Famous Italian Renaissance Painters

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Imagine the world of art without the likes of Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael, Titian, Donatello or Piero della Fracesca? What if paintings like ‘Monalisa’, ‘The Last Supper’, ‘David’, ‘The School of Athens’, ‘The Assumptions of the Blessed Mary Virgin’ or ‘Gattemelata on Horseback’ never existed? Wouldn’t it be like living sans the soul? Often termed as the Golden period of art, creativity and ingenuity flourished at full swing during the Renaissance period. While the world basked in the works by greatest-ever artists born on Earth, it was Italy that became the epicentre of Renaissance movement. Florence gave birth to Renaissance movement, which expanded to include art, architecture, sculpture and literature. The period saw a great revival of interest in classical learning and values of ancient Greece and Rome. Paintings of that time are even till date unparalleled and of the highest supreme value. Italian Renaissance painters created magic on canvas which was visible in their giant frescos and murals. Most of their works depicted religious images, including subjects such as the Virgin Mary, or Madonna. Today an art form, Renaissance paintings then were worshipped and viewed as devotional objects. Read on and discover some interesting facts about the life and exemplary works of art by Italian Renaissance painters.
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 1 
Leonardo da Vinci
(Italian Polymath & Artist Known for His Paintings: ‘Mona Lisa’, ‘The Last Supper’ and ‘Virgin of the Rocks’)
Leonardo da Vinci
17
Birthdate: April 15, 1452
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Anchiano, Italy
Died: May 2, 1519

Widely regarded as one of the greatest painters ever, Leonardo da Vinci was an extremely talented polymath. While his work The Mona Lisa became the most famous portrait, his drawing The Vitruvian Man became a cultural icon. A man well ahead of his time, Leonardo is also known for his notes on science and invention.

 2 
Michelangelo
(Regarded as the Most Accomplished Artist of His Era (High Renaissance))
Michelangelo
11
Birthdate: March 6, 1475
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Caprese Michelangelo, Italy
Died: February 18, 1564

Italian sculptor, painter, architect, and poet Michelangelo was a prominent figure of the High Renaissance. He is credited to have influenced the Western art in unprecedented ways. He is widely regarded as the greatest artist of his age and one of the greatest artists of all time. He was equally revered and respected as an architect.

 3 
Sandro Botticelli
(One of the Greatest Painters of the Florentine Renaissance)
Sandro Botticelli
8
Birthdate: 1445 AD
Birthplace: Florence, Italy
Died: May 17, 1510
Italian painter Sandro Botticelli was one of the most influential figures of the Early Renaissance. His works later influenced the Pre-Raphaelites. He is best known for his iconic works Primavera and The Birth of Venus and his versions of the Madonna and Child. He also painted the Sistine Chapel.
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 4 
Titian
(One of the Greatest Venetian Artists of the 16th-Century)
Titian
8
Birthdate: 1488 AD
Birthplace: Pieve di Cadore, Italy
Died: August 27, 1576
Trained by Giovanni Bellini as a boy, Titian also joined hands with Giorgione to work on a number of frescoes. The Renaissance artist is regarded as one of the key figures of the Venetian school and is remembered for his masterpieces such as the three miracles of Anthony of Padua.
 5 
Giorgio Vasari
(Artist and Author Best Known for His Biographies of Italian Artists)
Giorgio Vasari
4
Birthdate: July 30, 1511
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Arezzo, Italy
Died: June 27, 1574

Giorgio Vasari was an Italian architect, painter, writer, engineer, and historian. He is best remembered for his work The Lives, a series of artist biographies, which is regarded as the art-historical writing's ideological foundation. Vasari is also credited with the formulation of the term Renaissance as it was first suggested by Jules Michelet based on Giorgio Vasari's text.

