Top Ten Early Renaissance Painters

Top Ten Early Renaissance Painters

Although both the Pisanos and Giotto had students and followers, the first truly Renaissance artists were not to emerge in Florence until 1401 with the competition to sculpt a set of bronze doors of the Baptistery of Florence Cathedral which drew entries from seven young sculptors including Brunelleschi, Donatello and the winner, Lorenzo Ghiberti. Later, Donatello became renowned as the greatest sculptor of the Early Renaissance, his masterpieces being his Humanist and unusually erotic statue of David, one of the icons of the Florentine republic, and his great monument to Gattamelata, the first large equestrian bronze to be created since Roman times. The contemporary of Donatello, Masaccio, was the painterly descendant of Giotto, furthering the trend towards solidity of form and naturalism of face and gesture that he had begun a century earlier. Masaccio completed several panel paintings but is best known for the fresco cycle that he began in the Brancacci Chapel with the older artist Masolino and which had profound influence on later painters, including Michelangelo. The treatment of the elements of perspective and light in painting was of particular concern to 15th century Florentine painters. Piero della Francesca made systematic and scientific studies of both light and linear perspective, the results of which can be seen in his fresco cycle of The History of the True Cross in San Francesco, Arezzo. One of the most significant painters of Northern Italy was Andrea Mantegna, who decorated the interior of a room, the Camera degli Sposi for his patron Ludovico Gonzaga, setting portraits of the family and court into an illusionistic architectural space. The end of the Early Renaissance in Italian art is marked by a commission by Pope Sixtus IV to rebuild the Papal Chapel, named the Sistine Chapel in his honor. For this task, he commissioned a group of artists, Sandro Botticelli, Pietro Perugino, Domenico Ghirlandaio and Cosimo Rosselli to decorate its wall with fresco cycles depicting the Life of Christ and the Life of Moses. In the sixteen large paintings, the artists, although each working in his individual style, agreed on principals of format, and utilized the techniques of lighting, linear and atmospheric perspective, anatomy, foreshortening and characterization that had been carried to a high point in the large Florentine studios of Ghiberti, Verrocchio, Ghirlandaio and Perugino.

  1. Alessandro Botticelli (1445-1510)

            Alessandro di Mariano di Vanni Filipepi, better known as Sandro Botticelli (c. 1445 – May 17, 1510), was an Italian painter of the Early Renaissance. He belonged to the Florentine school under the patronage of Lorenzo de’ Medici, a movement that Giorgio Vasari would characterize less than a hundred years later as a “golden age,” a thought, suitably enough, he expressed at the head of his Vita of Botticelli. Botticelli’s posthumous reputation suffered until the late 19th century; since then his work has been seen to represent the linear grace of Early Renaissance painting. Among his best known works are The Birth of Venus and Primavera.
    Links: Top Ten Paintings by Alessandro Botticelli, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alessandro_Botticelli,
  2. Luca Signorelli (1445-1523)

