The First Renaissance
The Renaissance is born after a questioning of the "obscurantist" vision of the Middle Ages, where the Church controls the lives of the european people.
At that time, religion was lived in fear of the avenging god and painting was exclusively religious. Around 1210, St Francis of Assisi proposed a new view of religion, more human and saving. This theological advance, as well as the rediscovery of ancient texts, will encourage artists to reinvent their way of painting.
In this way, we observe in the primitive Italians a progressive humanization of God and of the religious subjects that we now represents on Earth. Artists also apply themsleves to the treatment of the landscape using perspective and tend to a more striking realism. The religious paintings (altarpieces) where the divine signs (gold background ; halos) disappear in favor of emotion.
The first renaissance (1400-1480) was born in Florence and marks a transition between Gothic and Renaissance art, also commnely called international gothic. These great representatives are Masaccio, Pierro della Francesca, Andrea Mantegna, Giovanni Bellini.