20 Best Italian Renaissance Artists

Renaissance was the period of significant transition from the middle age to the modernity. Spanning from 14th century to 17th century, Renaissance brought many astounding artists, poets and many other scholars in the limelight. Here is the list of 20 best and most famous Italian Renaissance Artists.

20. Masaccio

Italian Renaissance Artists Masaccio
Birthplace:Florence, Italy
Associated period:Early Renaissance
Appreciated art-form:Fresco, Painting
Artwork:Expulsion from The Garden of Eden, Pisa Altarpiece and Holy Trinity

Masaccio was one of the youngest artists who left an everlasting imprint in the world of artistry. He lived a short life and died at the age of just 26 years. He was associated with the Early Renaissance Period. 

He was the best painters of his generation and had a scientific approach to his paintings. He was considered as the inaugurator of Modern era painting.

Masaccio was inspired by the great works of Donatello, Giotto, Masolino da Panicale and Filippo Brunelleschi.

It is an unfortunate situation where only four of his many artworks survives today such as Expulsion from The Garden of Eden, Pisa Altarpiece and Holy Trinity.

19.  Antonello da Messina

Antonello da Messina
Associated period:Italian Renaissance
Appreciated art-form:Painting
Artwork:St. Jerome Penitent, Ecce Homo, Crucifixion and many more.

Antonello da Messina was active during the early years of Italian Renaissance. Giorgio Vasari, the famous biographer of Italian artists, gave Antonello the credit for introducing oil painting to Italy.

Antonello da was an artist of south Italy, yet his work proved to be influential on Northern Italy.

His painting has Flemish styles and effects which has a strong influence in Italian paintings  He not only introduce Italian paintings but also did the transmission of the Flemish tendencies.

See Also – 10 Best Renaissance Architecture

18.  Cimabue fairly

Cimabue Maestà di Santa Trinita
Birthplace:Florence, Italy
Associated period:Proto-Renaissance
Appreciated art-form:Painting
Artwork:Virgin Enthroned with Angels, The Last Supper, Madonna di
Castelfiorentino and many more.

Cenni di Pepo or Cimabue from Florence was an extraordinary painter and mosaic designer. His work is heavily influenced by the Byzantine Models.

Cimabue was among the few first Italian painters to include Italo-Byzantine style in his painting.

17.  Giovanni Francesco Barbieri- Guercino

Giovanni Francesco Barbieri- Guercino
Birthplace:Cento, Italy
Associated period:Renaissance
Appreciated art-form:Baroque painting and craftsmen
Artwork:The Persian Sibyl, Christ and the Woman of Samaria, Et in Arcadia ego and many more

Giovanni Francesco Barbieri, better known as Guercino was one of the most famous Baroque craftsmen and painter from Cento, Italy.

His appreciated art-form drastically changed with time and his experience. You can simply appreciate the change from the early vigorous naturalism to classical equilibrium seen in his later artworks.

16.      Leone Battista Alberti

 Leone Battista Alberti
Birthplace:Rome, Italy

Associated period:Italian Renaissance
Appreciated art-form:Architecture, poetry, linguist
Artwork:Santa Maria Novella, Palazzo, Tempio Malatestiano and many more

Leon Battista Alberti was an allrounder linguist, humanist author, artist, poet, architect, linguist, priest, cryptographer, and philosopher.

He was a humanist and made himself different from other artists through workshops. He belonged to a noble family hence had a special status. 

15.  Piero Della Francesca

Vasari Piero della Francesca
Birthplace:Sansepolcro, Republic of Florence, Italy

Associated period:Early Renaissance
Appreciated art-form:Painting

Artwork:The Baptism of Christ, The history of the true cross, Polyptych of the Misericordia, Portrait of Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta and more

Piero Della Francesca was a man of multiple talents. He is primarily known as a painter but was also a geometer and mathematician.

His paintings define serene humanism and excellent geometrical usage. His paintings also depict some perspective making them unique and pleasing to the eyes. One of his most notable works is The Baptism of Christ.

14.      Fra Angelico

Birthplace:Vicchio, Italy
Associated period:Early Renaissance
Appreciated art-form: Painting, Fresco
Artwork:Niccoline Chapel, Deposition of Christ, Annunciation of Cortona, and many more
Fra Angelico portrait

Born as Guido di Pietro, he was given the title of Fra Angelico which translates to ‘Angelic friar’ in common English.

He was known for his unusual painting scene and details. Vasaris even describes Fra Angelico as having “a rare and perfect talent” in his book ‘Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects’.

13.      Andrea Mantegna

Andrea Mantegna
Birthplace:Isola di Carturo, Italy

Associated period:Italian Renaissance
Appreciated art-form: Fresco and Painting
Artwork:The Agony in the Garden, St. Sebastian and many more

Andrea Mantegna was a renowned Italian painter. He was also the son-in-law of Jacopo Bellini and the mentor of many other Renaissance artists of the coming time.

