Our Collection

Renaissance Painting

The Renaissance, meaning rebirth, flourished during the 15th and 16th centuries. It mixed a revival of the ideas of classical Greece and Rome with a new spirit of scientific discovery. Study of human anatomy allowed figures to be portrayed more naturally and the use of perspective led to convincing representations of three-dimensional reality. The Renaissance started in Italy where a new class of wealthy merchants and bankers funded new artworks for religious and secular settings. In northern Europe the artists of Flanders and Germany pioneered the use of oil paint which replaced tempera as the most popular painter’s medium. Southampton’s collection represents both the Italian and northern schools with masterpieces by Sofonisba Anguissola, Cesare da Sesto and Goswijn van der Weyden.