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Lesson Title: Renaissance Art

Lesson Author: Candice Bruce

Key Curriculum Words: Renaissance, Patron, Madonna
Grade Level: 9
Grade; World History I
Time Allotted: 45 minute class period

The Renaissance is a fascinating period to study where there was a renewal of societys interest in
learning, art, literature, and technology. The area of art is particularly intriguing because in
Renaissance Italy, artists grew to the status of celebrities for the first time in history. Artists such as
Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Raphael made lasting contributions to society through their
paintings, sketches, and sculptures. The purpose of this lesson is to create an understanding of the
differences between Medieval and Renaissance art in both technique and content as well as foster an
appreciation of the classic pieces created by da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Raphael.

Key Concepts/Definitions:
Renaissance: era of renewed interest and remarkable developments in art, literature, science,
and learning. French for rebirth.
Patron: buyers of artcould be wealthy individuals, city governments, or the church
Madonna: Mary, mother of Jesus

Background Paragraph:
Prior to the Renaissance unit, students studied the Middle Ages where society focused on church and
religion as a result of the Black Plague. At the introduction of the Renaissance, students learned that
as society was emerging from the Middle Ages, there was a re-birth in the areas of finance, art,
science, and politics. Students also learned the causes of the Renaissance included: increased trade
with Asia and other regions as a result of the crusades; growth of large, wealthy city-states in Italy;
renewed interest in the classical learning of ancient Greece and Rome; rise of rich and powerful
merchants, who became patrons of the arts; increased desire for scientific and technical knowledge;
and a desire to beautify cities. Students will see in this lesson the sharp contrast between medieval art
and Renaissance art and the lasting impression it has left on Western society.

Virginia Standards of Learning and/or
NCSS Theme # 1:
WHI.13c The student will demonstrate
knowledge of development leading to the
Renaissance in Europe in terms of its impact on
Western civilization by citing artistic, literary,
and philosophical creativity, as contrasted with
the medieval period, including Leonardo da
Vinci, Michelangelo, and Petrarch.
The student will be able to understand the
cultural contributions made in the area of art by
the Italian Renaissance to Western society.

Enduring Understandings:
1. How was the art of the Renaissance different from that of the Middle Ages?
2. Could the Renaissance have been as successful without the contributions of the arts?
3. How did Renaissance art reflect the thinking of the time period?
4. What role does art play in our society?
The student will gain knowledge
of Leonardo da Vinci,
Michelangelo, and Raphael,
their works, and how their art as
well as other Renaissance art
differed from the art of the
Middle Ages.

Creating and Interpreting
Graphic Organizers
Understanding Cause and
Critical Thinking
Identify, analyze, and
interpret primary and
secondary sources to make
generalizations about events
and life in world history to
1500 A.D. (WHI.1a)
Use maps, globes, artifacts,
and pictures to analyze the
physical and cultural
landscapes of the world and
interpret the past to 1500
A.D. (WHI.1b)
Class Participation
Individual appreciation for
classic art
Art reflects the changes in
Art is such an important part
of a societys culture that
even the government
sponsors it

Guiding Questions:
1. What, when, and where was the Renaissance?
2. How did art differ during the Renaissance from the Middle Ages?
3. How did art take the humanist perspective?
4. Who were the patrons of the arts?
5. Who were the key artists and their works?

Lesson Objectives:
Students will be able to:
1. explain how Renaissance art differed in style and technique from the art of medieval times
2. identify Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Raphael and know their contributions to
Renaissance art

Diverse Learner Needs:
Curriculum will not be modified for diverse learner needs.
Students with physical disabilities may need assistance by the special education aide for
completing the hook portion of the lesson.
Instruction will be modified where the teachers aide will assist special education students in
completing their web chart. Students with special needs will be provided slot notes; cooperating
teacher will instruct gifted students to create a resume for one of the famous artists along with
their homework assignment using the information learned in class as well as outside research;
teacher will instruct general education students to take notes on their web chart as teacher is
reviewing Renaissance Art PowerPoint.
For assessment, special education students will be assessed by class participation and completion
of handouts and homework; general education students will be assessed by class participation and
completion of handouts and homework assignment; gifted students will be assessed based on class
participation, completion of handouts, and the resume they are assigned to complete.

