In the Byzantine fresco shown on top, would you say the people are depicted realistically? Realism wasn’t important in art of the Middle Ages, because the religious themes were what mattered most.
The identity of the painter didn't matter either. Artists of the Middle Ages didn’t develop unique styles, because they were just expected to copy the painting styles of other artists. In the Middle Ages, no one asked, “Who painted this?”
In the painting below, The Creation of Adam, the people look very realistic. Michelangelo had a unique style not just in painting, but in sculpture and architecture too. Individual artists’ identities became important during the Renaissance. It was a time that gave us many of the world’s most famous artists, including Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and Sandro Botticelli.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the art that flourished during the Renaissance.