Art of the Renaissance

Artworks of the Renaissance

As well as many famous artists, there were many famous works completed by them.

Artwork Picture
Mona Lisa Leonardo Da Vinci's Mona Lisa
The Paintings of the Sistine Chapel Paintings in the Sistine Chapel
Pieta Michelnagelo's Pieta
The School of Athens Raphael's The School of Athens
The Last Supper Leonardo Da Vinci's The Last Supper

Mona Lisa

The Mona Lisa is the most famous painting from the Renaissance art period and probably the most famous art piece in the world today.

The Mona Lisa was created sometime between 1503 to 1519 by the well-known artist, architect and engineer, Leonardo Da Vinci.

It now is displayed in the Louvre in Paris, France. The identity of the person in the portrait is still unproven and adds to the fascination of it. Since the landscape and the sitter of the portrait work so well together, it set the standard for future portraits.

His idea that humanity and nature are linked through a cosmic linking is shown in this portrait by the harmony of the background and of the woman in the portrait.

The Mona Lisa has had an impact on many things today including movies that are linked to the painting, household items, and even train tickets. Leonardo’s Mona Lisa continues to be a memorable masterpiece.

The Paintings of the Sistine Chapel

The work done in the Sistine Chapel makes it one of the wonders of the world today. The Sistine Chapel in the Vatican Palace was built from 1473-81 by the architect Giovanni dei Dolci.

Michelangelo was commissioned by the pope at that time to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. He painted it mostly on his own for four years and now the ceiling lasts to this day with the paintings in their almost original state. He also painted the Last Judgment on the west wall.

On the north of the chapel are the frescoes painted by various artists at the time: Perugino, Pinturicchio, Sandro Botticelli, Domenico Ghirlandaio, and Cosima Rosselli depicting the life of Christ.

On the south wall are frescoes painted by Perugino, Pinturicchio, Botticelli, Domenico and Benedetto Ghirlandaio, Rosselli, Luca Signorelli, and Bartolomeo della Gatta depicting the life of Moses.

The side walls are covered with tapestries depicting the events from the Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles. The frescoes are one the greatest achievements of Western painting to this day.


The Pieta is a theme in Christian art with the depiction of Mary holding the body of Christ after his crucifixion. It is a theme in Christian art that was widely used in painting and sculpting and the theme continued until the 19th century.

One of the most famous sculptors using the Pieta theme from that time is the one created by Michelangelo and is displayed in the St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. It displays the agony, solemnity, and resignation of the Virgin Mary after Christ has died. Michelangelo’s sculpture was influenced by the northern style draping the figure of Christ across Mary’s lap and uses the pyramidal design.

For the Pieta theme, Michelangelo’s sculpture in particular is widely used as the representation of the theme. The School of Athens is one of the finest examples of the High Renaissance style.

The School of Athens

The School of Athens fresco painted by Raphael between 1508-1511 and is located on one of the four main walls in Stanza della Segnatura.

The painting depicts Plato and Aristotle surrounded by philosophers, in a beautiful architectural setting. It leads the viewer’s eye across the painting using the figures and their variety of poses, and making Plato and Aristotle the centerpiece of the painting. The fresco suggests calmness, clarity, and equilibrium.

The Last Supper

The Last Supper is a painting done by Leonardo da Vinci. Leonardo began working on the painting in 1495 and finished in 1498.

It depicts the dramatic scene when Jesus declares that one of the Apostles will betray him. It was made with an experimental technique using tempera and oil paint on two layers of dry preparatory ground, but the experimental technique did not keep the painting in tact for long.

It started to flake and deteriorate after a few years since the paint was not permanently attached to the wall. It was heavily damaged over a period of time, but it went an intense restoration period for 20 years until the restoration was completed in 1999.

Much of Leonardo’s original work on this painting is lost but viewers can still appreciate the scene that it is depicting, the illusion of space, and Leonardo’s interest in representing human psychology in expression, gesture, and posture.

For more information about the art work of the Renaissance, visit

Top of Page

Mona Lisa

The Last Judgment

Painting in the Sistine Chapel


The School of Athens

The Last Supper