Renaissance is the French word for rebirth and can be associated with the concern in Italy for recreating the achievements of Antiquity whose art was seen as supreme. Historians usually refer to two periods, the Early and the High Renaissance, the earlier period coinciding approximately with the 15th century.

The term also applies generally to the more realistic style that was introduced by Masaccio and Donatello in Florence, and by extension, is sometimes used of works of the same period in Northern Europe, for example those of Robert Campin and Jan van Eyck in the Netherlands.

Figures became weightier and more three-dimensional, and the space they occupied was more convincingly constructed.

Source: National Gallery (London)
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