Art of the Italian Renaissance

Two newly renovated spaces revitalize the Museum’s collection of art made during the Italian Renaissance—a period of astounding ingenuity and renewal. Through paintings, sculptures, ceramics, furniture, devotional art, and objects for the home, these galleries give a vivid sense of how pervasive art was in the everyday lives of Renaissance Italians, and convey the complexity, variety, spirituality, and curiosity that drove the making and appreciation of art during this era.

The first gallery considers a variety of themes: how classical antiquity inspired Renaissance artists, viewers, and patrons, affecting the culture of the day; technical innovations and materials; the role of storytelling in Renaissance art; and the everyday lives of men and women. The second gallery explores the interweaving of religion and art in Renaissance life, presenting works ranging from small-scale devotional paintings and sculptures to works like Rosso Fiorentino’s masterpiece The Dead Christ with Angels (about 1524–27).

People in the Renaissance looked to history to understand themselves: ancient art provided models that Renaissance artists sought not just to match but to surpass. Likewise, when we seek to understand how art and life come together today, we might look to the Renaissance for inspiration—every object had a function, often conveying powerful civic, religious, and personal messages. These spaces invite visitors to engage with this ongoing dialogue of inspiration, connection, and impact—from antiquity to the Renaissance to today.

  • Italian Renaissance Gallery (Gallery 141)
  • Italian Renaissance Gallery (Gallery 141B)

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The renovation of these galleries is made possible with generous support from Emi M. and William G. Winterer, the Thompson Family Foundation, and an anonymous donor. Additional support from Tamara Petrosian Davis and Charles Howard Davis II.