Segments in this Video

Italian Renaissance (02:10)


The Renaissance is marked by a renewed enthusiasm in the arts and many Italian artists contribute to its development. Giorgio Vasari writes the "Lives of the Artists."

Romans to the Byzantines (01:45)

Ancient Romans create art from natural beauty until Barbarians conquer the empire. Artistic endeavors travel east to the Byzantine Empire who focus on religious themes.

Giotto (01:48)

Giotto is one of the first artists to revive the realistic style of the Romans by using perspective found in architecture and landscape.

Ghiberti (03:02)

As an apprentice in the guilds under Giotto, Ghiberti creates beautiful door panels of Biblical scenes from the Book of Genesis with a realistic vision of the human form.

Donatello (01:04)

Donatello's sculpture, "David," is standing in “contrapposto.” Even though the figure is standing on one leg, it appears balanced. Nudes reflect the beauty of the human form.

Paolo Uccello and Masaccio (02:00)

Uccello creates new views of human and animal figures. Masaccio's figures reveal physical and psychological depth.

Piero della Francesca (01:44)

In "The Madonna and Child," Francesca experiments with contrasting light and dark to create depth. This is called chiaroscuro. The Catholic Church conveys Christianity through art.

Botticelli (02:29)

In "Adoration of the Magi," Botticelli incorporates his patrons, the Medicis. "The Birth of Venus" celebrates the beauty of the human form and uses techniques learned from preceding artists.

Leonardo da Vinci (03:46)

Da Vinci applies science and math to art. In "The Last Supper" the figures appear naturally in their surroundings. Applying "sfumato" to the "Mona Lisa," da Vinci blurs the edges of the forms.

Raffaello (02:47)

Raffaello is influenced by da Vinci. Considered to be the master of composition, he paints "The Transfiguration" in a controlled, balanced structure.

Michelangelo (04:16)

In the sculpture "David," Michelangelo drives for perfection, creating a powerful symbol of the Republic. The painted ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in Florence represents man's relationship to God.

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An Introduction to the Italian Renaissance

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Giorgio Vasari’s Lives of the Artists has been the basis of art criticism since the 16th century. This dramatized program cleverly illustrates how each great master developed techniques by building upon the work of his predecessors. The lively discussion between Master Vasari and his apprentice reveals the innovations of Giotto, Ghiberti, Donatello, Uccello, Masaccio, della Francesca, Botticelli, Leonardo, Raffaello, and Michelangelo. Images of selected masterpieces illustrate the Roman influence on Renaissance art and reinforce the concepts of perspective, balance, chiaroscuro, composition, and realism. This charming guide to the Italian masters provides an excellent foundation for high school students. (29 minutes)

Length: 29 minutes

Item#: BVL9055

ISBN: 978-1-4213-7474-1

Copyright date: ©1998

Closed Captioned

Reviews & Awards

Highly recommended by MC Journal: The Journal of Academic Media Librarianship.

Performance Rights

Prices include public performance rights.

Only available in USA and Canada.