Portraits of the Renaissance


This user gallery has been created by an independent third party and may not represent the views of the institutions whose collections include the featured works or of Google Arts & Culture.

This gallery shows basic Renaissance characteristics specifically relating to people and how they are portrayed. The Renaissance movement brought realism back to art and presents people in their true form. These works are not extravagant- the people are the center of attention and the backgrounds are plain. The subjects are posing for the artist and are represented realistically. The Renaissance period saw the first oil paintings and this became the standard for artists everywhere, whereas tempera paint had been the standard before. Renaissance artwork is prim and proper, and often depicts people of high social status, but also became the first time in history that anyone could have a painting of themselves done, so long as they had the money to pay for it. As you go through this gallery, you will understand the components of the Renaissance era and see common themes among the works.

Portrait of a Noblewoman, Lavinia Fontana, ca. 1580, From the collection of: National Museum of Women in the Arts
This work shows a woman of status dressed in beautiful clothes. She is most likely having a marital portrait done before her wedding. The colors used are common in Renaissance art. Fontana did a beautiful job of making the woman's clothing look lifelike and luxurious.
Lucrezia Borgia, Duchess of Ferrara, Dosso DOSSI , Battista DOSSI (attributed to), (1519-1530), From the collection of: National Gallery of Victoria
Lucrezia Borgia was the daughter of the Renaissance Valencian who later became Pope Alexander VI. In this painting Lucrezia looks mildly bored and distant. The colors are dark and the painting has a sad aura. It can be presumed that she had to sit for and pose for a long time, as with the other paintings of this time period. Today, paintings can be modeled from photographs. The background consists of leaves and she appears to be outside. Lucrezia's skin tone and lip color make this painting soft and make it seem like there is a light shining on her, which is a characteristic of Renaissance art.
King Philip II of Spain, Titian (Italian, b.Circa 1488, d.1576), Circa 1550 - Circa 1551, From the collection of: Cincinnati Art Museum
Philip II was the king of Spain during the mid-1500s. This painting, again, shows a very serious person. The king appears to be wearing fur which is a popular item of clothing during the Renaissance, for those of high society. This work was done during the high time of the Renaissance. The colors are neutral which is typical of the Renaissance period. This work is luxurious and shows a privileged life while still being simple and more about the person than anything else.
Ginevra de' Benci, Leonardo da Vinci, c. 1474 - 1478, From the collection of: National Gallery of Art, Washington DC
Ginevra de' Benci was a young girl from an aristocratic family. She is the perfect example of a Renaissance woman who was immortalized forever. She is shown as the simplest version of herself, with no jewels or fine furs. Ginevra shows the Renaissance era because she is not characterized in any way. Anyone could recognize her if they saw this and then saw Ginevra in person.
Girl in a Fur, Tiziano Vecellio,called Titian, 1530/1540, From the collection of: Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien
Girl in a Fur was painted by Titian, who also painted Portrait of Philip II, which was featured previously in this gallery. Titian is one of the best Italian Renaissance painters and painted many famous works including Venus of Urbino and Assumption of the Virgin. This work features an unnamed woman who is obviously wearing fur. Fur is often seen in Renaissance era art as it was very popular among those who were wealthy during this time. Renaissance artists wanted to show people as they truly looked, and did not glamorize or characterize the way people looked. This woman is a little chubby and doesn't look perfect, but she is still beautiful in a pure way.
The Sculptor Alessandro Vittoria, Giovanni Battista Moroni, 1552, From the collection of: Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien
Alessandro Vittoria was a sculptor during the Renaissance. He worked with painter Titian and was strongly influenced by Michelangelo. He himself embodies this time period because he was apart of the movement. He was the subject of a painting because of his work in the art world, again showing that in order to have a portrait, you needed to be a person with high social status.
Loreta and Roses, Leonardas Gutauskas, 2000, From the collection of: MO Museum / MO muziejus
Loreta and Roses is contrasting from the rest of the gallery. This is a modern portrait done in 2000, as compared to the previous works that were painted in 15th and 16th centuries. This painting is made up of bright colors and is unrealistic. Loreta has blue skin and her head is in the shape of a triangle, which is not true to how humans actually look. It is extremely stylized and not simple or pure in any way. This is not a person that you would run into and be able to recognize. This work obviously is meant to have a deeper meaning and be representational of an idea, unlike the paintings from the Renaissance era that are simply portraits made to immortalize those people of importance.
Credits: All media
This user gallery has been created by an independent third party and may not represent the views of the institutions whose collections include the featured works or of Google Arts & Culture.
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