How Is Renaissance Art Different From Medieval Art?

Renaissance art and medieval art are two very different types of art movements. They are both essential art movements for their periods.

Medieval art was art that was created in the middle ages. During the middle ages, art was mainly religious and was concerned with conveying Christian beliefs and values to the population. Renaissance art was less focused on religion but was more focused on the perfect human form and showing the daily life of people, including human emotions.

Renaissance art was a very realistic art form inspired by ancient Greek and Roman art.

Renaissance Art And Medieval Art Periods Had Different Focuses

Renaissance art and Medieval art had very different artistic focuses. Medieval art was focused on religion, particularly conveying Christian beliefs and values. Religion was at the center of Medieval art.

Renaissance art was not as focused on religion but on people and their daily lives and how they lived those lives.

Renaissance Art And Medieval Art Had Different Artistic Styles

Renaissance art focused on perspective, including the proportions of the subject matter. For the renaissance artist, the human form and making a human form as realistic as possible was essential to them.

Medieval art did not focus on this; their paintings were flat, and they did not care much about whether the paintings had realistic proportions. They often use just a single color on an object and did not try to make things such as skin tones and other aspects of the human figure realistic.

Renaissance Art And Medieval Art Had Different Periods Of History

Renaissance art and Medieval art were during different periods of history. Medieval art was during the period known as the middle ages. It was the time during the fall of the Roman empire or from about 250 BC to mid 1400s.

During the middle age, there was a declining population and a collapse of central authority, including invasions and mass migration of tribes and people. So it could be said that the middle ages were a time of great wars, expansions, and upheavals.

The Renaissance was considered to be a time of rebirth or reawakening. It is also known as the age of discovery, as many discoveries occurred. For example, in the mid-1400s Gutenberg invented the printing press.

The Renaissance took place from the end of the 15th Century to the 17th Century It was a time of great rebirth and discoveries.

The Renaissance was a time when the world was changing. Discoveries were taking place and new inventions were occurring.

Renaissance And Middle Ages Had Different Views Of God

Significant differences between the Medieval art of the middle ages and the Renaissance era was how they saw God and worldly pleasures. During the Middle Ages, people believed that they could demonstrate their loyalty to God by wearing rough clothing and eating plain food.

It was almost ; pioustheir belief system and how God viewed them and viewed pleasure was tied into religion. Pleasure was something considered to be taboo.

During the Renaissance, people in the church had their utmost respect, and the church authority was not to be questioned.

Bu during the Renaissance, people began to believe that they could enjoy life without offending God. So in many of the artwork and paintings of the Renassiance, you can see this demonstrated. Also, many people during the Renaissance have very different views and thoughts. They began to question the church and engage more in free thought or free will.

Many in the Renaissance, including the artist, had a reawakening as it was a time of learning, exploring, and developing things that they thought could make life better for all humankind.

The Renaissance And Medieval Art Had Very Different Artistic Focuses

The focus between the Renaissance artists and the Medieval artists was highly different.

During the Middle Ages period, very few people could read or write, and it was a time of enormous economic hardship People were ruled by overly violent and bloodthirsty kings and emperors; it was a time when there were very few inventions or improvements, and strict governing rules confined people.

In short, the Medieval or the middle ages was when most people were trying to survive, keep their heads down, and get on with life without being forced into a war or be killed.

Last Supper (1304-1306) by Giotto di Bondone; under the Medieval Period

The major art movements of medieval art are considered to be as follows:

  • Early Christian Art – This was art produced by Christians or under Christian patronage. Usually from about 250 to 525 AD.
  • Migration Period of Art – The Migration Period of Art is the art of the Germanic people during the migration period, which is about 300 to 900 AD.
  • Byzantine Art – Byzantine art is the art produced by Christian greek art. This is the period viewed from the decline of Rome to the Fall of Constantinople in 1453. The area for this art was mainly Eastern Orthodox states in Eastern Europe and Islamic states in the Mediterranean area.
  • Insular Art – Insular art is also known as Hiberno-Saxon art and is from the post-Roman era of the British isle, which includes Britain and Ireland.
  • Romanesque Art – Romanesque art was the art in Europe from about 1000 AD until the Gothic style in the 12th Century.
  • Gothic Art – Gothic art was a medieval art that developed in Northern France in the 12th Century and then spread to Europe. In Italy, the Renaissance started after the Gothic art, but the Gothic style remained in some parts of Europe for a while.

