|Art History 101|
Unfolding from around the year 1300 to the middle of the 16th century, the Italian Renaissance was one of the most important and prolific periods in the history of art. The Renaissance (the French word for “rebirth”) refers to the rediscovery of ideals from classical antiquity. A system of values that came to be known as humanism, these ideals turned away from the dogma of medieval scholasticism in order to advance education in rhetoric, history, moral philosophy, and other liberal arts. While this rebirth occurred in many creative realms—the poetry of Dante Alighieri, the architecture of Filippo Brunelleschi, the scientific experiments of Galileo Galilei—certain works of visual art stand as the most iconic representations of the Renaissance and its principles. Indeed, this is the period when the most famous images shifted from being icons—representations of holy figures like Christ or the Virgin Mary imbued with special devotional powers—to being iconic in a secular sense.
Masaccio, Donatello, Botticelli, Da Vinci, Titian and more at Artsy: