Due to the similarities and differences between Medieval and Renaissance art, it has made them two of the greatest time periods. The western world saw many great accomplishments in artwork during the Medieval and Renaissance times. Numerous famous works from these time periods are still studied and enjoyed by many people today. Some of the more noteworthy types of artistic expression from the Medieval and Renaissance periods include sculpture, architecture, and painting. The art of these time period was largely influenced by the time in history, the controlling forces of society, and as it is today, money.
The medieval time period started around 500 A.D. and lasted until 1400 A.D. Following the extravagant era of the Roman Empire, the more feudal medieval time period swept across Europe. The greatest influence upon culture at that time was the Catholic Church. The people of medieval times were more interested in the principle that the life of the spirit and the afterworld was superior to building and enjoying earthly culture. Most of the works of art center around the church, as they were the major financial supporter of art during this time. Therefore, the information gathered today about life during the medieval period is largely found in relation to Christian works and the church. The medieval times ruled for some nine hundred years, encompassing the Dark Ages and the black plague. Following the ecclesiastically ordered medieval ages, came the bright colorful Renaissance time period.
Italy is where the Renaissance began around 1400 A.D. lasted until 1600 A.D. The word Renaissance literally means, "re-birth." It was a revival of the classical forms originally developed by ancient Greeks and Romans. This time period emphasized interest in humanism and importance of the individual. It was not necessarily focused on the spiritual realm as exclusively as the medieval times. Not only did the church fund artwork, but private citizens also purchased and collected artwork in a culture where the economy was much better than in medieval times.