Portrait of Ginevra de' Benci

Portrait of Ginevra de' Benci by Leonardo da Vinci

This portrait of Ginevra de’ Benci by Leonarda da Vinci represents an important shift in the subject matter of artwork during the Renaissance. In the preceding medieval period, art was dominated by religious subjects. However, the rise of humanism and the renewed interest in ancient Greek and Roman art during the Renaissance led artists to explore new subjects including landscapes, portraits, nudes, and still lifes. These new themes mark a distinct move away from religion and a focus on secular ideas, individualism, and glorifying earthly beings. This would have been considered blasphemous previously, but the new ideals of the Renaissance celebrated the individual. However,  religious artwork was still widely produced during the Renaissance but the introduction of these values would form the basis of the subject matter for all subsequent periods in art history.



Nelson, Robert S. Visuality before and beyond the Renaissance: Seeing as Others Saw.

Cambridge Univ. Press, 2000.

Stokstad, Marilyn, and Michael W. Cothren. Art History. Upper Saddle River, NJ:

Pearson/Prentice Hall, 2011. Print.

Image Retrieved from Wikimedia Commons, fair use


Associated Place(s)

Event date:

circa. 1474