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 awakening and marked by the pursuit of humanist ideals like naturalism, proportion, and Classical bodily forms in painting, sculpture, and architecture, the 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 freehand sketching and subtle tonal gradation (also known as sfumato).