Renaissance art is the painting, sculpture and decorative arts of that period of European history known as theRenaissance, emerging as a distinct style in Italy in about 1400, in parallel with developments which occurred inphilosophy, literature, music and science. Renaissance art, perceived as a "rebirth" of ancient traditions, took as its foundation the art of Classical antiquity, but transformed that tradition by the absorption of recent developments in the art of Northern Europe and by application of contemporary scientific knowledge. Renaissance art, with Renaissance Humanist philosophy, spread throughout Europe, affecting both artists and their patrons with the development of new techniques and new artistic sensibilities. Renaissance art marks the transition of Europe from the medieval period to the Early modern age.
In many parts of Europe, Early Renaissance art was created in parallel with Late Medieval art. By 1500 the Renaissance style prevailed. As Late Renaissance art (Mannerism) developed, it took on different and distinctive characteristics in every región.
- The use of perspective: The first major treatment of the painting as a window into space appeared in the work of Giotto di Bondone, at the beginning of the 14th century. True linear perspective was formalized later, by Filippo Brunelleschi and Leon Battista Alberti. In addition to giving a more realistic presentation of art, it moved Renaissance painters into composing more paintings.
- foreshortening - The term foreshortening refers to the artistic effect of shortening lines in a drawing so as to create an illusion of depth.
- sfumato - The term sfumato was coined by Italian Renaissance artist, Leonardo da Vinci, and refers to a fine art painting technique of blurring or softening of sharp outlines by subtle and gradual blending of one tone into another through the use of thin glazes to give the illusion of depth or three-dimensionality. This stems from the Italian word sfumare meaning to evaporate or to fade out. The Latin origin is fumare, to smoke. The opposite of sfumato is chiaroscuro.
- chiaroscuro - The term chiaroscuro refers to the fine art painting modeling effect of using a strong contrast between light and dark to give the illusion of depth or three-dimensionality. This comes from the Italian words meaning light (chiaro) and dark (scuro), a technique which came into wide use in the Baroque Period.; Sfumato is the opposite of chiaroscuro.
- Balance and Proportion: proper sises.
- Leone Battista Alberti (1404–1472)
- Fra Angelico (c.1395-1455)
- Biagio d'Antonio
- Giotto di Bondone (1267–1337)
- Sandro Botticelli
- Domenico Veneziano
- Filippo Lippi
- Andrea del Castagno
- Piero di Cosimo
- Paolo Uccello
- Antonello da Messina
- Andrea Mantegna
- Luca Signorelli
- Alessio Baldovinetti
- Piero della Francesca
- Andrea del Verrocchio
- Domenico Ghirlandaio
- Benozzo Gozzoli
- Carlo Crivelli
- Leonardo da Vinci