The Renaissance Period.
Perhaps one of the most famous Renaissance paintings is the Mona Lisa, painted by Italian artist, Leonardo da Vinci. It is a typical Renaissance painting. It is famous for her haunting, inexplicable smile.
The Renaissance/Early Modern Period is distinguished from other periods in European history almost entirely in intellectual or cultural terms. The period is more or less considered as playing out what had been set up in the later Middle Ages. European historians overwhelmingly tend to place Europe's major break with its medieval and classical past with the discovery of America and the Reformation. .
The Renaissance is defined as the revival or rebirth of the arts; the period in European civilization immediately following the Middle Ages; conventionally held to have been characterized by a surge of interest in classical learning and values. Beginning in Italy in 1400, it spread throughout Western Europe lasting until 1600. It was during this time that Europe was busy pulling herself out of the economic stagnation of the Middle Ages. With this new financial growth came political, scientific and social energy unlike any experienced before. Artistically, it was a time of firsts such as the first time oil paint was used; the first time symbols and real-life events were represented together in the same painting; the first time scientific principles crept into art.
The Renaissance is also characterized by a surge of interest in classical learning and values. The Renaissance witnessed the discovery and exploration of new continents, the substitution of the Copernican for the Ptolemaic system of astronomy, the decline of the feudal system and the growth of commerce, and the invention or application of significant innovations as paper, printing, the mariner's compass, and gunpowder. To the scholars and thinkers of the day, however, it was primarily a time of the revival of classical learning and wisdom after a long period of cultural decline and stagnation.