Renaissance Art: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Jennifer Lowery

Jennifer has taught elementary levels K-3 and has master's degrees in elementary education and curriculum/instruction and educational leadership.

The Renaissance was a fascinating time in history. In this lesson, learn when and why the Renaissance occurred, the different kinds of art that was created, and the artists that contributed to this time period.

What Was the Renaissance?

Up until the middle of the 1300s, life had been pretty hard for people in Europe. These years were called the Middle Ages, and this was a time period that was noted for excessive violence and rampant disease--a huge plague spread throughout Europe killing millions of people.

After the plague had vanished for the most part, people began to escape these dark times by looking for hope in things like education, art, and how they could better themselves as individuals. Thus, the era of the Renaissance began. The Renaissance was a period of time from the mid-1300s until the 1500s where many artists, writers, and musicians produced incredible works of art. Let's learn more about what was created during the Renaissance.

Renaissance Paintings and Painters

Italy was the birthplace of the Renaissance, and it was here that some very famous paintings were created. Artists of the Renaissance often painted portraits, which are paintings or other images of people. Portraits were often made of wealthy individuals or showed images of God and events in the Bible. Arguably the most famous painting of all time is the portrait of an Italian woman thought to be the wife of a cloth merchant -- the Mona Lisa. This painting was done by Leonardo da Vinci, who was a Renaissance painter, sculptor, and scientist.

The portrait of Mona Lisa is one of the most famous works of Leonardo da Vinci.

Painters often used a technique of creating frescos. This is where a large mural painting is done when the plaster of walls is still wet. Once the paint dries, the painting actually becomes a permanent part of the building. Some of the most famous fresco paintings were created by da Vinci, and much of his work can be seen today in famous landmarks like the Sistine Chapel.

Works of Sculpture

Another common type of art created during the Renaissance was sculpture, which are physical objects created out of different types of materials, including marble, bronze, and other metals. Many of the wealthy members of society purchased sculptures to adorn their homes and gardens.

Other sculptures were created to represent biblical figures and events. These were often placed in and around churches. One of the most famous Renaissance sculptors was Michelangelo, an artist and poet from Italy. His sculpture of David was crafted from marble, and it is famous throughout the world.

The sculpture of David was crafted of marble by Michelangelo.

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