Portraits of the Renaissance

At around 1500, people had the feeling that they were living at the dawn of a new age. In art, architecture and the natural sciences – everywhere they dared to transcend previous boundaries and develop a new view of their lives.


Man was seen as a free being, possessing intellect and personal abilities. In art, this could be observed particularly well: Artists placed persons, individuals, at the centre of their pictures. This was the birth of portrait painting. People were to be depicted as genuinely as possible. Through a portrait, the viewer was supposed to get a true-to-life idea of the person depicted. Often the people in the pictures looked directly at the viewer, as if one were in a conversation. A new drawing technique was also conceived from the viewer’s point of view: the central perspective.


The pictures were designed as if they were painted “with the eyes of the viewer”. The painters experimented with light and shadow and depicted the people depicted with a vast landscape in the background to show the harmony between people and nature.


As part of their history lessons, class 7a also tried their hand at painting portraits in the style of the Renaissance. Here are some of the results.