Click here for sequence informationnext pageresourcehome

© Lloyd Godman

In the Renaissance period artists gave considerable attention to the design of their images.

Gallerie dell'Accademia, Venice
The Vitruvian Man, ca. 1492
Leonardo da Vinci (Italian, 1452–1519)
Pen and ink; 13 1/2 x 9 5/8 in. (34.3 x 24.5 cm)




Italian Renaissance architects based their theories and practices on Classical Roman examples. The Renaissance revival of Classical Rome was as important in architecture as it was in literature. A pilgrimage to Rome to study the ancient buildings and ruins, especially the Colosseum and Pantheon, was considered essential to an architect's training. Classical orders and architectural elements such as columns, pilasters, pediments, entablatures, arches, and domes form the vocabulary of Renaissance buildings. Vitruvius's writings on architecture also influenced the Renaissance definition of beauty in architecture. As in the Classical world, Renaissance architecture is characterized by harmonious form, mathematical proportion, and a unit of measurement based on the human scale.

During the Renaissance, architects trained as humanists helped raise the status of their profession from skilled laborer to artist. They hoped to create structures that would appeal to both emotion and reason.

Understanding such issues allows us to use them as visual strategies in our image making.


Comment on this resource