Renaissance vs. Medieval


Annunciation by Simone Martini. c. 1333

Simone Martini

He was a painter from Siena, Italy.

Simone used Tempra on panel to paint this painting.

This painting is about an angel that came to Virgin Mary. In the painting she is frightened by the sudden appearance.

The angel “Gabriel” swoops into Mary’s presence. The angel says, “Hail, full of grace, the lord is with thee.” This shows that this was a painting done for religious purposes.


The Incredulity of Saint Thomas, by Caravaggio


He was a painter from Milan, Italy.

Caravaggio used oil on canvas to make this painting.

This painting is about Jesus, and Thomas. In the painting it depicts Jesus showing Thomas his wounds because he did not believe he was crucified.


The paintings from the two different eras are similar in some ways. One way is, they were both painted about religion. In the Medieval painting there is an image of Mary, and an angel. In the Renaissance painting Jesus is pictured with Thomas showing his wounds because Thomas did not believe he was crucified. The paintings are also similar in the way the artist made the paintings. They both use amazing colors to draw out the figures in the paintings. This makes them very life like and make the main focus on them. Both the paintings have humans shown in the image. The humans are painted differently but you are still able to see what they look like.

One major difference is the value used in each painting. The renaissance painting has tons of value to make the people look real. While the other painting does not use value. The renaissance painting is made in this way because during the Renaissance the painters wanted to make the people look as realistic as possible. While during the Medieval time they just wanted to portray the image of religion. They were not trying to make it look extremely realistic. Also, during the Renaissance, the painters studied how the human body functioned and moved. They cut open humans to look inside to see muscles. This made them learn about value, and how humans move. This made their paintings more realistic. The Medieval painters just wanted to hurry and get their painting completed because it was all about religion. In the renaissance, the painters tried to make them as realistic as possible because that is what they were interested in.

In the Renaissance painting, as you can tell there is a lot more value. This makes the painting look more realistic. This makes it look more realistic because without shadow the figures look flat and not real. The Renaissance artists had a lot of attention to detail. They studied and looked very closely at how shadow works. While the Medieval artists did not spend so much time looking and studying humans and shadow. The Renaissance painting differs in the amount of value. The painting has tons of value making it look very realistic. The Renaissance men tried to make everything realistic. The value in the painting is used to make the figures look 3D and living. While the Medieval painting uses some value it is not nearly as much as the Renaissance Painting. The value in the painting makes the two paintings look very different. The people in the Renaissance painting look very real because of the light reflecting off of them. While in the other painting there is no main light source, the entire painting is just bright. This makes it look flat and not as exciting as the other painting.

The Renaissance men as I said before studied and payed a lot of attention to how humans worked. The Renaissance men illegally cut open dead humans to see how they worked and moved. This made them understand what happens when a person moves a body part where. During the Renaissance it was all about making the paintings as realistic as possible. The medieval times just wanted to capture the image and did not pay much attention to how the human worked or looked.

The Renaissance artist were trying to capture what humans really looked like. They were humanists so they wanted the humans to look exactly how they look in the real world. They were trying to make the people look very realistic and alive. They added lots of shadows because it makes them look more real. The renaissance artists were still capturing religion, but not as fast and rough as the Medieval times. They actually took their time to make their beautiful masterpieces.

The Renaissance artists cut open dead humans to see how they moved. This helped them make the paintings look a lot more realistic. They also payed a lot more attention to detail such as value. They studied how the human moves, and what value does and what it is. They drew insides of people to see their bone, and muscle structure. This helped them draw very proportional, and realistic humans in their artwork.

Instead of the paintings looking flat, and having no depth the Renaissance artists started to pay attention to these things and make them realistic. The old paintings did not use value and you can tell they did not study humans. They simply thought what they would look like instead of actually studying them. The value and anatomy made the paintings look very realistic because they knew how the body worked and moved. This made the art work look more realistic.
When we cut open a fish and drew it, that helped me understand somewhat how the inside of a fish worked. We also learned a lot about value and how to use it. We did not do too much with anatomy but we did look somewhat at the anatomy of the human body and how many eyes go across the face, etc. This helped us because if now we try to draw a face, we know how long each section has to be.

I have learned how to incorporate value into my artwork. This makes my paintings look a lot more realistic and overall better. I now know how to pay really close attention to detail. This helps me make my paintings look more realistic. I have overall improved my art skills, and I hope to continue doing so.




South, Krystal. “Join & Share Your Research with the World.” Simone Martini, The Annunciation Altarpiece, 1333. Academia, 2006. Web. 29 Jan. 2014.

The Incredulity of Saint Thomas, by Caravaggio. 1601-02. Oil on canvas, 42 1/8 x 57 1/2 in. Neues Palais, Potsdam.

Unknown. “Annunciation by Simone Martini and Lippo Memmi.” Uffizi. Uffizi, 2013. Web. 30 Jan. 2014.

Annunciation by Simone Martini. c. 1333

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