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The cultural and artistic events of 15th century Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 are collectively referred to as the Quattrocento (from the Italian for the number 400, or from "millequattrocento," 1400). Quattrocento encompasses the artistic styles of the late Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

 (most notably International Gothic
International Gothic
International Gothic is a phase of Gothic art which developed in Burgundy, Bohemia, France and northern Italy in the late 14th century and early 15th century...

) and the early Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...


Historical context

After the decline of the Western Roman Empire
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

 in 476, economic disorder and disruption of trade spread across Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

. This was the beginning of the Early Middle Ages
Early Middle Ages
The Early Middle Ages was the period of European history lasting from the 5th century to approximately 1000. The Early Middle Ages followed the decline of the Western Roman Empire and preceded the High Middle Ages...

, which lasted roughly until the 11th century, when trade picked up, population began to expand and the papacy regained its authority.

In the late Middle Ages, the political structure of the European continent slowly evolved from small, highly unstable fiefdom
A fee was the central element of feudalism and consisted of heritable lands granted under one of several varieties of feudal tenure by an overlord to a vassal who held it in fealty in return for a form of feudal allegiance and service, usually given by the...

s into larger nation-state
The nation state is a state that self-identifies as deriving its political legitimacy from serving as a sovereign entity for a nation as a sovereign territorial unit. The state is a political and geopolitical entity; the nation is a cultural and/or ethnic entity...

s ruled by monarchies, thereby providing greater stability. In Italy, urban centers arose that were populated by merchant and trade classes, who were able to defend themselves. Money replaced land as the medium of exchange, and increasing numbers of serf
A spin exchange relaxation-free magnetometer is a type of magnetometer developed at Princeton University in the early 2000s. SERF magnetometers measure magnetic fields by using lasers to detect the interaction between alkali metal atoms in a vapor and the magnetic field.The name for the technique...

s became freedmen. The changes in Medieval Italy and the decline of feudalism
Feudalism was a set of legal and military customs in medieval Europe that flourished between the 9th and 15th centuries, which, broadly defined, was a system for ordering society around relationships derived from the holding of land in exchange for service or labour.Although derived from the...

 paved the way for social, cultural, and economic changes. The Quattrocento is viewed as the transition from the Medieval period to the age of the Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

, principally in the cities of Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

, Florence
Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and of the province of Florence. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with approximately 370,000 inhabitants, expanding to over 1.5 million in the metropolitan area....

, Milan
Milan is the second-largest city in Italy and the capital city of the region of Lombardy and of the province of Milan. The city proper has a population of about 1.3 million, while its urban area, roughly coinciding with its administrative province and the bordering Province of Monza and Brianza ,...

, Venice
Venice is a city in northern Italy which is renowned for the beauty of its setting, its architecture and its artworks. It is the capital of the Veneto region...

 and Naples
Naples is a city in Southern Italy, situated on the country's west coast by the Gulf of Naples. Lying between two notable volcanic regions, Mount Vesuvius and the Phlegraean Fields, it is the capital of the region of Campania and of the province of Naples...

The Quattrocento lay at the forefront of what was to become the Italian Renaissance
Italian Renaissance
The Italian Renaissance began the opening phase of the Renaissance, a period of great cultural change and achievement in Europe that spanned the period from the end of the 13th century to about 1600, marking the transition between Medieval and Early Modern Europe...

. Its international manifesto resembles a happening
A happening is a performance, event or situation meant to be considered art, usually as performance art. Happenings take place anywhere , are often multi-disciplinary, with a nonlinear narrative and the active participation of the audience...

 of cultural and artistic events during the 15th century which embraced the artistic styles of the late Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

 and early Renaissance: a forefront collection of high-end individualism in the arts
aRts, which stands for analog Real time synthesizer, is an audio framework that is no longer under development. It is best known for previously being used in KDE to simulate an analog synthesizer....

 to promote the presence of a scientific, cultural, social and economic revolution in hope of preserving the Monarchy through Christianity.

Development of Quattrocento styles

Quattrocento art shed the decorative mosaic
Mosaic is the art of creating images with an assemblage of small pieces of colored glass, stone, or other materials. It may be a technique of decorative art, an aspect of interior decoration, or of cultural and spiritual significance as in a cathedral...

s typically associated with Byzantine art
Byzantine art
Byzantine art is the term commonly used to describe the artistic products of the Byzantine Empire from about the 5th century until the Fall of Constantinople in 1453....

 along with the Christian and Gothic media of and styles in stained glass
Stained glass
The term stained glass can refer to coloured glass as a material or to works produced from it. Throughout its thousand-year history, the term has been applied almost exclusively to the windows of churches and other significant buildings...

