The Renaissance

 

Wikipedia tells us that the Renaissance derives from rinascere or "to be reborn", and it was a cultural movement that spanned the period roughly from the 14th C to the 17th C, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe.


Wikipedia also tells us that it all began in Florence with the 14th C resurgence of learning based on classical sources (which contemporaries credited to Petrarch), the development of linear perspective and other techniques of rendering a more natural reality in painting, and gradual but widespread educational reform.


Putting an exact date on the start of the Renaissance is not easy. It could be right after the Black Death that ravaged Northern Italy through to 1348, or even early with the end of the last Crusade (1272). Other experts situate the beginning of the Renaissance at 1401 with the contract for the first bronze doors of the Florence Baptistery.


Some sources propose that the Italian High Renaissance ended with the sack of Rome in 1527, the ensuing plague, and the weakening of the Catholic Church and the advancement of Protestantism. Others have suggested that it ended with the end of the Reformation and the Peace of Augsburg in 1555. Yet other experts have even suggested that the Renaissance only really ended in 1648 with the end of the Religious Wars in Europe.


In terms of cultural and intellectual movements Humanism is seen as the principle inspiration for the Renaissance.  And, at least in Italy, the High Renaissance came to an end with the appearance of Mannerism (ca. 1520), and the later emergence of the Baroque style (ca. 1580).


Another way to look at this is to simple remember that the term Renaissance was first used by the French historian Jules Michelet (1798-1874) and later developed by the Swiss Jakob Burckhardt (1818-1897), and that many experts today see it as nothing more than a precursor to Modern History (even if this concept itself only dates from the 1930’s). Burckhardt had the merit to emphasise the break with the medieval and paganism, and the emergence of the so-called modern individual. His Renaissance had a higher regard for human nature, for physical beauty, for historical awareness, and for the emergence of nation states. This view was dramatised to such a degree that others saw it as the age of titans and heroes. Yet others preferred to see the Renaissance as the birth of modern scientific thought, with its new technicians, artisans, engineers and artists.


More realistic is the view that the Renaissance was not a break with the Middle Ages, but in fact built upon medieval foundations. The importance of the city-state and the emergence of capitalism are now seen as key features of the Renaissance (and economic stagnations is often offered as the cause of its later decline). An intellectual revival was already taking place in the 12th C, and in fact historians now suggest that we have experienced several Renaissances (e.g. Carolingian Renaissance). And most experts today recognise that medieval literary motifs, political thinking, artistic techniques, etc. were absorbed into the Renaissance.


Today the consensus is that the Renaissance was more like a series of mini, overlapping renaissances. A valid concept in art, but generally each domain had its renaissances and its own timelines. Yet the term persists, and for many people the concept of the Renaissance is compelling.


First, just to get a general feeling for the topic, let us see an overview using some film/video clips:


Renaissance Revolution


Art of the Western World - The Early Renaissance

Art of the Western World - The High Renaissance

Art of the Western World - Realms of Light: The Baroque

Art of the Western World - The Classical Ideal

Northern Renaissance - The Supreme Art


Travels with Vasari - part one, part two



So, to help us understand all of this, let us try to build a kind of chronology of the Renaissance. You will see that this is quite a mixture of places, people and events. Intentionally so, to underline the fact that The Renaissance was not a new cultural movement that simply broke with the past and lasted for a fixed period of time.


ca. 1220-1284 Niccolò Pisano (video) - sometimes considered the founder of modern sculpture, and one of the most important precursors of the Italian Renaissance

1220-1258 Salisbury Cathedral - one of the most complete examples of Early English architecture (e.g. early Gothic), it still has the tallest church spire in the UK and it contains the worlds oldest working clock from 1386 (it is also home to one of the original copies of the Magna Carta)

1221-1567 Catedral de Burgos - a vast French Gothic style cathedral

1225-1439 Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Strasbourg - one of the finest examples of High (late) Gothic, and it remained the worlds tallest building for more than 200 years (check out this video on the engineering in Gothic cathedrals)

1228-1253 Basilica Papale di San Francesco d’Assisi - important Gothic style church housing works by Cimabue and Giotto

ca. 1240-1302 Cimabue (video) - the last great Italian Byzantine artist, or the first great Italian painter to break with the Italo-Byzantine style

1246-1360 Basilica di Santa Maria Novella (video) - one of the principle early Renaissance churches in Florence, designed by two Dominican monks, housed chapels of the most powerful families in the city, including the Cappella Rucellai, the Capella Tourabuoni, the Capella Bardi, the Capella Gaddi, and the Capella di Filippo Strozzi (video)

1248-1473 Kölner Dom - one of the most famous Gothic cathedrals and the largest Gothic church in Northern Europe

1249-1724 Catedral de la Asunción de Jaén (video) - a Spanish Renaissance cathedral built of the site of an ancient mosque

ca. 1255-1319 Duccio di Buoninsegna (video, video) - with his willingness to experiment with the Byzantine traditions and his complex organisation of space he is now considered the farther of Sienese painting

ca. 1265-1321 Dante Alighieri - considered “father of the Italian Language”, and author of the Divine Comedy

