The Renaissance epoch approximately spans the time from the early 15th century to the end of the 16th century. Sculptors during this epoch drew inspiration from the design methods of antiquity, increasingly took up secular pictorial themes and tried to depict their models as naturally as possible.

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Renaissance Art - A New Beginning with Ancient Models

The epoch of the Renaissance lasted roughly from the early 15th century to the end of the 16th century. During this epoch, the visual arts clearly broke away from the Middle Ages and reoriented both their content and their techniques. However, Renaissance artists did not do this by developing a completely new artistic philosophy and style. Rather, the new orientation consisted essentially of a return to past styles, especially those of antiquity, in which the Renaissance epoch found many of its models. Typical Renaissance characteristics were, among other things, a very naturalistic design and increasingly secular pictorial themes. Numerous artists emerged from this epoch who today are among the most important in art history, for example, Raphael, Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo Buonarroti and Sandro Botticelli.

New Motifs in Renaissance Sculpture

As in the Middle Ages, many of the motifs of Renaissance sculpture were still of biblical origin, but sculpture in this epoch increasingly opened up to other subject areas. As in the preceding centuries, Renaissance artists no longer received their commissions predominantly from the clergy but increasingly from the state and private individuals. With the new sponsors, the motifs of the sculptures also changed. As in antiquity, people once again became the focus of art. Renaissance sculpture turned away from the very melancholy and moralising pictorial themes and concentrated more on the worldly and more positive sides of life. The statues now showed not only gods but also simple people in their everyday lives as well as the rulers of their time, for example, in the form of equestrian statues.

Renaissance Sculpture: Natural Forms in Perfect Execution

The sculptors of the Renaissance based the design of their sculptures on works from antiquity and perfected them with the help of modern and sophisticated techniques. They no longer depicted their figures in a stylised or idealised way, which was often the case in previous epochs. They rather based their work on the natural anatomy of the human body. The sculptors reproduced their models in the sculptures down to the smallest details and always paid attention to the correct and realistic proportions. The perfection in execution was due to the fact that during the Renaissance sculpture was able to establish itself as a work of art in its own right and was no longer seen merely as a decorative part of a building, which was widely believed to be the case until then. Thus, many free-standing Renaissance sculptures were produced for public spaces during this epoch.

Buy Renaissance Art at ars mundi

Renaissance sculptures are fascinating because of their realistic execution and their closeness to antiquity without copying it. Many well-known motifs of art history originate from the Renaissance, some of which you can buy as high-quality replicas at ars mundi. Among others, you will find the iconic work "Schema delle Proporzioni" by Leonardo da Vinci, and many works by Michelangelo Buonarroti, including his world-famous "Pietà", the original of which is made of marble and can be seen in St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, as well as Lorenzo Ghiberti's mural relief "Abraham and Isaac: The Sacrifice of Isaac", the original of which comes from the Baptistery of San Giovanni in Florence, and Giovanni da Bologna's sculpture "Venus after the Bath".