, fresco
Fresco is any of several related mural painting types, executed on plaster on walls or ceilings. The word fresco comes from the Greek word affresca which derives from the Latin word for "fresh". Frescoes first developed in the ancient world and continued to be popular through the Renaissance...

es, illuminated manuscripts and sculpture
Sculpture is three-dimensional artwork created by shaping or combining hard materials—typically stone such as marble—or metal, glass, or wood. Softer materials can also be used, such as clay, textiles, plastics, polymers and softer metals...

. Instead, Quattrocento artists and sculptors incorporated the more classic forms developed by Roman and Greek sculptors
Classical sculpture
Classical sculpture refers to the forms of sculpture from Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome, as well as the Hellenized and Romanized civilizations under their rule or influence from about 500 BC to fall of Rome in AD 476. It also refers stylistically to modern sculptures done in a classical style....


List of Italian Quattrocento artists

Since the Quattrocento overlaps with part of the Renaissance movement, it would be inaccurate to say that a particular artist was Quattrocento or Renaissance. Artists of the time probably would not have identified themselves as members of a movement.
  • Andrea del Castagno
    Andrea del Castagno
    Andrea del Castagno was an Italian painter from Florence, influenced chiefly by Tommaso Masaccio and Giotto di Bondone. His works include frescoes in Sant'Apollonia in Florence and the painted equestrian monument of Niccolò da Tolentino in the Cathedral in Florence...

  • Andrea del Verrocchio
    Andrea del Verrocchio
    Andrea del Verrocchio , born Andrea di Michele di Francesco de' Cioni, was an Italian sculptor, goldsmith and painter who worked at the court of Lorenzo de' Medici in Florence in the early renaissance. Few paintings are attributed to him with certainty, but a number of important painters were...

  • Andrea della Robbia
    Andrea della Robbia
    Andrea della Robbia was an Italian Renaissance sculptor, especially in ceramics. He was the son of Marco della Robbia. Andrea della Robbia's uncle, Luca della Robbia, popularized the use of glazed terra-cotta for sculpture...

  • Andrea Mantegna
    Andrea Mantegna
    Andrea Mantegna was an Italian painter, a student of Roman archeology, and son in law of Jacopo Bellini. Like other artists of the time, Mantegna experimented with perspective, e.g., by lowering the horizon in order to create a sense of greater monumentality...

  • Antonello da Messina
    Antonello da Messina
    Antonello da Messina, properly Antonello di Giovanni di Antonio was an Italian painter from Messina, Sicily, active during the Italian Renaissance...

  • Antoniazzo Romano
    Antoniazzo Romano
    Antoniazzo Romano, born Antonio di Benedetto Aquilo degli Aquili was an Italian Early Renaissance painter, the leading figure of the Roman school during the 15th century.-Biography:...

  • Antonio Pollaiuolo
    Antonio Pollaiuolo
    Antonio del Pollaiolo , also known as Antonio di Jacopo Pollaiuolo or Antonio Pollaiolo, was an Italian painter, sculptor, engraver and goldsmith during the Renaissance.-Biography:...

  • Antonio Rossellino
    Antonio Rossellino
    Antonio Gamberelli , nicknamed Antonio Rossellino for the colour of his hair, was an Italian sculptor. His older brother, from whom he received his formal training, was the painter Bernardo Rossellino....

  • Benozzo Gozzoli
    Benozzo Gozzoli
    Benozzo Gozzoli was an Italian Renaissance painter from Florence. He is best known for a series of murals in the Palazzo Medici-Riccardi depicting festive, vibrant processions with wonderful attention to detail and a pronounced International Gothic influence.-Apprenticeship:He was born Benozzo di...

  • Bertoldo di Giovanni
    Bertoldo di Giovanni
    Bertoldo di Giovanni was an Italian sculptor and medallist.Born in Florence, he was a pupil of Donatello and for a long time worked in his master's workshop, carrying out his unfinished works after his death in 1466, for example the bronze pulpit reliefs from the life of Christ in the Basilica di...

  • Carlo Crivelli
    Carlo Crivelli
    Carlo Crivelli was an Italian Renaissance painter of conservative Late Gothic decorative sensibility, who spent his early years in the Veneto, where he absorbed influences from the Vivarini, Squarcione and Mantegna...

  • Cosimo Tura
    Cosimo Tura
    Cosimo Tura , also known as Il Cosmè or Cosmè Tura, was an Italian early-Renaissance painter and considered one of the founders of the School of Ferrara....

  • Desiderio da Settignano
    Desiderio da Settignano
    Desiderio da Settignano, real name Desiderio de Bartolomeo di Francesco detto Ferro was an Italian sculptor active during the Renaissance.-Biography:...