1267-1337 Giotto di Bondone (video) - one of the founders of the Italian Renaissance (he was a student of Cimabue)

ca. 1276-1348 Giovanni Villani - Florentine banker and statesman, his Nuova Cronica introduced for the first time statistics as a positive element in history

ca. 1280-1349 Guido da Vigevano - Italian inventor and forerunner of the Renaissance artist-engineer

ca. 1280-1320 Mechanical Clock - number of references to clocks indicating a new type of clock mechanism (as opposed to water power), possibly using an escapement

ca. 1280-1348 Pietro Lorenzetti (brother of Ambrogio) - Sienese painter, and with his brother foreshadowed Renaissance painting

ca. 1284-1344 Simone Martini - Sienese painter who influenced the development of the International Gothic style

1285 - Rucellai Madonna (video) - by the Sienese painter Duccio (video), is now considered one of the first great pieces of Renaissance art

1290-1348 Andrea Pisano (video) - Italian sculptor and creator of the first set of bronze doors of the Baptistery in Florence, and he succeeded Giotto as Master of the Works of Florence Cathedral

ca. 1290-1348 Ambrogio Lorenzetti (brother of Pietro) (video) - Sienese painter and one of the earliest Renaissance secular painters

1294-1385 Basilica di Santa Croce - Gothic cathedral housing the Cappella dei Pazzi by Brunelleschi, the frescos by Giotto and Gaddi, a crucifixion by Cimabue, and is the burial place of Michelangelo, Galileo and Machiavelli

1296-1436 Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore (video, video) - the Duomo di Flrenze, started in the Gothic style but completely redesigned with the dome engineered by Filippo Brunelleschi (the façade is from the 19th C)

1304-1374 Francesco Petrarca (Petrarch) - often called the “Father of Humanism”, he also coined the term Dark Ages to describe the preceding 900 years

1305 Giotto completes the Cappella degli Scrovegni in Padua - one of the first masterpieces of the Early Renaissance

1313-1375 Giovanni Boccaccio - humanist author of the Decameron

1315-1317 The Great Famine - kills millions in Europe

ca. 1320-1389 Jean de Marville - sculptor who worked in Lille, Rouen, and Dijon, and founded an important school of sculpture

1330’s-1423 International Gothic

1331-1406 Coluccio Salutati - humanist and one of the most important political leader in Renaissance Florence

1337-1453 The Hundred Years’ War - between the House of Plantagenet (England) and the House of Valois (France)

1338-1339 The Allegory of Good and Bad Government - frescoes by Ambrogio Lorenzetti in the Palazzo Pubblico of Siena and considered of Renaissance style

ca. 1343-1400 Geoffrey Chaucer - known as “farther of English Literature”, and author of The Canterbury Tales

1340-1442 Palazzo Ducale - Venetian Gothic style palace, and residence of the Doge of Venice

1340’s-1406 Claus Sluter - Dutch sculptor, pioneer of “Northern Realism”, worked on The Mourners of Dijon

1347-1351 The Black Death (video) - kills millions in Europe

1352-1521 Cathedral of Our Lady - a Gothic style cathedral in Antwerp containing significant works by the Baroque painter Peter Paul Rubens

1353 The Decameron

1364-1437 Niccolò de’ Niccoli - Italian humanist who’s library was only bettered by Cosimo de’ Medici, he also invented cursive script

1368 start of The Ming Dynasty, would go on to rule China for 276 years

ca. 1370-1425 Lorenzo Monaco - late Gothic-early Renaissance painter in Siena

ca. 1370-1444 Leonardo Bruni - the first modern historian, defined history in three-periods: Antiquity, Middle Ages, and Modern

ca. 1375-1444 Robert Campin (video, video) - often known as the Master of Flémalle, one of the great masters of early Flemish painting

1376-1382 Loggia della Signoria - built in Florence to host public assemblies, a terrace was added in 1583

1377-1446 Filippo Brunelleschi (video 1, video 2, video 3, video 4) - architect and engineer, built the dome of the Duomo di Firenze, the Ospedale degli Innocenti, the Sagrestia Vecchia, the Basilica di San Lorenzo, the Cappella de’ Pazzi in Sante Croce, and the Basilica di Santo Spirito

1378-1455 Lorenzo Ghiberti - early Renaissance artist who created the bronze doors of the Florence Baptistery (the “Gates of Paradise”, video)

1378 The Great Schism of the West

1378 The Revolt of the Ciompi - wool carders revolted in Florence and ask for a voice in the politics of the city

1380-1459 Gian Francesco Poggio Bracciolini - humanist scholar

ca. 1380-1442 Giovanni Bono - Venetian architect who worked in Ca’ d’Oro and the reconstruction of Palazzo Ducale in Venice

1381 The Peasants’ Revolt - a rural uprising in England

ca. 1385-1416 Limbourg Brothers - Herman, Paul and Johan were Dutch miniature painters working in the International Gothic style

1386-1466 Donato di Niccolò di Betto Bardi (Donatello) - responsible for the first great Renaissance sculpture, David

1386-1853 Duomo di Milano (video) - started in the Renaissance it had 42 different architects and engineers, yet most experts would still call it an example of French Rayonnant Gothic

1388-1905 Saint Barbara’s Church - situated in Kutná Hora in Bohemia it is one of the most famous Gothic churches in Central Europe

1389-1464 Cosimo de’ Medici (video) - the first of the Medici (video) political dynasty

