Early renaissance

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Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence with the dome and the campanile based on the designs of Brunelleschi and Giotto

The early Renaissance was the first phase of the Renaissance and is dated from around 1420 to 1500. It first began in Italy in the early 15th century and showed related phenomena in the rest of Europe as well, e.g. B. in the old Dutch painting . In Italy one speaks of the Quattrocento . The Early Renaissance is followed by the High Renaissance .

The early Renaissance followed the Gothic and is fed by various sources. The beginnings of Renaissance thinking and feeling are closely related to Renaissance humanism and can be traced back to Petrarch and Boccaccio .


An essential criterion was the orientation of art on the model of nature. The main means of doing this in painting were the central perspective , for which mathematical laws were formulated for the first time, and the revival of ancient art . The Christian symbolism of the Gothic still largely determined the purpose and character of the works, but since the invention of the central perspective by Filippo Brunelleschi and Leon Battista Alberti , the closeness to reality has now also gained decisive importance for many pictures.

Early Renaissance artists (selection)

The most important artists of the era include:

See also


  • Bernd Roeck : The morning of the world. History of the renaissance. CH Beck, Munich 2017, ISBN 978-3406698767 .
  • Ulrich Muhlack: Renaissance and Humanism (= Encyclopedia of German History 93). Berlin, Boston 2017.
  • Peter Burke : The European Renaissance. Centers and peripheries. Beck, Munich 2005, ISBN 3-406-52796-5 .
  • Jeffrey C. Smith: The Northern Renaissance . Phaidon Books, London 2004, ISBN 0-7148-3867-5 .
  • Giorgio Vasari : Le Vite de 'più eccellenti architetti, pittori, et scultori italiani, da Cimabue infino a' tempi nostri . Firenze 1550.
  • Jacob Burckhardt : The culture of the Renaissance in Italy . Basel 1860.