  • Domenico di Bartolo
    Domenico di Bartolo
    Domenico di Bartolo was an Italian painter of the Sienese School.He was born in Asciano. According to Vasari, he was a nephew of Taddeo di Bartolo. He was employed by Vecchietta in the masterpiece fresco The Care of the Sick in the Pellegrinaio of the Ospedale di Santa Maria della Scala in Siena...

  • Domenico Ghirlandaio
    Domenico Ghirlandaio
    Domenico Ghirlandaio was an Italian Renaissance painter from Florence. Among his many apprentices was Michelangelo.-Early years:Ghirlandaio's full name is given as Domenico di Tommaso di Currado di Doffo Bigordi...

  • Domenico Veneziano
    Domenico Veneziano
    Domenico Veneziano was an Italian painter of the early Renaissance, active mostly in Perugia and Tuscany.Little is known of his birth, though he is thought to have been born in Venice, hence his last name. He then moved to Florence in 1422-23 as a boy, to become a pupil of Gentile da Fabriano. He...

  • Donatello
    Donato di Niccolò di Betto Bardi , also known as Donatello, was an early Renaissance Italian artist and sculptor from Florence...

  • Ercole de' Roberti
    Ercole de' Roberti
    thumb|240px|Portrait of [[Giovanni II Bentivoglio]] . National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.Ercole de' Roberti , also known as Ercole Ferrarese or Ercole da Ferrara, was an Italian artist of the Early Renaissance and the School of Ferrara...

  • Filippo Brunelleschi
    Filippo Brunelleschi
    Filippo Brunelleschi was one of the foremost architects and engineers of the Italian Renaissance. He is perhaps most famous for inventing linear perspective and designing the dome of the Florence Cathedral, but his accomplishments also included bronze artwork, architecture , mathematics,...

  • Filippo Lippi
    Filippo Lippi
    Fra' Filippo Lippi , also called Lippo Lippi, was an Italian painter of the Italian Quattrocento .-Biography and works:...

  • Fra Angelico
    Fra Angelico
    Fra Angelico , born Guido di Pietro, was an Early Italian Renaissance painter described by Vasari in his Lives of the Artists as having "a rare and perfect talent"...

  • Francesco del Cossa
    Francesco del Cossa
    Francesco del Cossa was an Italian early-Renaissance painter of the School of Ferrara.-Biography:...

  • Francesco di Giorgio
    Francesco di Giorgio
    Francesco di Giorgio Martini was an Italian painter of the Sienese School and a sculptor, as well as being, in Nikolaus Pevsner's terms, "one of the most interesting later Quattrocento architects'" and a visionary architectural theorist; as a military engineer he executed architectural designs and...

  • Francesco Squarcione
    Francesco Squarcione
    Francesco Squarcione was an Italian artist from Padua. His pupils included Andrea Mantegna , Cosimo Tura and Carlo Crivelli...

  • Gentile Bellini
    Gentile Bellini
    Gentile Bellini was an Italian painter. From 1474 he was the official portrait artist for the Doges of Venice.- Biography :...

  • Gentile da Fabriano
    Gentile da Fabriano
    Gentile da Fabriano was an Italian painter known for his participation in the International Gothic style. He worked in various places in central Italy, mostly in Tuscany. His best known works are his Adoration of the Magi and the Flight into Egypt.-Biography:Gentile was born in or near Fabriano,...

  • Giovanni Bellini
    Giovanni Bellini
    Giovanni Bellini was an Italian Renaissance painter, probably the best known of the Bellini family of Venetian painters. His father was Jacopo Bellini, his brother was Gentile Bellini, and his brother-in-law was Andrea Mantegna. He is considered to have revolutionized Venetian painting, moving it...

  • Giovanni di Paolo
    Giovanni di Paolo
    Giovanni di Paolo di Grazia was an Italian painter, working primarily in Siena. He may have apprenticed with Taddeo di Bartolo, becoming a prolific painter and illustrator of manuscripts, including Dante's texts....

  • Jacopo Bellini
    Jacopo Bellini
    Jacopo Bellini was an Italian painter. Jacopo was one of the founders of the Renaissance style of painting in Venice and northern Italy. His sons Gentile and Giovanni Bellini, and his son-in-law Andrea Mantegna, were also famous painters....

  • Justus of Ghent
  • Leonardo da Vinci
    Leonardo da Vinci
    Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci was an Italian Renaissance polymath: painter, sculptor, architect, musician, scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist and writer whose genius, perhaps more than that of any other figure, epitomized the Renaissance...