1390’s Wenceslas Bible - a richly illuminated bible in German (typical of the International Gothic period)

ca. 1390-1441 Jan van Eyck - significant artist of the Northern Renaissance, famous today for his Ghent Altarpiece (video) and The Arnolfini Marriage (video), one of the first to adopt oil as a medium, he influenced many later Flemish painters

1392-1463 Flavio Biondo - Renaissance humanist and historian, the first person to use the three-period division (Ancient, Medieval, Modern), and is knowns as one of the first archaeologists

ca. 1395-1455 Antonio di Puccio Pisano (Pisanello) (video) - important early Renaissance (Quattrocento) painter, some consider him the last of the great painters of the International Gothic style

ca. 1395-1455 Fra Angelico (video) - also called il Beato Angelico, was an early Italian Renaissance painter

1396-1472 Michelozzo di Bartolomeo Michelozzi -  one of the founders of Renaissance architecture in the way he retained Gothic values, employed the modern Brunelleschi style, and avoided the extremes, e.g. he designed and built the Palazzo Medici Riccardi

1397-1475 Paolo Uccello (video) - Italian painter working in the Late Gothic tradition, and pioneer in visual perspective

ca. 1398-1468 Johannes Gutenberg (video) - introduced mechanical movable type in Europe, widely regarded as the start of Modern History

1399-1464 Rogier van der Weyden (video) - one of the three great early Flemish artists (with Jan van Eyck and Robert Campin)

ca. 1400-1470 Jacopo Bellini - Venetian painter and one of the founders of the Renaissance style

1401-1528 Catedral de Santa Maria de la Sede - Seville Cathedral and the largest Gothic cathedral in the world

1401-1428 Tommaso di Ser Giovanni di Simone (Masaccio) (video 1, video 2) - painter of the Quattrocento period of the Italian Renaissance, he is said to have transformed Italian painting moving it towards a more natural, humanist style

1401-1464 Nicholas of Kues - German philosopher and early proponent of Renaissance humanism

1402-1455 Stadhuis Brussels - Gothic style with a high tower in the Brabantine Gothic style, it sits in the Grand Place, the entire architectural complex was largely rebuilt after the French bombarded it in 1695

1404-1472 Leon Battista Alberti (video) - polymath, humanist, architect and poet, he epitomised the Renaissance Man, responsible for the façade of the Palazzo Rucellai and parts of Santa Maria Novella

1406-1456 Maso di Bartolomeo - important architect and artist of the Florentine Renaissance

1406-1469 Fra Filippo Lippi (video) - a Quattrocento painter, possibly the finest of his day, teacher of his son Filippino Lippi and Botticelli

1407-1573 Kölner Rathaus - a 14th C town hall, mixed with a 15th C Gothic tower, and a 16th C Renaissance loggia and cloister

ca. 1409 Belles Heures of Jean de France, Duc de Berry - by the Limbourg Brothers and one of the most impressive groups of paintings produced in Europe in the early 15th C 

ca. 1410 The Mourners of Dijon - perfect examples of medieval statuary

ca. 1412-1416 Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry - by the Limbourg Brothers and the most famous surviving example of French Gothic manuscript illumination (Late International Gothic)

1415-1492 Piero della Francesca (video) - early Renaissance painter, and mathematician and geometer which gave him a head start in the use of geometric forms and perspective

1419-1445 Ospedale degli Innocenti - an orphanage designed by Filippo Brunelleschi in a mix of Romanesque and late Gothic styles, e.g. classical capitals and circular arches, but with a strong symmetry and geometric order typical of Renaissance architecture

1419-1459 Basilica di San Lorenzo - originally designed by Filippo Brunelleschi but not completed until after his death

1420’s Devonshire Hunting Tapestries - Flemish tapestries typical of the International Gothic period

1420-1420 The Adoration of the Magi - a tempera on panel painting by Monaco and a very well documented example of International Gothic at its peak

1420-1479 Luciano Laurana - Renaissance architect, fortress builder and designer of Le Città Ideale

ca. 1421-1497 Benozzo Gozzoli - Renaissance painter with a pronounced International Gothic style, best known for his murals in the Palazzo Medici Riccardi

1421-1440 Sagrestia Vecchia - the “old sacristy” accessed from San Lorenzo and built by Filippo Brunelleschi is one of the most important pieces of early Italian Renaissance architecture (e.g. classical orders, unity of elements, symmetry)

1423 Cappella dei Brancacci - the chapel in Santa Maria del Carmine in Florence in part painted by Masaccio, and considered the first breakthrough of a early Renaissance style, some call it the “Sistine Chapel of the early Renaissance”

1428-1487 Basilica di Santo Spirito - designed by Filippo Brunelleschi but completed after his death

1428-1430 Ca’ d’Oro - a Venice palace designed by Giovanni Bono and built in a floral Gothic style preferred by Venetians through to the end of the 16th C (and then superseded by the Baroque style)

ca. 1430-1494 Hans Memling - German painter who worked in the Early Netherlandish style

1430-1432 Ghent Altarpiece (video) - Early Flemish polyptych of 12 panels, executed at least in part by Jan van Kyck

ca. 1430-1516 Giovanni Bellini (video) - Venetian painter who moved towards a sensuous style, which was continued by his pupils Giorgione and Titian