 6 
Leon Battista Alberti
(Architect and Principal Initiator of Renaissance Art Theory)
Leon Battista Alberti
6
Birthdate: February 14, 1404
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Genoa, Italy
Died: April 25, 1472
Born into an affluent banker family of Florence, Leon Battista Alberti was rumored to be an illegitimate son of his father and a Bolognese widow. The ideal Renaissance man, he later applied mathematical precision to his paintings and architectural work. His written work on art remains invaluable.
 7 
Fra Angelico
(Italian Painter Who is Known for a Series of Frescoes He Made for His Own Friary in Florence)
Fra Angelico
6
Birthdate: 1395 AD
Birthplace: Vicchio, Italy
Died: February 18, 1455

Fra Angelico was an Italian painter best remembered for a series of frescoes which he made for his own friary in Florence. Described by Giorgio Vasari as having a rare and perfect talent, Fra Angelico was proclaimed blessed by Pope John Paul II in 1982 in recognition of the saintliness of his life. 

 8 
Masaccio
(One of the Best Painters of His Generation)
Masaccio
5
Birthdate: December 21, 1401
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: San Giovanni Valdarno, Italy
Died: 1428 AD

Masaccio was a Florentine artist best remembered for his skills at recreating lifelike figures and imitating nature. Widely regarded as the best painter of his generation, Masaccio employed foreshortenings and nudes in his paintings, which were rarely seen at that time. He is also considered the first great Italian artist of the Quattrocento period.

 9 
Giovanni Bellini
(Italian Renaissance Painter)
Giovanni Bellini
7
Birthdate: 1430 AD
Birthplace: Venice, Italy
Died: 1516 AD

Giovanni Bellini was an Italian painter who hailed from the famous Bellini family of painters. Giovanni is credited with revolutionizing Venetian painting, shifting it towards a more coloristic and sensuous style. Best remembered for creating paintings with detailed shadings and rich tints, Giovanni's work had a strong influence on the Venetian painting school.

 10 
Andrea del Verrocchio
(Italian Painter, Sculptor and Goldsmith Known for His Equestrian Statue of Bartolomeo Colleoni)
Andrea del Verrocchio
5
Birthdate: 1435 AD
Birthplace: Florence, Italy
Died: October 10, 1488

Andrea del Verrocchio was an Italian sculptor, painter, and goldsmith. He was a master of an important workshop in Florence and his pupils included famous men like Leonardo da Vinci, Lorenzo di Credi, and Pietro Perugino. As a sculptor, he is best known for his masterpiece, the Equestrian statue of Bartolomeo Colleoni in Venice. 

 11 
Raphael
(Painter and Architect of the High Renaissance)
Raphael
8
Birthdate: April 6, 1483
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Urbino, Italy
Died: April 6, 1520

Italian painter and architect Raphael, along with Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci, formed the great trio who ushered in the High Renaissance. He is mostly known for his frescoes of the Vatican Palace and The School of Athens. He also designed the Chigi Chapel, among other structures in Rome.

 12 
Andrea Mantegna
(Italian Renaissance Painter Known for His Works: 'St. Sebastian', 'Camera degli Sposi' and 'The Agony in the Garden')
Andrea Mantegna
5
Birthdate: 1431 AD
Birthplace: Isola Mantegna, Italy
Died: September 13, 1506

Italian Renaissance painter Andrea Mantegna is remembered for his iconic frescoes and paintings such as St. Sebastian, Painted Room, and The Agony in the Garden. Known as the first fully Renaissance artist from Northern Italy, he began his artistic journey as an apprentice of Francesco Squarcione.

 13 
Sofonisba Anguissola
(Renaissance painter)
Sofonisba Anguissola
5
Birthdate: 1532 AD
Birthplace: Cremona, Italy
Died: November 16, 1625
 14 
Paolo Veronese
(Italian Painter Who Became Famous for His Extremely Large Paintings of Mythology and Religion)
Paolo Veronese
5
Birthdate: 1528 AD
Birthplace: Verona, Italy
Died: April 19, 1588

Paolo Veronese was an Italian painter best remembered for his extremely large history paintings of mythology and religion, such as The Feast in the House of Levi and The Wedding at Cana. The leading Venetian painter of ceilings during his time, Paolo Veronese has always been appreciated for the splendor of his brushwork and the chromatic brilliance of his palette.

