High Renaissance and Mannerism

Concurrent Dates

1492 CE Columbus sails, expulsion of the Jews from Spain, Inquisition in high gear
1510’s CE Montezuma, Aztec ruler, receives Cortes and the Spanish Conquistadors

Copernicus tells us that the earth revolves around the sun

American East coast is discovered up to Charleston

1517 CE Martin Luther and his 95 Thesis

Target Concepts

  • By the high Renaissance we begin to see truly different personal artistic styles
  • Each of the “ninja turtles” made lasting contributions to western art
  • While the patron still played a role in the creation of art, artists were finally being freed to pursue their own ideas and aesthetics
  • The High Renaissance in the south was still very much rooted in classical style, logic, and order
  • Mannerism was a reactionary art style; they reacted to the style of the great artists that proceeded them and they reacted to the troubling times they lived in
  • Renaissance artists strived for naturalism and realism, while the Mannerists went to extremes to remind you that paintings and sculptures are artificial images

The rise of creativity

20% the artist, 80% the restorer

A Subtle Shift From Florence to Rome


Virgin of the Rocks, Leonardo Da Vinci
Italy, 1483 CE oil on wood 6’ x 4’
sfumato, chiaroscuro, figural triangle

Last Supper, Leonardo Da Vinci
Italy, late 1495 CE fresco secco (in oil and tempera) 30’ x 14’

Mona Lisa, Leonardo Da Vinci
Italy, 1503 CE oil on wood 3’ x 2’

Cartoon for Virgin and Child with Saint Anne and the Infant Saint John, Leonardo Da Vinci
Italy, 1505 CE charcoal on brown paper 5’ x 3’

Embryo in the Womb, Leonardo Da Vinci
Italy, 1511 CE pen and ink on paper


Madonna of the Meadows, Raphael
Italy, 1505 oil on wood 4’ x 3’

School of Athens, Raphael
Italy, Vatican Palace, 1509 CE buon fresco 19’x 27’

Galatea, Raphael
Italy, 1513 CE 10’x 7’

Pope Julius II:  Warrior-Pope


David, Michelangelo Buonarroti
Italy, 1501 CE marble 14’ tall

Moses, Michelangelo Buonarroti
Italy, 1513 CE marble 8’ tall

Ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, Michelangelo Buonarroti
Italy, Vatican, 1508 CE buon fresco128’ x 45’

  • Creation of Adam

Last Judgment, Michelangelo Buonarroti
From the altar wall of the Sistine Chapel
Italy, Vatican, 1536 CE buon fresco 48’ x 44’

Pastoral Symphony, Giorgione (and/or Titian?)
Italy, 1508 CE oil on canvas 4’x5’

Poesia, Arcadian

The Tempest, Giorgione
Italy early 1510 CE oil on canvas 3’x2’

Venus of Urbino, Titian
Italy, 1538 oil on canvas

Palazzo Farnese, Antonio Da Sangallo The Younger
Italy, 1546 CE
Segmental pediments, quoins

Villa Rotonda, Andrea Palladio
Italy 1550 CE


Madonna with the Long Neck, Parmigianino
Italy, 1534 CE oil on wood 7’ x 4’

Entombment of Christ, Pontormo
Italy, 1525 CE oil on wood 10’x7’
Figura serpentinata

Portrait of a Young Man, Bronzino
Italy, 1530 CE oil on wood 3’x2’

Venus, Cupid, Folly, and Time, Bronzino
Italy, 1546 CE oil on wood 5’ x 5’

Abduction of the Sabine Women, Giovanni Da Bologna
Italy, 1579 CE marble 14’

Il Gesu, Giacomo Della Porta and Giacomo Da Vignola
Italy, 1575 CE brick, marble, and stucco
Jesuit Order, Baroque Architecture, Di sotto in su, trompe l’oeil

  • Triumph of the Name of Jesus, Giovanni Gaulli

A Virtual Tour of the Sistine Chapel:

A short video on art restoration and museum installation by the Chicago Art Institute