1431 Joan of Arc is burnt at the stake in Rouen

ca. 1431-1506 Andrea Mantegna (video) - Italian painter known for his play with perspective and spatial illusions

1433-1499 Marsilio Ficino - humanist philosopher who’s Florentine Academy influenced the Italian Renaissance and European philosophy

1434 The Arnolfini Portrait (video) - Early Netherlandish painting by Jan van Eyck

1435 The Decent from the Cross (video) - by Rogier van der Weyden

ca. 1435-1488 Andrea del Verrocchio - important Renaissance painter in Florence, Leonardo da Vinci was his pupil

ca.1436-1504 Gregorio di Lorenzo - sculptor identified also as the “Maestro delle Madonne di Marmo”, produced a series of elegant and ornate “Madonna col Bambino” reliefs found in many churches in Florence, he was in part responsible for spreading the Florentine approach to sculpture

1438 The Werl Triptych - triptych altarpiece by Robert Campin

ca. 1439 Gutenberg introduces moveable type

1439-1501 Francesco di Giorgio Martini - painter and visionary architect who introduced star-shaped fortifications, and also invented the pile driver and the centrifugal pump

1440-1560 Palazzo Pitti - started by the Pitti family and finally bought in 1549 by Eleonora di Toledo, the wife of Cosimo I de’ Medici, it is the largest Renaissance palace in Florence

1441-1460 Cappella de’ Pazzi - designed by Filippo Brunelleschi but completed well after his death

1442-1497 Benedetto da Maiano - sculptor who made the doorway to Palazzo Vecchio, and designed Palazzo Strozzi

1444-1484 Palazzo Medici Riccardi (also known as Palazzo Medici) - a palace designed by Michelozzo di Bartolomeo Michelozzi, it quickly became one of the models of Renaissance civil architecture

1444-1514 Donato Bramante - introduced Renaissance architecture into Milan and Rome, prepared the original plans for the Basilica di San Pietro executed by Michelangelo in the Vaticano

ca. 1445-1510 Alessandro di Mariano di Vanni Filpepi (Sandro Botticelli) (video) - early Renaissance painter, produced some of the most symbolic of Renaissance paintings, e.g. The Birth of Venus and Primavera

1446-1460 Palazzo Rucellai - Renaissance house at least in part designed by Leon Battista Alberti, and one of the first to demonstrate a Renaissance façade (different orders on different floors including the so-called Tuscan Order delineated by Andrea Palladio)

ca. 1446-1523 Pietro Vannucci (Perugino) - Italian High Renaissance painter, Raphael was his pupil

1446-1515 King’s College Chapel - a chapel in Cambridge and one of the finest examples of the late Perpendicular Gothic style

1447-1522 Giovanni Antonio Amadeo - architect, designed the Cappella Colleoni, collaborated on the Duomo di Milano, directed the work on the Duomo di Pavia, and designed the San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore di Milano

ca. 1450-1499 John Cabot (video) - Italian explorer who in 1497 discovered parts of North America

1450-1488 Tempio Malatestiano - original reconstructive design by Leon Battista Alberti, but never completed, it was considered to be an exaltation to Paganism rather than a Renaissance masterpiece

1452-1498 Castello Sforzesco - between 1494-1498 Leonardo da Vinci provided many frescos and ceiling paintings

1452 Melun Diptych - painted by Jean Fouquet

1452-1519 Leonardo da Vinci (video) - Renaissance polymath and archetype for the “Renaissance Man”, widely considered a genius and one of the greatest painters of all time, only 15 works have been attributed to him of which The Last Supper and the Mona Lisa are the best known, he also left his notes in the form of codices (e.g. Codex Madrid and Codex Leicester)

1453 The Fall of Constantinople (video)

1454-1482 Palazzo Ducale - major Renaissance building in Urbino, built in successive phases by Maso di Bartolomeo, Luciano Laurana, and Donato Bramante

1454-1512 Amerigo Vespucci (video) - Italian explorer who first demonstrated that Brazil and the West Indies were not part of Asia

1455-1487 The War of the Roses - between the houses of Lancaster and York

1455-1460 The Flagellation of Christ (video, video) - by Piero della Francesca

1457-1526 Peter Martyr d’Anghiera - Italian historian of Spain and the Age of Exploration, he wrote the first accounts of the exploration of Central and South America, and described the first contacts between Europeans and Native Americans (and included the first reference to Indian rubber)

1459-1504 Filippino Lippi (video) - son of Fra Filippo Lippi, high Renaissance artist who was both prolific and in search of continuous improvements

ca. 1460-1523 Gerard David - Early Netherlandish painter, known for his brilliant use of colour

1460’s-1524 Dom Vasco da Gama (video) - Portuguese explorer and the first to reach India by sea

1462-1790 Basilica di Sant’Andrea - a major Renaissance cathedral in Mantova designed by Leon Battista Alberti 

1463-1494 Giovanni Pico della Mirandola (video) - author of the De hominis dignitate, the “Manifesto of the Renaissance”

1564-1642 Galileo Galilei (video) - polymath, improved the military compass and telescope, considered father of modern observational astronomy, supported Copernicanism, championed the Tychonic system, established two new scientific domains: kinematics and strength of materials

1466-1530 Quentin Matsys - Flemish painter and founder of the Antwerp School

1466-1536 Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus (radio program) - Dutch humanist, often called the “Prince of the Humanists”