He experimented with different perspectives giving his creations a greater sense of monumentality by depressing the horizon.

Mantegna ran a workshop and was a top maker of prints. His landscapes had a metallic feel giving a sculptural look to his paintings. 

12. Giorgione

Giorgione Italian painter of High Renaissance period
Birthplace:Venice, Italy
Associated period:High Renaissance
Appreciated art-form:Painting
Artwork:The Three Philosophers, The Tempest, Sleeping Venus, and many more

Giorgione, born as Giorgio Barbarelli da Castelfranco was a Venice-born Italian painter of High Renaissance period.

He was an apprentice of Giovanni Bellini and was famous for the poetic feel in his artworks. He also founded The Famous Venetian school of Italian Renaissance along with Titian.

11. Donatello

Donatello famous Sculpture of Renaissance period
Birthplace: Florence, Italy
Associated period: Renaissance
Appreciated art-form:Schiacchio, Drawing, and sculpting

Artwork:Herod’s Banquet in Siena Baptistery, The Crucifixion, Virgin and Child, and more

Donato di Niccolò di Betto Bardi, popular among people as Donatello was a famous sculptor of the Renaissance period.

Donatello pioneered Schiacciato whose literal meaning is “flattened out”. It is a technique which allows the sculptor to give an illusion of greater depth by carving just a few millimeters of the carving stone.

One of his greatest works done using Schiacciato is Herod’s Banquet in Siena Baptistery. People from all over the world come to see the beautiful art piece. Other appreciated artworks by Donatello are The Crucifixion, Virgin and Child and many more.

10. Sandro Botticelli

Sandro Botticelli painter
Birthplace: Florence, Italy
Associated period:High Renaissance
Appreciated art-form:Painting (Majorly portrait painting)
Artwork:The Birth of Venus, Madonna del Padiglione, The Mystical Nativity, and more

Sandro Botticelli was a Florence-born painter in the early Renaissance period. He is famous for his religious paintings such as the Holy Trinity.

Apart from this, the painting of Madonna and Childs was also very popular. Botticelli was one of the five painters appointed by Pope Sixtus IV to beautify the Sistine Chapel in 1481.

His contributions include Youth of Moses, Temptations of Christ and Punishment of sons of Corah.

Other great artworks by Sandro Botticelli are The Birth of Venus, Madonna del Padiglione, The Mystical Nativity and many more.

9. Titian

Tiziano Vecellio Italian Renaissance Painter
Birthplace:Province of Belluno, Italy
Associated period:High Renaissance
Artwork:Versatile painting
Appreciated art-form:Pastoral Concert, Bacchus and Ariadne, Venus and Adonis, paintings of Federico II Gonzaga, Equestrian Portrait of Charles V, and more

Tiziano Vecellio, popularized as Titian was a Pieve di Cadore born Italian painter. He was more or less associated with the High Renaissance Period. 

He was one of the most versatile painters who mastered in painting landscapes, backgrounds, portraits, mythology, and religious themes. As a teenager, he assisted great artists like Giovanni Bellini before working on his own.

Titian was one of the most looked-for painters for royalties all over Europe which can be easily evident from his paintings of Federico II Gonzaga, Equestrian Portrait of Charles V and more. 

Titan’s color choices and artistic manners can be well-appreciated in his lifelong array of artworks like Pastoral Concert, Bacchus and Ariadne, Venus and Adonis and many more.

 8. Filippino Lippi

Italian Renaissance Artists Filippino Lippi
Birthplace:Prato, Italy
Associated period: Early Renaissance and High Renaissance
Artwork:Painting, Fresco
Appreciated art-form:Virgin to St. Bernard, Adoration of Magi, Allegory of Music, Mystic Wedding of St. Catherine Virgin and Martyr and more

Filippino Lippi was born in Prato. He was a painter in later years of Early Renaissance and early years of High Renaissance.

He was also an apprentice of Sandro Botticelli whose influence is quite evident in Lippi’s artworks. 

He, along with Perugino, Botticelli, and Ghirlandaio, worked on the adoration of Lorenzo de’ Medici’s Villa in Spedaletto. He was very much appreciated for his work Apparition of the Virgin to St. Bernard, Adoration of Magi and others. 

7. Tintoretto

Tintoretto Italian Renaissance Artists
Birthplace:Venice, Italy
Associated period:Renaissance
Artwork:Mannerism painting, Painting
Appreciated art-form: Madonna with Child and Donor, Belgarde, The Siege of Asola, Finding of The Body of St. Mark etc.

Jacopo Comin got the nickname Tintoretto from his father who was a dyer. He was a Venice-born Italian painter and was popular because of his speed and admirable brushstrokes. 

He used a bold perspective and dramatic gestures in his characteristic muscular figures in paintings. His remarkable work can be admired in paintings like the Madonna with Child and Donor sited in National Museum of Serbia, Belgarde.

