How Did Art Change in the Renaissance?

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.

During the Renaissance, the type of work changed as well as the way in which artists approached their subjects. A large number of the pieces created during the Middle Ages in Europe was of a religious nature. Artists of the Renaissance continued to paint and sculpt religious figures, but they also included other subjects in their collections of work such as Greek and Roman mythology, historical subjects and portraits. It was also common for paintings to depict scenes and details of everyday life. Figures in paintings and sculptures were created to more closely resemble what real people might look like or the ideal of the human figure. Strong attention was paid to light and how it might add depth, dimension, perspective and drama to paintings. Artists used perspective to create the illusion that the subjects of the paintings had three dimensions, making some objects appear to be further away than others. Artists also used proportion to paint objects in a realistic size, making sure that everything in the painting balanced realistically when compared to each other.