Renaissance Artists Investigation

1. Renaissance Artists Investigation

In the historical time period there is a time called the Renaissance. The Renaissance means “rebirth” and this was because it came after a time period, which was not pleasant to live in. Way back even before, there was people called the Romans and Greeks. The romans and Greeks were very intelligent and they used a lot of intelligence and had a lot of technology. Some of the main things that the Greek and Roman Empire flourished in was Mathematics, Architecture, Science, and of course, Art. However, as the Germanic tribes came in, all of their glory was lost and the people were told to live a modest and quiet life. This period was so deadly and sad that the period was called the dark period or the medieval era. It is believed that most of the art in the medieval era is flat and boring and often depicted drawings of religious figures and not things from everyday life. But as the renaissance came in, this changed. People took the intelligence of the Romans and Greeks and Rediscovered what they had before, making spending artwork. One famous thing there was in the Renaissance was the Printing press that helped them spread artwork and their knowledge. There are a lot of artists or people that let us see light in the Renaissance. Some of which I am going to introduce is Albrecht Dürer and Michelangelo Buonarotti.

Many people have a fixed mindset that the Renaissance only flourished in Italy. This is in fact, not true. There were a lot of countries that flourished. This includes Germany, the country of Albrecht Dürer. Albrecht Dürer was born on May 21st 1471 in a city called Nürnburg was a very artistic city and a well developed one as well in the 15-16th centuries. That might have been partly the reason why he was very talented in this area.

However, it wasn’t just because of his talent that he became this famous. There is also a section in his past that influence and inspired his work. This was being an apprentice to his father and an artist Michael Wolgemeut. Wolgeneut’s art consisted of wood artwork for books and Albrecht’s father was a gold smith. By this he learned the basics of printmaking and started to gain the intelligence to make a difference in the world of the printing press him self. He made art using wood and carving it to print. Now it wasn’t just for Books, it was for artists as well. Now, Albrecht was Religious and a lot of his work consisted of religious content. When he became 30 it was said that he made three famous woodcuts, The Apocalypse, Large Wood cut passion cycle, and Life of the Virgin. One can see that his childhood greatly affected what kind of an artist he is now and that his father and the artist Michael Wolgemeut’s art work of wood influenced him to think about different ways that he could make art with wood which led to lovely wood carvings.


Adam and Eve

His work can be described as being very detailed. One of his pieces are Adam and Eve. Adam and eve is a type of wood carves work and one can not clearly see this because it is very detailed and it doesn’t look like a carving at all. You can see that the muscles are exaggerated and you can just see them move because of the shadows put on to them. You can notice that he put less shadows on the woman for her to look plumb which was the ideal look of a woman back in the Renaissance. The you can see by the shadows that are covering the edge of his muscles. The forest is very well depicted and you can see that the light is coming from the left because the right sides are shaded. I like


portrait of a young venetian woman


Virgin and the Child with Saint Anne

the way that Dürer did this because it creates a effect of this being in real life. It doesn’t look flat at all. The animals also have exaggerated fat and they are more of a darker shade because Dürer wanted to emphasize Adam and Eve. Some Other Art works by him are the Virgin and the Child with Saint Anne and Portrait of a young Venician Woman. In his work you can see that it is not very abstract and he tries to draw as realistically as possible and he does this well by creating shadows and using realistic colors that people in real life might be wearing. I can see that he also likes emphasizing the face and the muscles by making the shadows more clear.

A lot of people from the Renaissance used different Media to make and present their work. The way that Dürer used was very unique and this is what that made him famous. This is the woodcut print. He also used paint and other sources too, but Dürer was mainly known for his utterly stunning and extravagant piece of woodcut prints. To explain what a woodcut print is, it is a type of art where the person carves the wood very detailed and you can put ink or paint on it and if you press it on paper, you can make multiple copies of it. This was also known as the printing press and it was widely used in the Renaissance, to spread knowledge and understanding of different ideas. Because of Dürer, it was also used as a way to spread art and to present art as a media as well.

As mentioned before, Dürer made a big contribution to the printing press that we know now and I think that this was the reason why his work contributed to the Renaissance. At first, the woodcarvings were just used to print books and multiple copies of information, but when Dürer came along, everything changed. He cracked the thought of only using woodcarvings for books and he made artwork using it that opened, in a way, another aspect of art that was hiding behind the curtains waiting to be revealed. Another point is like many other Renaissance artists he showed what he learned about the human form and what he thought the the muscles looked like. In Addition, not only did he describe the muscles but he showed the lights and shading perfectly so that it would look more realistic and 3D.

Personally, I love his work and I believe that even though Germany isn’t known to be the main country that developed because of the Renaissance, his work has the rights to be compared with the Italian Artists. One of my favorite art works by him is the Adam and Eve, which is in fact a wood cut art. I think it shows the different muscles in the human body really well and the muscles are very extravagant and well drawn it is almost hard to notice it is carved out of wood.

