High Renaissance

The art of the High Renaissance sought a general, unified effect of pictorial representation or architectural composition, increasing the dramatic force and physical presence of a work of art and gathering its energies and forming a controlled equilibrium. Because Pope Julius II patronized many artists during this time, the movement was centered in Rome, instead of Florence as it had been during the Early Renaissance art period.

Leonardo da Vinci is considered the paragon of Renaissance thinkers, engaged as he was in experiments of all kinds and having brought to his art a spirit of restless inquiry that sought to discover the laws governing diverse natural phenomena. The High Renaissance is generally held to have emerged in the late 1490s, when Leonardo da Vinci painted his Last Supper in Milan. Michelangelo has come to typify the artist endowed with inexplicable, solitary genius.

Raphael was another High Renaissance artist and is considered one of the greatest and most popular artists of all time. Usually known by his first name alone, Raphael Sanzio was an Italian painter and architect celebrated for the perfection and grace of his paintings and drawings.