           Luca Signorelli (c. 1445 – 16 October 1523) was an Italian Renaissance painter who was noted in particular for his ability as a draughtsman and his use of foreshortening. His massive frescoes of the Last Judgment (1499–1503) in Orvieto Cathedral are considered his masterpiece.
    Links: Top Ten Paintings by Luca Signorelli, Top Ten Cathedralshttp://www.artinthepicture.com/artists/Luca_Signorelli/,
  3. Andrea Mantegna
    File:Sposi.jpgFile:Mantua Mantegna.jpgFile:Andrea Mantegna 028.jpgAndrea Mantegna 014.jpgFile:Andrea Mantegna - The Dead Christ.jpg
           Andrea Mantegna (c. 1431 – September 13, 1506) was an Italian painter, a student of Roman archaeology  and son in law of Jacopo Bellini. Like other artists of the time, Mantegna experimented with perspective, by lowering the horizon in order to create a sense of greater monumentality. His flinty, metallic landscapes and somewhat stony figures give evidence of a fundamentally sculptural approach to painting. He also led a workshop that was the leading producer of prints in Venice before 1500.
    Links: Top Ten Paintings by Andrea Mantegnahttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrea_Mantegna,
  4. Pietro Perugino (1446-1524)
    Pietro Perugino 031.jpg
    Pietro Perugino (c. 1446/1450–1523), born Pietro Vannucci, was an Italian Renaissance painter of the Umbrian school, who developed some of the qualities that found classic expression in the High Renaissance. Raphael was his most famous pupil.
    Links: Top Ten Paintings by Pietro Perugino, http://www.artinthepicture.com/artists/Pietro_Perugino/,
  5. Carlo Crivelli (1435-1495)
    1wn17jacquemart_carlo_crivelli
           Carlo Crivelli (c. 1435 – c. 1495) was an Italian Renaissance painter of conservative Late Gothic decorative sensibility, who spent his early years in the Veneto, where he absorbed influences from the Vivarini, Squarcione and Mantegna. By 1458 he left the Veneto and was never to return; he spent most of the remainder of his career in the March of Ancona, where he developed a distinctive personal style that makes a contrast to his Venetian contemporary Giovanni Bellini.
    Links: Top Ten Paintings by Carlo Crivelli, http://www.artinthepicture.com/artists/Carlo_Crivelli/,
  6. Jean Fouquet (1420-1481)
    Jean Fouquet
            Jean Fouquet was a French painter who lived from 1420–1481 AD.
    Links: Top Ten Paintings by Jean Fouquet, http://www.artinthepicture.com/artists/Jean_Fouquet/,
  7. Giotto (1267-1337)
    File:Uffizi Giotto.jpg
           Giotto di Bondone (1266/7 – January 8, 1337), better known simply as Giotto, was an Italian painter and architect from Florence in the late Middle Ages. He is generally considered the first in a line of great artists who contributed to the Italian Renaissance. Giotto’s contemporary, the banker and chronicler Giovanni Villani, wrote that Giotto was “the most sovereign master of painting in his time, who drew all his figures and their postures according to nature. And he was given a salary by the Comune of Florence in virtue of his talent and excellence.” The late-16th century biographer Giorgio Vasari describes Giotto as making a decisive break with the prevalent Byzantine style and as initiating “the great art of painting as we know it today, introducing the technique of drawing accurately from life, which had been neglected for more than two hundred years.” Giotto’s masterwork is the decoration of the Scrovegni Chapel in Padua, also known as the Arena Chapel, completed around 1305. This fresco cycle depicts the life of the Virgin and the life of Christ. It is regarded as one of the supreme masterpieces of the Early Renaissance. That Giotto painted the Arena Chapel and that he was chosen by the Comune of Florence in 1334 to design the new campanile (bell tower) of the Florence Cathedral are among the few certainties of his biography. Almost every other aspect of it is subject to controversy: his birthdate, his birthplace, his appearance, his apprenticeship, the order in which he created his works, whether or not he painted the famous frescoes at Assisi, and his burial place.
    Links: Top Ten Paintings by Giotto, http://www.artinthepicture.com/artists/Giotto/,
  8. Masaccio (1401-1428)
    File:Masaccio Self Portrait.jpg
           Masaccio (December 21, 1401 – autumn 1428), born Tommaso di Ser Giovanni di Simone, was the first great painter of the Quattrocento period of the Italian Renaissance. According to Vasari, Masaccio was the best painter of his generation because of his skill at recreating lifelike figures and movements as well as a convincing sense of three-dimensionality. Masaccio died at 26 and little is known about the exact circumstances of his death. Despite his brief career, he had a profound influence on other artists. He was one of the first to use linear perspective in his painting, employing techniques such as vanishing point in art for the first time. He also moved away from the International Gothic style and elaborate ornamentation of artists like Gentile da Fabriano to a more naturalistic mode that employed perspective and chiaroscuro for greater realism.
    Links: Top Ten Paintings by Masaccio, http://www.artinthepicture.com/artists/Masaccio/,
  9. Paolo Uccello (1397-1475)

           Paolo Uccello (1397 – 10 December 1475), born Paolo di Dono, was an Italian painter and a mathematician who was notable for his pioneering work on visual perspective in art. Giorgio Vasari in his book Lives of the Artists wrote that Uccello was obsessed by his interest in perspective and would stay up all night in his study trying to grasp the exact vanishing point. He used perspective in order to create a feeling of depth in his paintings and not, as his contemporaries, to narrate different or succeeding stories. His best known works are the three paintings representing the battle of San Romano. Paolo worked in the Late Gothic tradition, and emphasized color and pageantry rather than the Classical realism that other artists were pioneering. His style is best described as idiosyncratic, and he left no school of followers.
    Links: Top Ten Paintings by Paolo Uccello, http://www.artinthepicture.com/artists/Paolo_Uccello/,
  10. Fra Angelico (1395-1455)

    Fra Angelico was an Italian artist who was been granted official cultus on June 23, 1983, by Pope John Paul II.
    Links: Top Ten Paintings by Fra Angelico, http://www.artinthepicture.com/artists/Fra_Angelico/,
  11. Links: Paintings, Top 100 Painters, Top 100 PaintingsTop Ten Early Renaissance Paintings, Top Ten Renaissance Painters, Top Ten Renaissance Paintingshttp://www.artinthepicture.com/styles/Early-Renaissance/,