White Paper
Coloring Utensils
PowerPoint Presentation
2 sided Handouts for notes

The Hook: Pass out paper and coloring utensils to students and have students tape the paper
under their desks. Ask them to draw something while lying on their backs. After a few minutes,
ask them how they would enjoy drawing in that position for nearly 4 years. Allow students to
share their artwork with the class. This demonstration will lead into the discussion of
Michelangelo painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel later in the lesson. (8 minutes)
Lesson Activities:
o Teacher will pass out T-Chart comparing Medieval Art to Renaissance Art. Together,
the class will complete the chart. A slot notes version should be distributed to students
with learning disabilities. (10 minutes)
o On the other side of the T-Chart handout is a web chart of Renaissance Art. As teacher
shows a PowerPoint presentation detailing the techniques of the Renaissance and
notable artists, students will complete the chart. The PowerPoint Presentation will
contain images of The Last Supper, The Mona Lisa, Virgin of the Rocks, David, Pieta,
The Sistine Chapel, School of Athens, Madonna and Child, and Portrait of Maddalena
Doni. With each sample of Renaissance art, ask students how it reflects the spirit of the
Renaissance. (15 minutes)
Lesson Closure: POP QUIZ! Ask students to write down two examples of how Renaissance art
represented a major shift from art of the Middle Ages. Ask students to describe sfumato and to
give an example of it in Renaissance art. (10 minutes)
Homework: Students will choose an artist from the Renaissance and write a short paragraph
explaining why he was important to the era. A list of achievements should be included. (1 minute)

Assessment Strategies (Informal):
Teacher/student discussion
Participation in the Hook activity

Assessment Strategies (Formal):
Questions will appear on unit test
Pop Quiz
Homework will be collected
Completion of Handouts

Pop Quiz:

1. Give 2 examples of how Renaissance Art represents a shift from art of the Middle Ages.
2. Describe sfumato and give an example of its use in a major piece of art.


Renaissance Art
New Techniques
o Fresco-Painting done on fresh, wet plaster with water based-paints, three dimensional
o Perspective-Organization of outdoor space and light through geometry.
o Human Anatomy and movement-Realistic portrayal of the individual person, especially
human nude.
o Sfumato-comes from the Italian word fumo for smoke; refers to the blending of colors or
tones so subtly that there is no perceptible transition.
Leonardo da Vinci
o Renaissance Man: painter, writer, inventor, architect, engineer, mathematician,
musician, and philosopher
o Original Last Supper deteriorated quickly because of use of tempera instead of fresco
o Use of sfumato on the Mona Lisa: no hard lines or contours, only seamless transitions
between light and dark
o Accomplished sculptor
o Pieta: sculpture of Mary holding Jesus after his death
o 13 Foot marble statue of David
o Accomplished Painter
o Sistine Chapel in Rome
o Story of Genesis and other Old Testament stories
o Showed personalized characterizations of Biblical Characters
o Fresco Painting: wet plaster
o Painted in 3 stages
o Nearly 4 years to complete
o Noted painter and architect
o Most famous work: School of Athens
o Fresco
o Plato and Aristotle surrounded by past and then present philosophers admired by the
o Well known for paintings of the Madonna
o Mimicked Da Vincis Mona Lisa with Maddalena Doni

Medieval Art Renaissance Art
Idealized and symbolic
representations of religious
Focus on the Church and
Art created by anonymous
artists who worked for the
Images of art were depicted
as unrealistic and unnatural
For the purpose of glorifying

Reflected humanist spirit
Depicted things observed in
Focus on individuals,
worldly matters, as well as
Artists worked for whoever
offered highest price
Painted the natural world in
the most realistic way
possible using perspective
Included Greek and Roman
myths along with religious
Focus on those looking at the

Leonardo da Vinci:

Modified Notes:

Medieval Art Renaissance Art
representations of themes
Focus on the and

Art created by artists
who worked for the
Images of art were depicted as
For the purpose of

Reflected spirit
Depicted things in

Focus on ,
, as well as

Artists worked for whoever offered

Painted the natural world in the most
way possible using
Included and myths along
with figures
Focus on

Leonardo da