 15 
Domenico Ghirlandaio
3
Birthdate: June 2, 1448
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Florence, Italy
Died: January 11, 1494
 16 
Paolo Uccello
(Florentine Painter and Mathematician Known for His Pioneering Work on Visual Perspective in Art)
Paolo Uccello
5
Birthdate: 1397 AD
Birthplace: Pratovecchio, Italy
Died: December 10, 1475

Paolo Uccello was a 15th-century Florentine painter and mathematician. He worked in the Late Gothic tradition and had a style best described as idiosyncratic. As a young man, he was apprenticed to the famous sculptor Lorenzo Ghiberti, with whom he collaborated on his later works. His paintings representing the battle of San Romano are considered his best. 

 17 
Pontormo
(Italian Mannerist Painter and Portraitist)
Pontormo
3
Birthdate: May 24, 1494
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Empoli, Italy
Died: January 2, 1557

Pontormo was an Italian Mannerist painter and portraitist from the Florentine School. His style was remarkably different from what characterized the art of the Florentine Renaissance. Orphaned young, he struggled for several years before he was able to establish his painting career. He painted many altarpiece canvases and frescoes, of which only a few survive today. 

 18 
Francesco Melzi
5
Birthdate: 1491 AD
Birthplace: Italy
Died: 1570 AD
 19 
Vittore Carpaccio
(Former painter best known for a cycle of nine paintings, The Legend of Saint Ursula)
Vittore Carpaccio
5
Birthdate: 1465 AD
Birthplace: Venice, Italy
Died: 1525 AD
 20 
Giorgione
(Painter)
Giorgione
5
Birthdate: 1477 AD
Birthplace: Castelfranco Veneto, Italy
Died: October 25, 1510
 21 
Gentile Bellini
(Italian Painter and One of the Founders of the Orientalist Tradition in Western Painting)
Gentile Bellini
5
Birthdate: 1429 AD
Birthplace: Venice, Italy
Died: February 23, 1507

Gentile Bellini was an Italian painter affiliated with the school of Venice. He hailed from Venice's leading family of painters and was the official portrait artist for the Doges of Venice. He worked for the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II in Constantinople for several months. He was a co-founder of the Orientalist tradition in Western painting.  

 22 
Luca Signorelli
(Italian Renaissance painter who was noted in particular for his ability as a draftsman and his use of foreshortening)
Luca Signorelli
5
Birthdate: 1441 AD
Birthplace: Cortona, Italy
Died: October 16, 1523
 23 
Sebastiano del Piombo
5
Birthdate: 1485 AD
Birthplace: Venice, Italy
Died: June 21, 1547
 24 
Giulio Romano
(Architect)
Giulio Romano
5
Birthdate: 1499 AD
Birthplace: Rome, Italy
Died: November 1, 1546
 25 
Andrea del Sarto
3
Birthdate: July 16, 1486
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Florence, Italy
Died: September 29, 1530
 26 
Filippino Lippi
(Former painter working in Florence, Italy during the later years of the Early Renaissance and first few years of the High Renaissance)
Filippino Lippi
5
Birthdate: April 15, 1457
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Prato, Italy
Died: April 18, 1504
 27 
Carlo Crivelli
5
Birthdate: 1430 AD
Birthplace: Venice, Italy
Died: 1495 AD
 28 
Antonello da Messina
5
Birthdate: 1430 AD
Birthplace: Messina, Italy
Died: February 19, 1479
 29 
Lorenzo Lotto
(Painter)
Lorenzo Lotto
5
Birthdate: 1480 AD
Birthplace: Venice, Italy
Died: 1557 AD
 30 
Benozzo Gozzoli
5
Birthdate: 1420 AD
Birthplace: Scandicci, Italy
Died: October 4, 1497
 31 
Pisanello
(Painter)
Pisanello
5
Birthdate: 1395 AD
Birthplace: Pisa, Italy
Died: 1455 AD
 32 
Piero di Cosimo
3
Birthdate: January 2, 1462
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Florence, Italy
Died: April 12, 1522
 33 
Bernardino Luini
(Italian painter)
Bernardino Luini
5
Birthdate: 1482 AD
Birthplace: Lake Maggiore
Died: May 31, 1532
 34 
Francesco del Cossa
5
Birthdate: 1430 AD
Birthplace: Ferrara, Italy
Died: 1477 AD
 35 
Filarete
(Architect)
Filarete
2
Birthdate: 1400
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Florence, Italy
Died: 1469 AD

