissance we can highlight the following:

  • A critical spirit developed with the pretense of knowing reality scientifically . This was manifested in all the arts and in the way of conceiving the relationship of people with the world .
  • It began in the Italian city of Florence and from there it went first to other Italian cities, especially Rome and Venice and then to the rest of Europe.
  • The concept of the individual acquired great importance . It was manifested through the search for personal transcendence through the works themselves, either as a creator, in the case of artists; or as protector and providing material support to artists in the case of patrons.
  • Art was both naturalistic and idealistic . The artists intended to represent the real world as it was seen, but at the same time they wanted to show only its beauty
  • In order to represent the three-dimensionality of the real world on the flat surface of the painting or the wall, they developed techniques, such as perspective that gave a sense of space and chiaroscuro , which allowed bodies to be given volume.
  • The artists were transformed into intellectuals with knowledge of mathematics, geometry and optics to solve the problems of perspective; of anatomy to represent the human body; as well as literature, philosophy and theology to give interest to the themes of his works.
  • In literature, themes and characters typical of classical antiquity were taken. At the same time, the forms acquired as much importance as the subjects the subjects covered.

Origin of the Renaissance Renaissance Features

Its origin dates back to Florence , Italy , to the year 1400,  where an intention was conceived to transform and evolve art in Europe, which for this moment conserved the medieval style.

In this way, Renaissance art would stop presenting only religious material in its works and would begin to shape art around the human being , their desires , feelings and delights . This artistic movement generated a new range of styles, such as the creation of portraits , nude works, and paintings of mythology and landscapes .

The Renaissance gave rise to a new artistic era but also a new cultural era, since from that moment palaces, universities and town halls began to be built, when previously only churches were built.

Although its changes were slow and rigorous, the task was finally achieved and there was a significant change in art, a transformation that brought innovation and progress, consequently, to the social and scientific field.

Causes of the Renaissance

Among the causes that drove the appearance and spread of the Renaissance can be mentioned:

  • The expansion of trade from the thirteenth century favored urban development and the emergence of a rich commercial, financial and industrial bourgeoisie , very interested in the acquisition of knowledge and in the consumption of works of art.
  • The prosperity of Italian cities , which manifested itself in the construction of new buildings and monuments.
  • The appearance of the patrons . These were powerful and wealthy people who protected the artists and gave them financial support. In the Renaissance period the most important patrons were the Catholic Church , the bankers and great Italian merchants and, outside of Italy, the kings and their courts.
  • The development of universities that stimulated the recovery of Greco-Latin thought and the spread of humanism.
  • The invention of the printing press , which facilitated the spread of humanist ideas.

Renaissance and Humanism Renaissance Features

The Renaissance took advantage of the momentum of man and transferred it to the development of science and modernity. Humanism, first, had laid the foundations for man to place himself and think as an intellectual being and capable of being realized through the arts and sciences.

Both currents were formed around the capacities of the human being in terms of art, philosophy and science. The Renaissance applied human capacities directly to the intellectual and artistic field.

In short, the Renaissance together with Humanism determined a new conception of the world and of man.

Renaissance artists

Among the main leading artists of the Renaissance art movement are the following:

  • Filippo Brunelleschi (1377-1446) : Florentine architect. He is considered the inventor of mathematical perspective.
  • Sandro Botticelli (1445-1510) : Italian painter born in Florence. Some of his most recognized works are “The Birth of Venus” and “Spring.”
  • Leonardo Da Vinci (1452-1519) : painter, architect, sculptor, engineer, inventor, and noted for his knowledge of science. Among his works stands out “The Last Supper” located in the refectory of the convent of Santa María de las Gracias in Milan.
  • Miguel Ángel Buonarroti (1475-1564) : Italian architect, painter and sculptor. He developed his career in Florence and Rome. His works include the vault and one of the walls of the Sistine Chapel, the design of the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican, the sculptures of David and various versions of La Piedad.
  • Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528) : German painter, draftsman and printmaker.
  • Tiziano Vecellio (1477 / 1490-1576) : Venetian painter.
  • Rafael Sanzio (1483-1520) : Italian architect and painter. He is considered one of the great masters of the Renaissance period.

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