1469-1527 Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli (video) - Italian author, and founder of modern political science

ca. 1470-1528 Mattias Grunewald - German Renaissance painter, known for his Isenheim Altarpiece

1471-1528 Albrecht Dürer (video 1, video 2, video 3, video 4, video 5, video 6) - German painter and considered the greatest artist of the Northern Renaissance

1472-1476 Cappella Colleoni - church and mausoleum next to the basilica in Bergamo, designed by Giovanni Antonio Amadeo, Lombard Renaissance but clearly rooted in the Middle Ages, but this chapel has Mannerist and Baroque additions

1473-1543 Nicolaus Copernicus (video) - Renaissance mathematician and astronomer, his work triggered the Copernican Revolution

ca. 1475 Portinari Altarpiece - a triptych by the Flemish painter Hugo van der Goes

1475-1564 Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni (video) - greatest Renaissance/Mannerist artist of his time, had unparalleled influence on the development of Western art, famous for his David, and The Last Judgement in the Sistine Chapel

1475-1554 Sebastiano Serlio - Italian Mannerist architect who helped build the Palace of Fontainebleau, also known for his writings on classical architecture which were very influential in France, the Netherlands and England

1477-1510 Giorgio Barbarelli da Castelfranco (Giorgione) (video) - High Renaissance painter in Venice, and with Titian founded a distinctive Venetian school

1477-1480 Sistine Chapel - restored during this period and later to house the frescos of Michelangelo

1477-1484 Visegrád - the Hungarian royal palace was reconstructed in the late Gothic style, and the Italian Renaissance decorations were seen for the first time outside Italy

1478-1535 Thomas More - English humanist, and opponent of the Reformation and the separation of England from the Catholic church

ca. 1480 Lamentation of Christ (video) - by the italian Renaissance artist Andrea Mantegna

ca. 1480-1521 Ferdinand Magellan (video 1, video 2, video 3, video 4) - Portuguese explorer who started the first circumnavigation of the world (completed by Juan Sebastiàn Elcano)

ca. 1482 Primavera (video) - tempera panel by Sandro Botticelli

1483-1520 Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino - artist, and together with Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci formed the trinity of great Renaissance masters

1483-1546 Martin Luther (video) - seminal figure in the Protestant Reformation

1483-1553 François Rabelais - French humanist, author of Gargantua and Pantagruel, and one of the creators of modern European writing

1484-1546 Antonio da Sangallo, the Younger - Renaissance architect who designed and built the Capella Paolina in the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican (Michelangelo painted two frescos in the chapel)

1485-1547 Hernán Cortés de Monroy y Pizarro (video, video) - Spanish explorer and Conquistador that led the expedition that caused the fall of the Aztec Empire and started the Spanish colonisation of the Americas

1486-1570 Jacopo Sansovino - architect known for his work in Piazza San Marco in Venice, his Biblioteca Marciana was considered by Palladio to be the best building erected since Antiquity

ca. 1488-1576 Tiziano Vecelli (Titian) (video) - painter of the Venetian school whose loose style and subtlety of tone were without precedent

1488-1615 Duomo di Pavia - designed by Giovanni Antonio Amadeo

1489-1534 Antonio Allegri da Correggio - foremost Renaissance painter of the Parma school, he prefigured the Rococo style of the 18th C

1489-1538 Palazzo Strozzi - designed by the sculptor Benedetto da Maiano, perhaps the most “classical” and harmonious civil Renaissance building in Florence

1491-1557 Jacques Cartier - French explorer who claimed Canada for France

1492 discovery of the New World by Christopher Columbus (video 1, video 2, video 3, video 4)

1492-1576 Château d’Amboise - favourite of French kings from Louis XI to Francis I, originally a medieval fortress it mixed a Gothic Flamboyant style with Renaissance decorative motifs, and finished as the first truly Italianate palace in France

1492-1574 Palazzo della Loggia - the citizens of Brescia wanted a new grand palace to express the “buon governo” of the city, it was home to the podestà Veneziano

1492-1527 Palacio de Carlos V - Charles V decided to build a permanent residence in the Alhambra and the architect Pedro Machuca built a Mannerist style palace

1493-1540 Joan Lluís Vives i March - Spanish humanist and “father” of modern psychology

1494-1498 The Last Supper (video) - a mural by Leonardo da Vinci in the Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie, in Milan (in reality almost the entire painting is composed of repairs and restorations)

1497-1543 Hans Holbein, the Younger (video 1, video 2, video 3) - Northern Renaissance artist and possibly one of the best portraitist ever, he created some present-day cultural icons such as “The Ambassadors” (video)

1497-1560 Philipp Melanchthon - German reformer and intellectual leader of the Lutheran Reformation

1498-1578 Giorgio Giulio Clovio - the most active illuminator in Renaissance Italy

1498-1660 Château de Blois - French Royal residence from Louis XII to Henri IV, originally a medieval castle it was rebuilt as a Gothic château with some Renaissance style decorative elements

1499-1557 Niccolò Fontana Tartaglia -  Venetian engineer, he was the first to apply mathematics to the trajectories of cannonballs, e.g. ballistics

1499-1546 Giulio Romano - Mannerist artist and architect, took the Italian style to the French court of Francis I

