In the arts and sciences as well as society and government, Italy was
the major catalyst for progress during the Renaissance: the rich period
of development that occurred in Europe at the end of the Middle Ages.
Because of the number of different fields in which it applied,
``Renaissance'' is a word with many layers of meaning. Accordingly,
Renaissance painting cannot signify any one common or clearly definable
had been shaped by the feudal societies of the
Middle Ages, with its roots in the Romanesque and Byzantine traditions,
Renaissance art was born out of a new, rapidly evolving civilization.
It marked the point of departure from the medieval to the modern world
and, as such, laid the foundations for modern Western values and society.
The Renaissance in Italy started gradually, its beginnings being apparent
work, a century before Masaccio was active.
The quest for scientific precision and greater realism culminated in the
superb balance of harmony of
The influence of Humanism is reflected in the increase of secular subjects.
In the final phase of the Renaissance, Mannerism became the dominant style.