The Renaissance was "A revival or rebirth of cultural awareness and learning that took place during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, particularly in Italy,"" according to Art In Focus. It followed the Middle Ages, and was basically a time of the revival of learning after the Middle Ages, or Dark Ages, a time with little increase of ideas, inventions or developments. During the Renaissance, art was a branch of knowledge. It was a way to show God and his creations, as well as a science, of anatomy and perspective. Also during the Renaissance there were many people who used art as a way to record discoveries and inspired people to take pleasure in the world around them.
In 1452 AD, a genius named Leonardo da Vinci was born in a small town called Vinci. He was the illegitimate son of a local lawyer. When he was small he loved to draw pictures of plants, insects, flowers, animals, and birds. When Leonardo was in his teens his father took him to Florence, Italy, to study at the workshop of Andrea del Verrocchio. When Leonardo was twenty, he was so good at painting that he helped his art teacher finish his painting. Not only was Leonardo an artist, but he was also an architect, musician, sculptor, scientist, inventor, and mathematician. He kept detailed records of all of his inventions in his notebooks, which he wrote backwards so nobody could steal his ideas. One of his sketches in his notebook was of a skull. He used lines possibly to measure the length and the width of the human head. He might have done this to be able to paint the human head in proper proportion, and more life like. Leonardo painted very realistically, as you can see in the painting Ginevra de'Benci, which is of a young lady. Another advancement of Leonardo's was to make his backgrounds very detailed and in proper aerial perspective. The techniques he might have used in his paintings are as follows: He would first cover a wood panel with gesso then, rough in the figures on the panels.