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High Renaissance


High Renaissance

Spanning the late 15th and early 16th centuries in Italy, the High Renaissance is often acknowledged as the height of artistic achievement in post-medieval Europe.

Culminating during a prolonged cultural awakeningand marked by the pursuit of humanist ideals like:

  • naturalism
  • proportion
  • Classical bodily forms in painting
  • sculpture
  • architecture

High Renaissance also encompassed the careers of Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, and Michelangelo.

Da Vinci emerged as the most influential artist and thinker of the time (and perhaps in the history of Western art).

The legacy of the High Renaissance is primarily seen through the continued use of da Vinci’s innovative approaches to artmaking, such as

  1. freehand sketching
  2. subtle tonal gradation (also known as sfumato)


High Renaissance style in architecture conventionally begins with Donato Bramante, whose Tempietto at S. Pietro in Montorio at Rome was begun in 1510. The Tempietto, signifies a full-scale revival of ancient Roman commemorative architecture.

David Watkin writes that the Tempietto, like Raphael's works in the Vatican (1509–11), "is an attempt at reconciling Christian and humanist ideals".

The serene mood and luminous colours of paintings by Giorgione and early Titian exemplify High Renaissance style as practiced in Venice. Other recognizable pieces of this period include Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa and Raphael's The School of Athens. Raphael's fresco, set beneath an arch, is a virtuoso work of perspective, composition and disegno.

High Renaissance sculpture, as exemplified by Michelangelo's Pietà and the iconic David, is characterized by an "ideal" balance between stillness and movement.

High Renaissance sculpture was normally commissioned by the public and the state.

Sculpture was often used to decorate or embellish architecture, normally within courtyards where others were able to study and admire the commissioned art work. Wealthy individuals like:

  1. cardinals
  2. rulers
  3. bankers

Pope Julius II also patronized many artists.

During the High Renaissance there was the development of small scale statuettes for private patrons:

  • creation busts
  • tombs
  • religious sculpture

Donatello - The Ninja Turtle

Nickname Don, Donnie or Donny, is a fictional character and one of the four main characters of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comics and all related media.

He is usually depicted wearing a purple eye mask. His primary signature weapon are his (2) effective bō staffs.

Donatello is the smartest of the four turtles. Donnie often speaks in technobabble with a natural aptitude for science and technology. He is the third eldest/second youngest of the turtles. Like all of the brothers, he is named after a Renaissance artist; in this case, he is named after Italian sculptor Donatello.

Donatello has a mastery of:

  • ninjutsu
  • bōjutsu
  • kobudō 
  • Chi Gong

His other qualitites are Olympic-level agility, speed, and strength, Genius-level intellect ,Scientist, engineer and inventor, much like his name sake.