1499-1591 Convento de Cristo - Portuguese castle and convent with examples of Romanesque, Gothic, Manueline and Renaissance architectural styles

1500-1571 Benvenuto Cellini (video) - Renaissance sculptor and goldsmith, one of the most important Mannerist artists

1501-1504 David - Renaissance masterpiece by Michelangelo

1503-1540 Girolamo Francesco Maria Mazzola (Parmigianino) (video, video) - Italian Mannerist painter

1503-1572 Agnolo di Cosimo (Il Bronzino) (video) - Italian Mannerist painter

1506-1626 Basilica Sancti Petri, Vaticano (video) - late Renaissance cathedral designed in part by Michelangelo and one of the largest churches in the world

1507-1573 Giacomo Barozzi da Vignola - one of the great 16th C Mannerist architects, and along with Palladio and Serlio spread the Renaissance style throughout Europe

1508-1580 Andrea Palladio - architect, although influenced by Greek and Roman architecture, he is considered the single most influential person in the history of Western architecture (with his quattro libri dell’architettura)

1508-1512 Sistine Chapel ceiling (video) - a masterpiece of the High Renaissance by Michelangelo

1509 Wallpaper - earliest example of printed wallpaper manufacturing, as opposed to printmaking with woodcuts

1509-1511 Scuola di Atene (video) - a High Renaissance fresco by Raphael, it includes 21 ancient Greek philosophers

1509-1564 John Calvin (video) - French theologian and principle figure in Calvinism during the Protestant Reformation

ca. 1509-1553 Michael Servetus - Spanish polymath and the first to describe correctly the function of pulmonary circulation

ca. 1510-1590 Ambroise Paré - French barber surgeon and inventor of surgical instruments

1510-1582 Hans Hendrik van Paesschen - Flemish architect known for his pure Florentine style rather than the Gothic and Mannerist styles popular at the time, designed the Kronborg Castle (Helsingør, Denmark)

1511-1574 Giorgio Vasari - painter, architect and historian, author of his famous “Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors and Architects” in which he was the first to use the terms “Gothic Art” and “Renaissance”, built the loggia in the Palazzo degli Uffizi, and the Vasari Corridor

1512-1516 Isenheim Altarpiece - sculpted and painted by Niclaus of Haguenau and Matthias Grüewald

1512-1594 Gerardus Mercator - cartographer, best known for his world map, he was the first person to use the term “atlas”

1513-1733 Catedral Nueva de Salamanca - a mix of Gothic (or more specifically the Plateresco style) and Baroque

1514 Melencolia I - engraving by Albrecht Dürer

1514-1576 Château de Chenonceau - a château built in stages and mixing late Gothic and early Renaissance features, Philibert de l’Orme contributed to its design

1514-1570 Philibert de l’Orme - French Renaissance architect, he supervised the building of Fontainebleau, contributed to Chenonceau, and he built the Château d’Anet

1514-1575 Cornelis Floris de Vriendt - Flemish sculptor and architect who with his mix of Flemish and Italian traditions help spread the Renaissance style through 16th C Northern Europe, designed the Stadhuis Antwerp

1515-1572 Petrus Ramus - influential French humanist

1515-1567 Juan Bautista de Toledo - Spanish Renaissance architect, El Escorial was his most significant building

1517-1589 Palazzo Farnese - one of the most important Renaissance palaces in Rome, designed by Antonio da Sangallo, the Younger, and modified a number of time including by Michelangelo

1518-1594 Jacopo Comin (Tintoretto) (video) - Venetian Renaissance painter who mixed Mannerist style and the colours of the Venetian School

1518-1699 Catedral de Granada - a Spanish Renaissance cathedral largely dominated by the architecture of Diego de Siloé

1519-1547 Château de Chambord - a very distinctive French Renaissance château built for François Ier

1519-1574 Cosimo I de’ Medici - became head of the Florentine state in 1537, conquered Siena in 1555, supported the arts and commissioned the building of the Uffizi

1523-1571 Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana - Mannerism-style library built by the Medici family next to San Lorenzo di Firenze, the architect was Michelangelo

1524-1530 Palazzo del Te - a pleasure palace built in Mantova in the Mannerist style, a masterpiece of the architect Giulio Romano

ca. 1525-1594 Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (audio track) - Renaissance composer of sacred music, and often seen as the master of Renaissance polyphony

ca. 1525-1569 Pieter Bruegel, the Elder (video) - Flemish Renaissance painter

1528-1588 Paolo Caliari (Paolo Veronese) (video) - Venetian Renaissance painter known for his use of colour and his large historical paintings

1530-1594 Roland de Lassus (audio track) - one of the most influential musicians of the Franco-Flemish school of the late Renaissance

1532 publication of the Niccolò Machiavelli’s The Prince

1533-1592 Michel de Montaigne - French Renaissance writer famous for his Essais and for influencing writers such as Descartes, Blaise Pascal, Rousseau, Nietzsche, and even Shakespeare

1533-1589 Jacopo Zabarella - Italian philosopher

1533 The Ambassadors (video) - a double portrait by Hans Holbein, the Younger

1535-1614 Robert Smythson - Elizabethan architect who designed Longleat

1536-1734 Musei Capitolini - a group of art and archeological museums in Rome orignally conceived by Michelangelo