 6.Domenico Ghirlandaio

Italian Renaissance Artists
Birthplace:Florence, Italy

Associated period:Italian Renaissance
Appreciated art-form:Paintings sited in Tornabuoni Chapel in Florence, Sistine Chapel, Church of Ognissanti, and more

Domenico Ghirlandaio along with his two brothers ran a large workshop in Florence. He had many apprentices who worked and learned under him, one such great apprentice being Michelangelo.

Domenico is associated with the Early Renaissance Period. He was one of the five painters appointed by Pope Sixtus IV to paint a fresco (mural) in the Sistine Chapel in Rome.

Historians consider that Domenico Ghirlandaio along with Sandro Botticelli, Verrocchio and many others, was part of the third generation of Florentine Renaissance. 

Ghirlandaio ran a large and proficient workshop along with his brothers Benedetto and Davide Ghirlandaio, his brother-in-law and also his son Ridolfo Ghirlandaio. Michelangelo was one of the famous students of Ghirlandaio. He was famous for his life-like paintings.

5.Andrea del Verrocchio

Andrea del Verrocchio
Birthplace:Florence, Italy

Associated period:Italian Renaissance
Artwork:Sculpting and painting
Appreciated art-form:paintings like Tobias and the Angel, The Baptism of Christ (painted along with Leonardo da Vinci), the bronze sculpture of Christ and St. Thomas, and more

Andrea del Verrocchio is one of the most impactful artists who not only inspired the other Italian Painters.

His apprentices include the list of famous artists like Leonardo da Vinci, Ghirlandaio, Botticelli and many more.

He wasn’t just a painter but also a Goldsmith and a sculptor. His well-appreciated work includes paintings like Tobias and the Angel,

The Baptism of Christ which he painted along with Leonardo da Vinci, the bronze sculpture of Christ and St. Thomas and many such admirable creations.

 4. Giovanni Bellini

Renaissance Artists Giovanni Bellini
Birthplace:Venice, Italy
Associated period:Renaissance
Appreciated art-form:San Zaccaria Altarpiece, Christ Blessing, Madonna and child, Madonna and Child with John the Baptist and Saint Elizabeth, and more

Giovanni Bellini was from a family full of artists. His father was Jacopo and his brother was Gentile. His paintings were admired for their beautiful hues and detailed gradients and shadings. His color practice influenced artists like Titan.

He revolutionized the painting customs and style in Venice making the painting more colorful. His notable works include the painting of Christ Blessing, Madonna and child, and many more.

3.Raffaello Sanzio- Raphael

Potrait Raffaello Sanzio- Raphael
Birthplace:Urbino, Italy
Associated period: High Renaissance
Artwork:Drawing and painting
Appreciated art-form:Sistine Madonna, Aldobrandini Madonna, The School of Athens, and more

Raffaello Sanzio, popular as Raffaello, was considered the Architect of High Renaissance. He was born to a town court painter, Giovanni Santi in Urbino. He was loved for his portrait paintings and Madonna paintings which look so lively even today.

His famous artworks include Sistine Madonna, Aldobrandini Madonna, The School of Athens, and other such beautiful creations which are appreciated by the audience of all ages. The young Raffaello was inspired by great artists like Andrea Mantegna and started training in Urbino.

2. Michelangelo

Michelangelo Italian Renaissance Artists
Birthplace:Province of Arezzo, Italy
Associated period:High Renaissance
Artwork:Drawing, Painting, Sculpture
Appreciated art-form:David, Sistine Chapel ceiling, Bacchus, The Creation of Adam, and more

The Italian artist, poet, painter, sculptor, and architect has left his mark beyond the phase of time.

He is also regarded as the engineer of the High Renaissance and has earned the title of Archetypal Renaissance Man.

His creations in the form of art such as David, Sistine Chapel ceiling, Bacchus, and many more are still loved and cherished by artists all over the world.

His paintings and sculptures were more than just an artist’s creation. They are an inspiration for all generations. 

1. Leonardo da Vinci

Leonardo da vinci -one of the finest artists in the world
Birthplace: Vinci, Italy
Associated period: High Renaissance
Artwork:Drawing, Painting, Sculpture
Appreciated art-form:The Last Supper, Adoration of the Magi, and more

He was one of the finest artists in the world.  Leonardo is known for his marvellous artworks among which are Mona Lisa, The Last Supper, and Adoration of the Magi.

Born in Vinci, Italy, he grew to be a painter, musician, engineer, architect, writer, botanist, geologist, and an inventor

He was also titled Archetypal Renaissance man along with Michelangelo. His paintings demonstrated life-like human figures and perception of depth.

He had good knowledge of human anatomy and used it to represent human figures in expressions and posture.

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Cite this article as: Richard Marrison, "20 Best Italian Renaissance Artists," in HistoryTen, December 16, 2019, https://historyten.com/arts/best-italian-renaissance-artists/.
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