As you can see, medieval art covers an enormous scope of time and place. In fact, for over 1000 years in Europe and other parts of western Asia and North Africa was the medieval art movement.

Medieval art has a very different focus than the renaissance period of art. One of the most important things to remember is that the Renaissance art marked an abrupt break from medieval art and medieval values.

The renaissance period of art started in Italy, but Renassisannace art was a time of rebirth and reawakening so i brought with the movement some of the greatest artists and artworks, including Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Raphael.

The Last Supper Painting
The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci under the Renaissance Period

Here are some of the things that were important and inspired the Renaissance artists:

  • Ancient Greek And Rome – Ancient Greek and Rome inspired Renaissance artists. Also, during this time there were Greek and Roman statues unearthed.which inspired these renaissance artists works of art.
  • Human Body – The human body or the human figures was essential to the Renaissance artist. They believed in the perfect human form; many renaissance artists became so consumed with the human condition that they even started dissecting human bodies to learn more about the human body.
  • Realism – Realism and showing the realistic nature of life were also critical to the Renaissance artist. Proportion, scale, symmetry were important aspects of their artwork. 
  • Emotions And Movement – In Renaissance art, you can also see emotions and movement. The artist would paint people as if they were doing something or were about to do something. The Renassiance paintings show human emotion or movement.
  • Science And Art – The Renaissance was an reawakening and rebirth; many artists also became inventors and scientists. A great example of this was Leonardo da Vinci and his scientific discoveries and inventions. Other artists like Michelangelo also were involved in science as this era . was a time of great learning and awakening.
  • Light Was Important – Light and the study of light was important to the Renaissance artist. They understood the power that light could have in their paintings and to give the emotion or the feeling that they wanted to give

If you are going to use one word to describe the Renaissance, the word would need to be rebirth. The Renaissnace was a time when the world was looking at new reawakening, Medieval art was a dark time for the world.

Renaissance art was a time when art was being reborn again. Artists were trying new techniques and learning new things to develop the human form more realistically.

But more than that, the Renaissance art era gave us many talented and gifted artists who have continued to inspire many artists throughout the ages.

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What Was The Focus Of Renaissance Art?

The focus of Renaissance art was on the classics of Greek and Rome, humanist philosophy, and the study of the human figure. Realism was also an essential part of renaissance art. The great artists of the Renaissance also became great anatomists and studied human beings.

By clicking here, you can learn more by reading What Was The Focus Of Renaissance Art?.

What Is The Importance Of Art From The Renaissance Period?

Renaissance art is essential as it was a time of rebirth and discovery. Artists like Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Raphael were at the forefront of that change, creation, and discovery. Renaissance art has influenced art and artists for many centuries and continues to influence artists today.

By clicking here, you can learn more by reading What Is The Importance Of Art From The Renaissance Period?.

Greek And Rome’s Influence On Renaissance Art

The Renaissance, as a period of rebirth, was greatly influenced by the classical ancient art of Greek and Rome. During this period, many of these works of art were also rediscovered, which led to the discovery of realism, symmetry, and harmony in the arts. Greek and Roman art also influenced the subject matter of many of the Renaissance artists.

By clicking here, you can learn more by reading Greek And Rome Influence On Renaissance Art.

Anita Louise Hummel

Hi, I am Anita Louise Hummel. I am an artist and a blogger. I paint mainly oil paints. I love to paint women, animals (mainly dogs and cats), and abstracts. I use a lot of gold and silver leaf in my paintings. I also love to blog about anything to do with art, business, Procreate, and all the wonderful artists that inspire me.

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How Is Renaissance Art Different From Medieval Art?