The Lasting Influence of Italian Renaissance Art

The golden age of art, music and literature still burns brightly today.

The following article, written by Kelly Richman-Abdou, appears on 

The Captivating History and Enduring Influence of Italian Renaissance Art

Throughout history, no art movement has had an impact as profound as Italian Renaissance art. Regarded as a golden age of art, music, and literature, the period has inspired creatives for centuries, with iconic works by master artists like Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo serving as muses.

Here, we explore the history and trace the trends of the revolutionary movement, paying particular attention to the aesthetic characteristics and artistic techniques that define it.

What is the Italian Renaissance?

The Italian Renaissance occurred between the 14th and 17 centuries in Italy. Derived from the word Rinascimento, or “rebirth,” the Renaissance is generally seen as an enlightened age of art and architecture due to a renewed cultural interest in classical antiquity.

“The Early Renaissance” denotes the period between 1400 and 1490, when artists like Fra Angelico and Botticelli began to experiment with realism.

Between 1490 and 1527, well-known Italian artists like Da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Raphaelproduced particularly celebrated works of art. This period of time is often referred to as the “High Renaissance.”


During the Dark Ages (approximately 500-1000 AD), Italian art was predominantly rooted in religion. In painting, this unique approach was characterized by spiritual iconography, flat compositions, unrealistic color palettes, and ethereal, otherworldly figures. In the 1300s, however, Italian artists based in Florence abandoned this distinctive aesthetic and adopted a more humanist approach to art. This time of change would eventually be known as the Italian Renaissance. Continue reading at

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