In this gallery, we present 50 of the most important Renaissance paintings created by the greatest artists from Jan van Eyck (c. 1390-1441) to Tintoretto (1518-1594). The paintings are presented in chronological order of artists and their works to give the viewer a better idea of the progression of Renaissance art from the mid-15th century to the mid-16th century. There are religious scenes with experiments in perspective, reinterpretations of stories from classical mythology, and portraits which capture for the first time the true depth of the emotions and character of the subject.
Painting figures with dramatic poses became a Renaissance fashion, best seen in Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel ceiling in Rome (1512 CE). A tremendous sense of movement is created by the artist's use of contrapposto, that is the asymmetry between the upper and lower body of the figures, a technique used by Leonardo da Vinci and many others. Another idea was to create shapes in a scene, especially triangles. The aim of this was to create a harmonious composition and give extra depth, as can be seen in Leonardo's Last Supper mural in Milan's Santa Maria delle Grazie (c. 1498 CE).
By clicking on the name of the artist in red within each image description you will be taken to a biography which very often includes more information on the painting.