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Biography Essay about Raphael Donatello: Renaissance Period – Free Essay Example

The word renaissance means a revival or renewed interest in something, which is exactly what happened after the middle ages with the renewal of Greek and Roman culture. In contrast to the stagnation of the middle ages, the Renaissance period was full of growth and new thought. There were new ideas about astronomy, literature, technology, and especially art.

After the middle ages around the 14th century, a Florentine painter named Giotto made an important advancement in the art. He was commonly referred to as “the greatest painter in the world” and painted many famous pieces called the Ognissanti Madonna, as well as the frescos Scrovegni Chapel, and Bardi Chapel. He was famous for revolutionizing art, by putting a great deal of detail and accuracy into his human drawings.

By 1490, the focus shifted to the high Renaissance, and the painters Leonardo Da Vinci, Raphael, and Michelangelo became famous and created their masterpieces. The advancement made by these painters was the ability to show shadows and create three-dimensional pictures that were unseen before this.

In addition to this technique, renaissance painters perfected perspective, which is the relation between objects and their background. They were able to identify that the smaller an object looks the farther away it is, and the larger an object looks the closer it is. Through the use of this new perspective technique, naturalism, landscapes, and religious figures were frequent subjects for paintings.

Another sculptor in this time period was Donatello. He was considered to be one of the greatest sculptors of the early Renaissance who commonly created religious pieces. He put great detail and true emotion into his sculptures, which were just like earlier sculptures in Classical Greek and Rome.

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Architecture during the Renaissance was based on symmetry, proportion, and geometry. While designing these buildings, architects took much of the classical Greek and Roman architectural styles but then altered them to fit themselves. For example, arches, domes, and columns were very common, but the buildings were also square and always symmetrical, which made them somewhat unique.

One of the main architects of this time period was Filippo Brunelleschi. He used geometry and proportion in his works, which was different than any other architect that came before him.

Another major part of the change in architecture during this time was the idea of humanism. During the middle ages, a person’s main focus was on the gods, which greatly changed because of humanism. Humanism changed the way that people thought, which was also a reason why architecture started to change. People also had more money, therefore having more of a decision of what they wanted their homes to look like. They would hire architects to beautify their homes, instead of in the middle ages, where making buildings seemed like slave labor.

Literature was greatly changed because of the Renaissance. Before this time it was much harder to make a book. The paint had to be mixed by hand, and the paper had to be made by sewing together animal hides, but at the time of the Renaissance, this all changed.

The Renaissance man Gutenberg invented the printed press, which changed literacy forever. Because of the printing press literacy and information became more available, and more and more writers were established. Because of this writers became popular, but it was hard to make a living as a writer because they were not paid for the selling of their books.

Another main development of “books” was the format they were put in. Most books were written either in quartos or octavos, which were either 4 pages or 8 pages.

Leonardo Da Vinci

Leonardo Da Vinci was an Italian painter, sculptor, architect, draftsman, and Renaissance man. He is known for painting the Mona Lisa and the Last Supper, which are among the most popular paintings of the Renaissance. He had an unstoppable wanting for learning, which guided his behavior and thinking incredibly.

When he was 15 years old his father apprenticed him to the artist Andrea De Verrocchio, who trained him in sculpture and painting, as well as some technical-mechanical arts. He then moved to Milan to work under one of the city’s Dukes, which is what he did for 17 years. During this time he was constantly kept busy sculpting and painting for court festivals, along with becoming a technical adviser for architecture and military matters. In Milan, he also created one of his most famous masterpieces, The Last Supper. Leonardo then became a master artist and moved back to Florence to take other apprentices under his wing. He was often hired to paint murals like the Battle of Anghiari and the Battle of Cascina, as well as his incredible mural in the Palazzo Vecchio.


Michelangelo was an Italian painter, sculptor, architect, and poet, also known as a Renaissance man, who had a great influence on art. He was considered to be one of the best artists of his time period and was so important that he was able to have a biography about him published while he was still alive. His most famous piece was a fresco called The Sistine Chapel, which he was hired to paint by the church.

At the age of 13, he was apprenticed to the most prominent painter in the city, Domenico Ghirlandaio. He was then taken under the wing of Lorenzo the Magnificent, who was a part of the Medici family, the most wealthy family of the time period.

When the Medici family was overthrown Michelangelo decided to leave for a place named Bologna. There he created his first large surviving statue called the Bacchus. The immense detail and emotion that was put into the Bacchus was astounding and had never been seen before. He then created another amazing statue called David, which was set up in front of the entrance of the Palazzo de Priori. As well as these main statues he was making other works on the side, like madonnas for private houses. After the success of the statue David, he began working on enormous projects, usually having to do with religious matters, like the Sistine Chapel.


Raphael was an Italian painter and sculptor, who is most famous for his Madonnas like the Sistine Madonna. He became Perugino’s apprentice in 1500, which is how he got most of his training. All in all, he was a very talented Renaissance man who created extremely astonishing pieces of artwork.

At the age of 11, his father Giovanni died, and he was forced to take over the task of managing his father’s workshop. Soon after that, it was clear that he was very successful in that role and was an extremely good painter. In 1504 he left his apprenticeship and moved to Florence where he studied the works of earlier artists like Massiaco, Michelangelo, and Leonardo Da Vinci. By studying these artworks closely he was able to identify an even more intricate personal painting style than what was ever seen before.

Later on, he developed an additional fresco style for the Vatican, which was located in the Stanza Dell’Incendio. He was then asked by the Pope to be his chief architect, which caused many offers to flow in. Much of his architectural work was related to religion, but it also extended to designing palaces.

Sadly, In 1520 on his 37th birthday, he suddenly died mysteriously to unknown causes in Rome Italy, while working on his largest painting ever called The Transfiguration. Raphael created some amazing pieces of artwork including his Madonnas and frescoes along with his intriguing painting and architectural styles. His mannerisms greatly affected painting styles during Italy’s Renaissance period, which is why he is such a well-known artist and Renaissance man.


Donatello was an Italian sculptor of the Renaissance. At an early age, he quickly learned the Gothic style of architecture and was receiving commissions for his works before he was 20. His style included the new idea of perspective, which allowed him to create sculptures that used measurable space. Arguably his most famous work is his statue of David, which is made out of bronze and stands slightly over 5 feet tall. In his later years, he lived in Florence and had a very tight relationship with the Medicis, who supplied him retirement allowance for the rest of his life. Donatello still continued his work taking on commissions from patrons of the arts until he died in 1466 because of unknown causes.


Masaccio was a Florentine artist who was most known for the painting San Geovenale Triptych. He was extremely artistically inclined from a very young age and joined a Florentine painting guild in 1422. His growing prestige finally appeared in 1425, when he painted a series of frescoes that were to be put in the Brancacci Chapel. He worked on these decorations for a long time, while still receiving other prestigious commissions.

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