Another Artist that I am going to talk about is Michelangelo Buonarotti. Michelangelo was not German like Dürer and was actually from the country of Italy. He was born on 6th of March 1475 in Florence, Italy. Like Dürer he was an apprentice to an artist. His artist was Domenico Ghirlandio. Michelangelo’s father was rich and he had connections to the Medici Family which was the most rich family of all of Italy. Then He went to the Medici Family and he worked there.

There were a lot of things that inspired him to be who he is today. Like Dürer, a lot of different things that he learnt inspired him. The art of fresco learnt by Domeico Ghirlandio inspired him. Another thing that inspired him to be the artist he is today is going to a sculpture school and learning about sculpting. This influenced him a lot about the anatomy and about the human body is what a lot of Renaissance Artists sculpted.



Michelangelo’s work was very thorough and he did a lot with the human body because he was interested in them. This is one of his very famous sculptures which is called David. You can see that because it is a sculpture, it looks more 3D than most paintings or murals. You can see that in his works and findings he knew about proportion and how the muscles look because he drew them perfectly and it doesn’t look awkward. The hair has a lot of curves in them which makes it seem more darker because of the shadows that are set on the sculpture. He is very thorough with his artwork because the muscles are carved very carefully and the harder and more rigid parts more roughly which creates different outlines to the sculpture. Some of his other works are Crouching Boy and Studies for the Libyan Sibyl. In the works of Michelangelo, I can see that the sculpting school greatly affected him because a lot of his great and famous works are sculptures. Also I can see that he liked working with the human body because the Studies for the Libyan Sibyl consists of analyzing the muscles of a man. In his sculptures I can also tell that he like analyzing the muscles because the curves and the dents in the skin was greatly emphasized.


Crouching Boy

Studies for the Libyan Sibyl

Studies for the Libyan Sibyl


Michelangelo was a type of Artist who used all types of different media to do his work. Because he went to sculpting school, he tended to do a lot of sculptures about different things. Another media that he would used to express his  artwork was fresco paintings. For people who do not know what a fresco painting is, it is a type of painting that is usually used for murals. Water pigments are used. These were the two medias that Michelangelo used the most, fresco and sculpting.

Michelangelo had a lot of influence to the Renaissance society and this greatly contributed to the Renaissance. One way that he contributed was that he influenced the art work of the Medici family. Affecting one family might not be a lot but in this time the Medici’s were everything and it was a good thing to please them. Another influence was that he left a lot of architectural work left and not just art work such as a lot of monuments for the Medici family. Adding on, another similar point to Dürer was that he also analysed the human body perfectly and it looked like real muscles. However, one difference is that Michelangelo showed this using sketches and sculptures. Some examples are infact that ones that are listed above Studies for the Libyan Sibyl, David, and the crouching boy.

Personally, I like his work because I find it very much like the people that I see in real life. A piece that I like is his self portrait because it depicts him as looking very kind but he looks tired because of the wrinkles and the shadows put in to them.


2. Works Cited

Works Cited

Adam and Eve, by Albrecht Dürer (German, 1471–1528).1504. Engraving 25.1 x 20 cm. Fletcher Fund, 1919 (19.73.1)

“Albrecht Dürer.” Encyclopedia Britannica. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Dec. 2013. <>.

Albrecht Dürer (German, 1471–1528). Virgin and Child with Saint Anne, 1519. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Bequest of Benjamin Altman, 1913 (14.40.633)

“Albrecht Durer – The Complete Works.” Albrecht Durer – The Complete Works. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Dec. 2013. <>.

BBC News. BBC, n.d. Web. 13 Dec. 2013. <>.

“Category:Fresco Painting.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 23 Sept. 2013. Web. 13 Dec. 2013. <>.

Crouching Boy, Michelangelo.1533. Hermitage, St. Petersburg, Russia

David, by Michelangelo. Marble sculpture. 1501–04. Located in the Accademia, Florence.

“Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History.” Albrecht Dürer (1471–1528). N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Dec. 2013. <>.

Michelangelo Buonarroti (Italian, 1475–1564). Studies for the Libyan Sibyl (recto); Studies for the Libyan Sibyl and a small Sketch for a Seated Figure (verso) (detail), ca. 1510-1511. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Purchase, Joseph Pulitzer Bequest, 1924 (24.197.2)

“Michelangelo Buonarroti.” Michelangelo Buonarroti. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Dec. 2013. <>.

“Michelangelo Buonarroti.” Michelangelo Buonarroti. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Dec. 2013. <>.

“Michelangelo.” The National Gallery, London: Western European Painting 1250–1900. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Dec. 2013. <>.

N.d. Photograph. Nndb. Web. 13 Dec. 2013. <>.


Portrait of a Young Venetian Woman, by Albrecht Durer. 1505. Oil on panel, 33 x 25 cm; Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna.