Q:

What was the difference between Northern and Italian Renaissance art?

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Quick Answer

The primary differences between Northern Renaissance art and Italian Renaissance art were the emphasis placed on religion and anatomical extent to which the human body was portrayed. Northern Renaissance artists were more religious in their approach, while Italian artists were more secular. Too, science was an area in which many Italian Renaissance painters had great interest, and that interest tended to find its way into their art.

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The term "Northern Renaissance" paintings is somewhat misleading because it actually refers to the Renaissance anywhere outside of Italy. The Renaissance for Italy was a period of enlightenment in which there were considerable developments in science as well as art. Observations of nature and natural science were of particular interest to Renaissance artists.

Depictions of the human body as anatomically and proportionally correct are evident in countless Italian Renaissance pieces. Such ideals were embraced and backed by wealthy Italian patrons who were eager to support the causes. In contrast, the rest of Europe was still more firmly rooted in Medieval religious ideals, and there were fewer wealthy patrons willing to support artists. As a result, Northern Renaissance art depicts religious subjects and messages, partly in rebellion to what, at the time, appeared to be increasingly secular messages appearing in Italian art of the time.

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  • Q:

    What is Renaissance art?

    A:

    Renaissance art emerged in Italy in the late 14th century, which is also known as the Renaissance period, and is represented through paintings, sculpture, architecture and other decorative art forms. It was named after the period of time during which many parts of Europe saw a renewed interest in learning about classical Roman and Greek culture and is highlighted by Italian masters like Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and Raphael.

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  • Q:

    How did art change in the Renaissance?

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    The art of the Renaissance is characterized by realism. During the early Renaissance, from 1400 to 1479, artists including Donatello and Giotto focused on symmetry to create the perfect form, consulting the work of classical artists. In the high Renaissance, from 1475 to 1525, artists including Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo focused on space and perspective to lend more realism to art.

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    What are the characteristics of Renaissance art?

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    Renaissance art is best characterized as a form focusing on Christian religious imagery using the classical influences of ancient Greek and Roman art and applying scientific and mathematic principles to create depth and realism in works. Renaissance artists were often both scientific and creative.

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  • Q:

    How do Medieval and Renaissance art differ?

    A:

    Medieval and Renaissance art differ in size and shape of human figures, depictions of environment and interpretations of three-dimensional drawings. Medieval and Renaissance cultures varied significantly, which sparked the difference in artistic drawings and paintings by artists of those historical periods. Medieval art focused less on accuracy and realistic impressions of humans by emphasizing drawing people according to social status instead and depicting different religious events in single scenes.

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