  • Lorenzo Ghiberti
    Lorenzo Ghiberti
    Lorenzo Ghiberti , born Lorenzo di Bartolo, was an Italian artist of the early Renaissance best known for works in sculpture and metalworking.-Early life:...

  • Luca della Robbia
    Luca della Robbia
    Luca della Robbia was an Italian sculptor from Florence, noted for his terra-cotta roundels.Luca Della Robbia developed a pottery glaze that made his creations more durable in the outdoors and thus suitable for use on the exterior of buildings. His work is noted for its charm rather than the drama...

  • Luca Signorelli
    Luca Signorelli
    Luca Signorelli was an Italian Renaissance painter who was noted in particular for his ability as a draughtsman and his use of foreshortening...

  • Masaccio
    Masaccio , born Tommaso di Ser Giovanni di Simone, was the first great painter of the Quattrocento period of the Italian Renaissance. According to Vasari, Masaccio was the best painter of his generation because of his skill at recreating lifelike figures and movements as well as a convincing sense...

  • Masolino
  • Melozzo da Forlì
    Melozzo da Forlì
    Melozzo da Forlì was an Italian Renaissance painter and architect. His fresco paintings are notable for the use of foreshortening. He was the most important member of the Forlì painting school.- Biography :...

  • Paolo Uccello
    Paolo Uccello
    Paolo Uccello , born Paolo di Dono, was an Italian painter and a mathematician who was notable for his pioneering work on visual perspective in art. Giorgio Vasari in his book Lives of the Artists wrote that Uccello was obsessed by his interest in perspective and would stay up all night in his...

  • Pedro Berruguete
    Pedro Berruguete
    Pedro Berruguete was a Spanish painter; his art is regarded as a transitional style between gothic and Renaissance. Born in Paredes de Nava, Spain, he went to Italy in 1480 and worked in Federico III da Montefeltro's court in Urbino, where he could see some works by Melozzo da Forlì...

  • Piero della Francesca
    Piero della Francesca
    Piero della Francesca was a painter of the Early Renaissance. As testified by Giorgio Vasari in his Lives of the Artists, to contemporaries he was also known as a mathematician and geometer. Nowadays Piero della Francesca is chiefly appreciated for his art. His painting was characterized by its...

  • Pietro Perugino
    Pietro Perugino
    Pietro Perugino , born Pietro Vannucci, was an Italian Renaissance painter of the Umbrian school, who developed some of the qualities that found classic expression in the High Renaissance...

  • Sandro Botticelli
    Sandro Botticelli
    Alessandro di Mariano di Vanni Filipepi, better known as Sandro Botticelli was an Italian painter of the Early Renaissance...

  • Il Sassetta
    Stefano di Giovanni
    Stefano di Giovanni di Consolo, known as il Sassetta was an Italian painter.He was born in Siena, although there is also an hypothesis that he was born in Cortona. The first historical record of him was anyway in Siena in 1423. Sassetta was the apprentice of Paolo di Giovanni Fei or Benedetto di...

  • Vecchietta
    Francesco di Giorgio e di Lorenzo , known as Vecchietta or Lorenzo di Pietro, was an Italian Sienese School painter, sculptor, goldsmith and architect of the Renaissance...

  • Vittore Carpaccio
    Vittore Carpaccio
    Vittore Carpaccio was an Italian painter of the Venetian school, who studied under Gentile Bellini. He is best known for a cycle of nine paintings, The Legend of Saint Ursula. His style was somewhat conservative, showing little influence from the Humanist trends that transformed Italian...

  • Vittore Crivelli

Also see the list of 27 prominent 15th century painters made contemporaneously by Giovanni Santi
Giovanni Santi
Giovanni Santi was an Italian painter and decorator, father of Raphael. He was born at Colbordolo in the Duchy of Urbino. He was a petty merchant for a time; he then studied under Piero della Francesca. He was influenced by Fiorenzo di Lorenzo, and seems to have been an assistant and friend of...

, Raphael Sanzio's father as part of a poem for the Duke of Urbino.

See also

  • Trecento
    The Trecento refers to the 14th century in Italian cultural history.Commonly the Trecento is considered to be the beginning of the Renaissance in art history...

    -the 14th century in Italian culture
  • Cinquecento
    Cinquecento is a term used to describe the Italian Renaissance of the 16th century, including the current styles of art, music, literature, and architecture.-Art:...

    - the 16th century in Italian culture
  • Seicento
    This article talks about culture and history in 17th century Italy. For more specific information regarding the Baroque artistic and social period in Italy, please see Italian Baroque. For an article regarding Italian history from the 16th to the mid-19th century, see Early Modern Italy...

    - the 17th century in Italian culture