1536-1541 Il Giudizio Universale (The Last Judgement) - a Mannerist fresco in the Sistine Chapel by Michelangelo (he had finished the ceiling some 25 years before), originally with nude figures, but drapery and fig leaves were added by the Mannerist artist Daniele da Volterra (much was later removed during a restoration in 1980-1994)

1537-1560 Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana - a Renaissance library in Venice designed by Jacopo Sansovino

1539-1639 Palacio Monterrey - a palace in Salamanca, and one of the most important examples of the Plateresco style, which appeared between late Gothic and the Renaissance

ca. 1540-1596 Francis Drake (video) - English privateer who made the second circumnavigation of the world

1541-1614 Doménikos Theotokópoulos (El Greco) (video) - Spanish Renaissance painter known for his expressionistic style

1546-1601 Tycho Brahe (video) - Danish astronomer, creator of the Tychonic system

1547-1616 Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra - Spanish novelist known for Don Quixote

1548 Equestrian Portrait of Charles V - it is said that this painting by Titian showed the way for all future equestrian portraits

1548-1611 Tomás Luis de Victoria (audio track) - one of the most important composers of the Counter-Reformation

1548-1600 Giordano Bruno (video) - Italian astrologer who proposed that stars were just distant suns, that they could have inhabited planets, and that the universe was infinite

1550-1617 John Napier (video) - Scottish mathematician, discoverer of logarithms, and brought into use the decimal point

1550-1560 Poznań Ratusz - the town hall was rebuilt in the Mannerist style, including an ornate loggia, by Giovanni Battista di Quadro

ca. 1554-1618 Walter Raleigh (video) - English explorer, instrumental in the colonisation of North America, and he popularised tobacco in England

ca. 1555-1600 Sukiennice - the Kraków cloth hall was redesigned in the Renaissance style

1556-1573 Villa Farnese - a massive Renaissance and Mannerist construction built near Caprarola, Northern Lazio, considered one of the finest examples of Renaissance architecture, it was designed by Giacomo Barozzi da Vignola

1557-1661 Spain (Philip II, Philip III, Philip IV) default 10 times

1560-1581 Uffizi - originally designed by Giorgio Vasari as “offices” for Florentine magistrates, is now a museum

1561-1626 Francis Bacon - farther of empiricism, important in the development of scientific method during the so-called Scientific Revolution

1561-1565 Stadhuis Antwerp - Renaissance building designed by Cornelis Floris de Vriendt incorporating both Flemish and Italian influences, it inspired a new Renaissance style throughout the Netherlands and Northern Europe

1563-1584 El Escorial - one of the most important buildings of the Spanish Renaissance, it is both a royal palace and a monastery, designed by Juan Bautista de Toledo

1563 The Wedding at Cana - a massive painting by the Italian Mannerist painter Paolo Veronese, it includes more than 130 figures (and none of them are visibly speaking)

1564-1616 William Shakespeare (video) - considered the greatest writer in the English language

1564-1593 Christopher Marlowe - foremost Elizabethan tragedian of his day

1566-1591 Villa Almerico Capra - a villa designed by Palladio and one of the Palladian Villas of Veneto

1567-1579 Longleat - designed by Robert Smythson, it is one of the finest Elizabethan buildings in Britain

1568-1619 Münchner Residenz - mixes Gothic foundations and walls with barracks, a monastery, houses and gardens in the styles of the late Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo, and Neo-Classicism

1571-1630 Johannes Kepler (video) - German astronomer who established the laws of planetary motion

ca. 1572-1610 Michelangelo Marisi da Caravaggio - Italian painter known for his dramatic use of light and shadows (chiaroscuro), influenced Baroque painting

1572-1637 Ben Jonson (video) - English playwright, and an example of a classically educated English Renaissance man

1573-1646 Elias Holl - the most important late German Renaissance architect, built the  Augsburger Rathaus

1573-1652 Inigo Jones - British architect who visited Italy, learned Italian and was deeply influenced by Palladio, designed the Banqueting House

1574-1585 Kronborg Castle - one of the most important and beautiful Renaissance castles in Northern Europe (Helsingør, Denmark), designed by Hans Hendrik van Paesschen, it is in a pure Florentine style rather than the Gothic and Mannerist styles popular at the time

1575-1634 Johann Carolus - German publisher of the first newspaper

1577-1640 Peter Paul Rubens (video) - Flemish Baroque painter

1578-1657 William Harvey - English physician who described the circulation of blood being pumped to the brain and body by the heart

1587-1639 Hans van Steenwinckel, the Younger - Flemish-Danish architect who designed the Renaissance style Frederiksborg Palace and Rosenborg Castle

1588-1679 Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury - one of the founders of modern political philosophy and political science

1590-1608 Invention of the telescope - generally associated with Hans Lippershey, he also claimed the invention of the microscope along with Zacharian Janssen

1591-1606 Baranów Snadomerski Castle - built in the Polish Mannerist style, possibly the work of Santi Gucci

1594-1665 Nicolas Poussin leading painter in the classical French Baroque style, inspired David, Ingres and Cézanne

1595-1612 Bremen Rathaus - a new Gothic brick façade was added to the existing town hall in the style of the Weser Renaissance (uses features from the Dutch Renaissance)

