Top 15 Artists That Shaped The Renaissance Era

The term rinascita which appeared first in Giorgio Vasari’s work was later translated to English in the early 1830s and became to be known as Renaissance. Renaissance is widely seen as the symbol of social change whose roots first appeared in Italy and swept through complete Europe. The significance of this period that stretched from the 1300s to the 1600s is so potent that it is still being taught in classrooms and is the object of fascination among historians. It also provided us with some of the greatest painters, architects, and writers of all time.


He is often regarded as one of the four most prominent figures of the renaissance period. He was born in Florence, Italy on 6th March 1475 as Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni. He was the master of many trades such as architecture, painting, poems, etc, and is still considered the greatest artist to have ever existed. His most famous works are Sistine Chapel Ceiling which is where he has painted the famous fresco The Last judgment, apart from that his masterpiece includes David a 17ft marble structure.

Leonardo Da Vinci

The world has seen very few people matching the stature of Leonardo Da Vinci, his knowledge was not bound to a few subjects. His area of interest included engineering, music, architecture, painting, and several others. He was born Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci on 14/15 April 1452 and to date, many historians believe that no other men compare to the genius of Da Vinci. His most notable works are the famous Mona Lisa, The Last Supper and he is also considered the father of paleontology, architecture, etc


Born as Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino on April 6, 1483, and despite his death, at a young age of 37, he managed to leave behind a number of his works one of which include Raphael Rooms that are now under Vatican City Museum. Although he was not famous during his lifetime when the painting scene was hugely dominated by Michaelangelo and Da Vinci his work was later recognized by historians and artists because of the grace, fine details, and prominence on details.


Donatello was a renaissance sculptor who worked with all kinds of materials such as marbles, stone, and bronze among others. He was born Donato di Niccolo di Betto bardo in the year 1386 and is seen as one of the greatest artists of all time. His bronze sculpture of David in Florence is considered to be one of the first works of renaissance sculpture, he was also widely known for his knowledge of the ancient culture.

Sandro Botticelli

Alessandro di Mariano di Vanni Filippi was an Italian painter during the earlier renaissance, his work was largely shadowed by other artists such as Michaelangelo in the Sistine chapel and it is only after some time that he gained recognition for his paintings among which is the popular Birth Of Venus. Botticelli, through his work, judged the limits of prose and images when he painted the work of Dante’s The Divine Comedy. His style of painting changed over the years because of some influences and the death of Lorenzo de Medici

Filippo Brunelleschi

Filippo Brunelleschi was considered the founding father of renaissance architecture, he was also an accomplished engineer, mathematician, and sculptor. His most famous work to date is the design of the dome of the Florence Cathedral which is seen as the masterpiece of European Architecture. He is also attributed to have introduced the system of linear perspective which revolutionized the whole method of approach in painting.

Francesco Petrarca

Francesco Petrarca was born on July 1304 and is popularly known by the translated English name Petrarch. He was active during the beginning of the Italian renaissance and was a renowned scholar and humanist. His influence can be seen in the works of many artists, he is also considered as the father of the renaissance. In his works, he questioned the relationship between man and the god despite being a catholic, his notable famous work include Secretum Epistole Familiaers, etc.


Born as Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio was an Italian painter who was active in Rome. The paintings captured physical, as well as intense emotional aspects of the human, and the artist himself was considered to be violent and belligerent. His work influenced the works of great artists such as Rembrandt and on baroque paintings. His famous artworks are supper at Emmaus, Bacchus, etc.


Giotto di Bondone mononymous called Giotto was one of the earliest artists in the renaissance period he was born around 1267 and died in 1337. He was a painter and architect who is known to have painted the Scrovegni Chapel in Padua which is also sometimes called Arena Chapel. His body of work mainly belonged to the Gothic movement and Giovanni Villani who was alive during his lifetime distinguished him as the king of painters.


Tiziano Vecelli was an Italian painter who was written as the founder of the Venetian school of painting during the renaissance period. His works were recognized and praised right from the beginning of his career and are said to have influenced the works of many renaissances as well as western artists. His painting the Feast Of The Gods is considered to be a masterpiece and one of the greatest by Venetian scholars, he is famous for his brilliant usage of colors.

Jan van Eyck

Jan van Eyck was a Netherlandish painter and belonged to the Dutch and Flemish Renaissance painting movement. He is most prominently credited as the inventor of the oil painting which is considered to be not true but he surely is seen as one of the earliest masters of it. Jan Van Eyck worked for the Duke of Burgundy as a court painter and also as a diplomat. His most famous works included religious symbolism along with realism to convey the coexistence of both. Notable workpieces are Ghent Altarpiece, Madonna of Chancellor Rolin, etc.

Giorgio Vasari

Giorgio Vasari was an Italian painter and writer who is known best for his biographies of artists of renaissance artists known as The Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects, he is considered as the father of art history. Vasari earned a great reputation throughout his lifetime and managed to rise to great social status. His notable paintings and architectures are six Tuscan poets as well as Vasari corridor among several others.


Masaccio died at the young age of 26 and still managed to be known as the first Greta Italian painter of the Quattrocento period. His works were famous for the illusion they gave where the people seemed to be present in a three-dimensional state instead of on a two-dimensional paper. He was also the first painter who used the linear perspective in his work which was Holy Trinity fresco in Santa Maria Novella in Florence.

Hieronymus Bosch

Hieronymus Bosch was born Jheronimus van Aken in 1450, he was a painter and represented the Netherlandish painting school. He was seen as the master of the surreal, his paintings showed the vivid description of otherworldly creatures that symbolized the nature of man. His most notable artwork the Garden of Earthly Delights showed the complete journey of humans from birth to the afterlife on three canvases and is considered a masterpiece.

Sofonisba Anguissola

She was an Italian Renaissance painter who is attributed to have paved the way for women to take up a career in fine arts. She is said to have achieved an all-around education and traveled to Rome where she painted the Duke Of Alba. She was the first woman to achieve international fame when she was invited by the Queen of Spain to tutor her and later got the position of court painter. Her most famous work includes the Game of Chess, Portrait of Elena Anguissola among others.

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