Basically this is out of the Encyclopedia
The term Renaissance describes the period of European history from the 14th to the 16th
century. It is derived from the French word for rebirth and originally referred to the revival
of values and artistic styles of classical antiguity during that period. The idea of Renai-
ssance is a distinct historical period heralding the modern age, characterized by the rise of
the individual, scientific inquiry, and geographical exploration as well as secular values.
Many scholars would agree that there is a distinctive Renaissance style in music, literature,
and especially the arts. The emergence of the artist as a creator was a result and major cause
of the development of Renaissance art. Art became widely valued as a mode of personal ex-
The evolution of Italian Renaissance art was a continuous process, but was divided into
three major parts: Early, High, and Late Renaissance. Early Renaissance artists sought to
create art forms consistent with the appearance of the natural world and with their
experience of human personality and behavior.
The task of accurate representation was addressed in the spirit of intense and
methodical inquiry. Rational inquiry was to be the key to success; therefore, the efforts
were made to discover the correct laws of proportion for the representation of the human body.
The term Early Renaissance characterizes virtually all the art of the 15th century.
Florence, Italy was the cradle of Renaissance artistic thought and remained one of the
undisputed centers of innovation.
About 1450 a new generation of artists that included Pollaiuolo and Sandro Botticelli
came to be known in Florence. The Early Renaissance was a necessary preparation for the
perfection of High Renaissance art. However, Early Renaissance Painting seems to fall short
of thoroughly convincing figural representation, and its expression...