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Renaissance
(c. 1400 - 1600)

Copenhagen in the Renaissance

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Renaissance art is defined by the art and architecture, painting, sculpture, and allied arts produced in Europe in the historical period called the Renaissance. Broadly considered, the period covers the 200 years between 1400 and 1600, although specialists disagree on exact dates. The word renaissance literally means "rebirth" and is the French translation of the Italian "rinascita". 

The two principal components of Renaissance style are  1) a revival of the classical forms originally developed by the ancient Greeks and Romans, and  2) an intensified concern with secular life -- interest in humanism and assertion of the importance of the individual. The Renaissance period in art history corresponds with the beginning of the great Western age of discovery and exploration, when a general desire developed to examine all aspects of nature and the world.  

Kingdom of Yemen 1967. Renaissance. Paolo Uccello: "St. George Slaying the Dragon". Nicaragua 1984. Renaissance. Fragment of Correggio's painting "Ganimedes". Quaiti State in Hadhramaut 1967. Piero della Francesca: "Federico da Montefeltro".

During the Renaissance, artists were no longer regarded as mere artisans, as they had been in the medieval past, but for the first time were seen as independent personalities, comparable to poets and writers. They sought new solutions to formal and visual problems, and many of them were also devoted to scientific experimentation. In this context, mathematical or linear perspective was developed, a system in which all objects in a painting or in low-relief sculpture are related both proportionally and rationally. As a result, the painted surface was regarded as a window on the natural world, and it became the task of painters to portray this world in their art. 

Consequently, painters began to devote themselves more rigorously to the rendition of landscape -- the careful depiction of trees, flowers, plants, distant mountains, and cloud-filled skies. Artists studied the effect of light out-of-doors and how the eye perceives the diverse elements in nature. They developed aerial perspective, in which objects become increasingly less distinct and less sharply coloured as they recede from the eye of the viewer. Northern painters, especially those from Flanders and the Netherlands, were as advanced as Italian artists in landscape painting and contributed to the innovations of their southern contemporaries by introducing oil paint as a new medium. Oil paint as such was invented during the Gothic period by the Dutch brothers Hubert & Jan van Eyck.  Until now the normal mediua had been tempera. 

For the International Stamp Exhibition Italia '85 in Rome, Italy issued -- among others -- this nice set of three stamps, introducing the Renaissance Art.

Italy 1985. International Stamp Exhibition ITALIA '85 in Rome. Renaissance  Art by Raphael. Italy 1985. International Stamp Exhibition ITALIA '85 in Rome. Exhibition Logo. Italy 1985. International Stamp Exhibition ITALIA '85 in Rome. Renaissance Art by Baldassare Peruzzi.

The Renaissance can roughly be divided into 3 periods:  Early Renaissance, High Renaissance, and Late Renaissance (the latter also known as Mannerism). 

Sources and links:  

Copenhagen in the Renaissance

Listing in alphabetical order of the most outstanding Renaissance artists within each period.  Click on any of the active links to go directly to the individual artist's page. Those marked with an asterisk are represented on this page.  

Early  High  Mannerism Foreign
  • Brunelleschi
  • della Francesca *
  • Donatello
  • Masaccio 
  • Uccello *
Literature Tapestry

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Revised 27-aug-2006. Ann Mette Heindorff
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