Best remembered for his Treatise on Architecture, Filarete was a Florentine architect, sculptor, medalist and author. Born Antonio di Pietro Averlino, he was given the name Filarete, meaning lover of excellence, possibly by his teacher Lorenzo Ghiberti. Later, he began working independently, building the bronze central doors of Old St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome and Ospedale Maggiore in Milan.

 36 
Dosso Dossi
(Artist)
Dosso Dossi
4
Birthdate: 1489 AD
Birthplace: San Giovanni del Dosso, Italy
Died: 1542 AD
 37 
Andrea del Castagno
4
Birthdate: 1419 AD
Birthplace: Castagno, Italy
Died: August 19, 1457
 38 
Federico Barocci
4
Birthdate: 1535 AD
Birthplace: Urbino, Italy
Died: September 30, 1612
Giovanni Antonio Boltraffio
4
Birthdate: 1466 AD
Birthplace: Milan, Italy
Died: 1516 AD
 40 
Giovanni Battista Moroni
(Italian painter)
Giovanni Battista Moroni
4
Birthdate: 1520 AD
Birthplace: Albino, Italy
Died: February 5, 1579
 41 
Cennino Cennini
4
Birthdate: 1360 AD
Birthplace: Colle di Val d'Elsa, Italy
Died: 1427 AD

Chiefly remembered for authoring Il libro dell’arte, Cennino Cennini, a Florentine painter of late Gothic period, followed the tradition of Giotto di Bondone. In this book, which he possibly wrote as a guide book, rather than a practical handbook for apprentice painters, he discusses in details about methods, techniques, and attitudes of medieval artists, providing an insight into their world.

 42 
Jacopo Bellini
6
Birthdate: 1400 AD
Birthplace: Venice, Italy
Died: 1470 AD
 43 
Fede Galizia
(Painter)
Fede Galizia
6
Birthdate: September 26, 1578
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Milan, Italy
Died: 1630 AD
 44 
Andrea Solari
(Painter)
Andrea Solari
4
Birthdate: 1460 AD
Birthplace: Milan, Lombardy, Italy
Died: 1524 AD
 45 
Cima da Conegliano
4
Birthdate: 1459 AD
Birthplace: Conegliano, Italy
Died: November 30, 1517
 46 
Justus van Gent
6
Birthdate: 1410 AD
Birthplace: Flanders, Belgium
Died: 1480 AD
 47 
Stefano di Giovanni
6
Birthdate: 1392 AD
Birthplace: SiSiena, Italy
Died: April 1, 1450
 48 
Piero del Pollaiolo
4
Birthdate: 1443 AD
Birthplace: Florence, Italy
Died: 1496 AD
 49 
Bernardo Daddi
6
Birthdate: 1280 AD
Birthplace: Florence, Italy
Died: August 18, 1348
Giovanni Francesco Caroto
6
Birthdate: 1480 AD
Birthplace: Verona, Italy
Died: April 29, 1555