1596 Flush Toilet - first suggested by Sir John Harington

1596-1650 René Descartes (video) - French philosopher and mathematician, often considered to be the farther of both modern philosophy and analytical geometry, and he was the creator of the Cartesian coordinate system 

1599 The Globe Theatre was built in London

1602-1620 Frederiksborg Palace - found in Hillerød, it is the largest Renaissance palace in Scandinavia, designed by Hans van Steenwinckel, the Younger

1604-1610 Panemuné Castle - the most beautiful Renaissance building in Lithuania

1605 The Gunpowder Plot by Guy Fawkes

1606-1624 Rosenborg Castle - Dutch Renaissance style castle in Copenhagen, including also Renaissance style gardens, designed by Hans van Steenwinckel, the Younger

1608-1674 John Milton - English poet of Paradise Lost fame

1615-1624 Augsburger Rathaus - one of the most significant secular Renaissance style buildings north of the Alps, designed by Elias Holl

1616-1619 Queen’s House, Greenwich - designed by Inigo Jones, it was the first Palladianism style building in Britain

1619-1622 Banqueting House - the only part remaining of the Palace of Whitehall, designed by Inigo Jones in a style influenced by Palladio

1627-1691 Robert Boyle (video) - Irish natural philosopher, best know for Boyle’s Law describing the relationship between pressure and volume of a gas, and sometimes called the “Father of Modern Chemistry” (others would support Lavoisier for that title)




We are going to close this page with a “map” or “index” to entries in Wikipedia concerning The Renaissance.



Renaissance, Renaissance Literature, Renaissance Philosophy, Renaissance Humanism, List of Renaissance Humanists, List of Renaissance Figures, Renaissance Art, List of Renaissance Artists, Renaissance Architecture, List of Renaissance Structures, List of Brick Renaissance Buildings, Renaissance Music (List of Period Instruments) List of Renaissance Composers, Renaissance Dance, Renaissance Theatre, Renaissance Papacy, History of Science in the Renaissance, Renaissance Technology, Medical Renaissance


ca. 1000-1100 Romanesque Art, List of Romanesque Artists, Romanesque Architecture

ca. 1100-1350 Gothic Art, List of Gothic Artists, Gothic Architecture, List of Gothic Architecture

ca. 1368-1450 (peak 1390-1420) International Gothic (also known as Trecento which covers the period 1300-1400)

ca. 1400-1500 Renaissance or Early Renaissance (or Quattrocento)

ca. 1500-1525 High Renaissance

1517-1750 Protestant Reformation (1545-1648 Counter-Reformation)

ca. 1520-1600 Mannerism (ca. 1530-1590 Counter-Maniera)

ca. 1600 Baroque


Italian Renaissance, Italian Renaissance Literature, Italian Gothic Architecture, Italian Renaissance Gardens, Italian Renaissance Painting, Themes in Italian Renaissance Painting, Venetian School


Northern Renaissance (Northern Mannerism)


French Renaissance, List of French Renaissance Artists, French Renaissance Literature, French Gothic Architecture (Rayonnant, Flamboyant), French Renaissance Architecture, French Renaissance Gardens, List of Battles involving France in the Renaissance


German Renaissance, Weser Renaissance


Renaissance in the Low Countries, Dutch and Flemish Renaissance Painting (Antwerp Mannerism, Flemish Baroque), Dutch Renaissance Literature


English Renaissance, Elizabethan Era, Elizabethan Literature, English Gothic Architecture, Early Music of the British Isles, Tudor Period, Jacobean Era


Renaissance in Poland (Lublin Renaissance), Polish Gothic Architecture, Mannerist Architecture and Sculpture in Poland


Spanish Renaissance, Spanish Renaissance Literature, Spanish Gothic Architecture, Spanish Renaissance Architecture (Plateresque)


Portuguese Renaissance, Portuguese Gothic ArchitectureRenaissance Architecture in Portugal, Manueline (Portuguese late Gothic)


Renaissance Architecture in Eastern Europe


Swedish Reformation and Renaissance Literature




And here are a number of additional resources (in no particular order) concerning The Renaissance:-


Italian Renaissance - analysis of the art of Renaissance Italy

Italian Renaissance Learning Resources - a collaboration between the National Gallery of Art in Washington and the Grove Art Online (the National Gallery also has a learning resource for the Italian Renaissance)

Medieval and Renaissance Center - resources on New York University

The Art of Renaissance Europe - a resource for educators

Sixteenth Century Renaissance English Literature - in the background information there are links to an impressive variety of topics covering, politics, law, economy, trade, philosophy, as well as art, architecture, theatre, costumes, and food & drink

Internet Medieval Sourcebook (Renaissance) - links to early Italian humanism, artists, politics, and “the arts of civilisation”

Medievalist.net (tag: Renaissance) - a series of articles touching on Renaissance times

Medieval and Renaissance Studies - research advice and sources for work

The Civilisation of the Renaissance in Italy (Jacob Burckhardt) - his much maligned book

History of Medieval and Renaissance Europe - primary documentation

Renaissance Art - a resource of the UCLA library

The Renaissance Society of America - online resources

Art History Resources (on the Web) - has pages of links on Gothic Art, Renaissance Art in Italy, Renaissance Art Outside Italy, and Baroque Art


Note: The above list is just a taster, there is a very wide variety of Internet resources available about The Renaissance. So happy hunting.