Early Renaissance in Italy: 1400s

The engineering of Brunelleschi’s dome, the naturalism of Donatello’s David, and the humanism of Botticelli’s Birth of Venus each help define the Early Renaissance in Italy, which gets going in the early years of 15th century in Florence. In this period, Florence is not a city in the unified country of Italy, as it is now. Instead, Italy was divided into many city-states (Florence, Milan, Venice etc.), each with their own government (some were ruled by despots, and others were republics).




Filippo Lippi, The Adoration in the Forest, 1459, oil on poplar wood, 118.5 x 129.5 cm (Gemäldegalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin)
This altarpiece—made for the Medici palace chapel—depicts both a biblical scene, that of the Nativity (the moments immediately following the birth of Jesus Christ), as well as an inspiration to pious prayer.

Fra Filippo Lippi, The Adoration











The Ascension of Christ (detail) from the Laudario of Sant’Agnese, attributed to Pacino di Bonaguida, about 1340, tempera colors, gold leaf, and ink on parchment. Los Angeles, Getty Museum, Ms. 80a (2005.26), verso https://www.getty.edu/art/collection/objects/225262/pacino-di-bonaguida-leaf-from-the-laudario-of-sant'agnese-italian-about-1340/ 
The Laudario of Sant'Agnese is one of the most important examples of early Renaissance illumination and it was decorated by two of the most sought-after workshops at the time.

Laudario of Sant’Agnese