Exemplar 5: Renaissance Art

Renaissance Art

Student produced video introducing the topic has been deleted to protect student privacy.

How has renaissance art influence modern art today?

Thesis: Renaissance art has influenced modern art from its sense of emotion, symbolism, and realism.

Background Information

Renaissance art is important today, because during that time, the artists have created legendary, and creative pieces of art. The renaissance era lasted from the late 14th century to the early 16th century, and was a time great artists emerged. Many art historians say that the renaissance was a time for the artists to let themselves go, and be free with art. Art professor James Slauson at MIAD college states, “the renaissance allowed artists more individual freedom of expression, and they broke new ground on what the art of the future would be like.” Slauson, saying that artists had freedom of creation for all their work. Except, art professor Michael Aschenbrenner at MIAD states, “However, their work wasn't just what they felt like creating.  Their work had to meet very specific guidelines for the patrons that commissioned it.” Aschenbrenner says, that the artists didn't have any freedom to what they created. They had specific guidelines to follow for the Pope or emperor.  Some of the pieces that they created freely or created under guidelines have influenced modern art. Much of the art during the renaissance has been important to modern art and artists. Since the renaissance, modern art has been expanded greatly through the years.

For more information on the renaissance click here for a video or click here for an article

Mona Lisa, Leonardo Da Vinci

Before the renaissance and into the Roman era, there weren't many paintings and drawings that showed peoples sense of emotions. During the renaissance, Leonardo Da Vinci painted which is one of worlds mostly renowned paintings, the Mona Lisa (to the left). It shows a woman sitting still, with fancy clothes, meaning she must be wealthy, and has smirk on her face symbolizing emotions. Also demonstrating the proportions of the human figure like his drawings of the Vitruvian Man. Leonardo painted her with human like emotions, unlike art before the renaissance. Today you see paintings and drawings with human emotions in many art pieces. One artist Marion Bolognesi, she paints water color paintings which looks like peoples tears. Painting the peoples emotions was part of creating humanism in paintings and drawings during renaissance and modern times.
If you want to learn more about Leonardo Da Vinci click here for more information

If you want to learn more about The Vitruvian Man click here for more information

Symbolism was a big deal during the renaissance. Symbolism during the renaissance era was mostly with religious symbols, and symbolism with Christ. One grand painting, painted in the Sistine Chapel, by Michelangelo demonstrates religious symbolism in many different ways. (In the thinglink below, you may see the different symbolism in The Last Judgement). There are many pieces of art by many other famous artist, but these pieces have transcended into modern times. In Cindy Sherman’s reworking of Raphael's La Fornarina is the same concept of the painting but with some touchy differences. These paintings symbolize the past, and the meaning the past, which is clean, fancy and sometimes wealthy. Cindy Sherman’s painting models off of Raphael’s but puts in modern day looks, and shows her world and life of being messy, a mom unlike the original. The symbolism of the original painting is still there, but modernized to fit art today.

If you want to learn more about symbolism click here for more information

The Last Judgement

Audrey Hepburn

Realism, and proportional art was a big impact to our society. It all started with Da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man, and his studies of drawings of the human man. Da Vinci took his studies of the human and inputted them into his artwork. Such as the Mona Lisa in 1517, demonstrated its emotion, but its realism in proportion as well. For Michelangelo and his work of ‘David’, it demonstrates the true beauty of artwork, and its very high detail in human characteristics. Without the Vitruvian man, much of renaissance art wouldn't have the human realism in much artwork. From the renaissance, there are many paintings and drawings of people with the correct proportions. Realistic drawings have improved greatly, with different techniques, and different styles of art. Martijn Versteeg, who is an artist in the Netherlands drew a picture of Audrey Hepburn, in pencil, and the details in it are breath taking. Without the renaissance, we wouldn't have such realistic drawings, and artwork that is part of our lives today.  

If you want to learn more about realism in art click here for information

Realism between Renaissance & Modern


Renaissance is an important part of history. It changed art, and the techniques of art. We try to make artwork like the renaissance did, and try to copy their style. By the late renaissance era, artists were no longer known as a tradesman or in our society we think of a low life job, such as a plumber or janitor. Before the renaissance, artists weren't highly respected, but by the end of the renaissance, the better or highly mastered artist you were, the highly respected you were. Artists got the respect they deserved, from creating all the breathtaking pieces that they created. And from all those pieces of art, we have been influenced by their style, and character of the artwork. Without the renaissance, art would still be a low life hobby, and a low respected career, and today people try to stay out of those low life jobs, and that’s how art would be. We wouldn't have the amazing art we have now.

(Below you may see many famous pieces of renaissance artwork)

    Famous Renaissance Art

  • Austin, Jamie S. "Art in the Renaissance." Italy. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 May 2014. <http://www.lifeinitaly.com/art/renaissance.asp>
  • "Renaissance Connection." Renaissance Connection. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 May 2014. <http://www.renaissanceconnection.org/artistslife.html>
  • Mckay, Brett, and Kate Mckay. "The Basics of Art: The Renaissance." The Art of Manliness RSS. N.p., 16 July 2010. Web. 08 May 2014. <http://www.artofmanliness.com/2010/07/16/man-knowledge-the-basics-of-art-the-renaissance/>
  • Mansen, Raven. "Leonardo Da Vinci's Notebook." Leonardo Da Vinci's Notebook. Raven Mansen, 2007. Web. 15 May 2014. <http://www.ivc.edu/academics/schoolFA/arthistory/Documents/art2526projects/davinci_f07/page/analysis.html>
  • "Michelangelo Biography." Bio.com. A&E Networks Television, 2014. Web. 15 May 2014. <http://www.biography.com/people/michelangelo-9407628?page=2>