Italian Renassaince Art, a picture quiz.

A bit of innocent fun, for the art lovers among my readers.   I’m teaching Italian Renaissance to my A-Level class at present and dragged these images off various sites to make a slide talk presentation.   Thought i\d post them here too, for your pleasure and interest.   It’s not a Dublin Decoded competition, there are no Dublin tours or prizes to give away.  (sorry!)   So you don’t have to write me the answers, honestly, it’s just for your own enjoyment.   Although if you enjoy, it’s always lovely tyto hear from people,  so of course readers are very welcome to say hello, thanks or to share the link.   But no need for answers here, I simply thought you might enjoy these.

Just try to identify the artists, and/or their works, using the questions and hints below…

First section.  Proto-Renaissance.

#1.  Amazingly, astoningly in fact, this artist below, was a contemporary of Giotto.  Not hard to see below why he is generally acknowledged as being the first to use linear perspective.  But what is his name?  and where did he hail from?

Ambrogio Lorenzetti Annunciation _1344 ! .

#2  This work below, (by the same artist as above)  what does it depict?  Who is kneeling before the Pope.

Ambrogio Lorenzetti The Oath_of_St_Louis_of_Toulouse_-_WGA13468

#3- A work by Giotto.  Where would you find it?

Giotto Scrovegni Chapel Lamentation_(The_Mourning_of_Christ)_adj

Next section, Quattrocento

#4-  This astonishing achievement was the first large dome constructed since antiquity.  What is the building?  and who was the architect?


#5- A work below, by a friend and contemporary of the architect mentioned above.   Who is the legendary sculptor?  and who is the subject of, the saint depicted in,  this work below?

St George_Donatello_Orsanmichele_n1

#6-  Another, even more extraordinary work by the same sculptor…  Who is the subject?   And in what city would you find this monumental masterpiece?

Donatello Gattamelata

#7-  And which early Italian Renaissance painter is responsible for this work, below?

Fra Angelico San Marco Altarpiece

#8-what early, short-lived but highly influential Florentine quattrocento genius painted this marvel of perspective below, still in situ at the church of Santa Maria Novella?


#9-  okay, moving on,  A little bit later now.  There are even more famous work than this one, (work below)  by this so-called “third generation” Florentine painter.       He painted some of the most instantly recognizable, most iconic images of the Renaissance.  By the way that’s his self-portrait on the right, looking straight at you.   What’s his name?

Botticelli_-Adoration_of the Magi (Zanobi_Altar)_-Uffizi

 #10- Here below is a detail, from another work,  by the same artist pictured above.  But what iconic book of poetry was it designed to illustrate?

Botticelli Drawings for Dantes Devine Comedy c1490

11-  This work (below) was started by one famous Florentine artist, famous both in his own right, but also for leading a studio that contained and trained some of the greatest names of the Renaissance.   So two questions here:  11a- Who started this work?  and 11b- Who finished it?


12-  we mentioned above the artist whose busy studio trained a whole stable of great artists.    This work below was also a collaboration, between the same master, but a different apprentice.   Who was this second apprentice, who reputedly painted the angels here below?


Section 3-  High Renaissance.

#13-  (the aptly numbered 13)  Okay,  pretty confident you either guessed the last question or, more likely, already knew it.  So I’m not worried about giving too much away with this one!   Below is a mature work, an iconic work, by the “apprentice” involved above.   As you know its in a refectory, a dining room, in an old monastery or priory.  But in what city?

Last Supper Leo da Vinci_5

#14- and this work, below, in Rome, is by his slightly younger, equally legendary contemporary?   Part of a huge, and immensely complex scheme,  that took around seven years to complete.    There’s a ahem,  clue on the image but I decided not to cut it out.  If you’re still here, this will be a breeze anyway.   Artist and location?


#15- And two works below, by the third member of the traditional High Renaissance apex trio.  Firstly, what is his name?

156px-Madonna of the Meadow Raphael

16-  and far more difficult,  who was the female subject of this portrait, scion of a powerful dynasty who ruled Milan in Lombardy?

Caterina_SforzaLorenzo de Credi

Section 4-  Venice.

17-  We’ve glanced at the sons of Sienna, Florence and Rome.  Let’s not forget the Venetians.  This man who painted this beautiful, enigmatic Allegory below came from an entire family of famous Venetian painters, and his brother in law was even Andrea Mantegna.   But what’s the name of the artist of this Allegory?

Giovanni Bellini Saccred Allogory

18- We all know the patron saint of Venice is St Mark, (whose body they basically stole from Constantinople! )  Here below is a moment from that famous theft, dignified by this dramatic work “Finding the body of Saint Mark”   But who is the artist?

Finding of Body St Mark-Jacopo Tintoretto

19-  Penultimate question and artwork,  here by the most famous Venetian painter of them all.  He was famous for his use of colour.  A certain type of red in womens’ hair is even named after him.  He exerted a huge influence on later artists, notably Peter Paul Rubens.  Here he paints a woman with a mirror, perhaps echoing Jan Van Eyck’s Arnofini Wedding portrait, and also pre-figuring later painters, like Velazquez and indeed Ireland’s own genius Sir William Orpen.   But who was this legendary Venetian artist?


Last work: Baroque.

20-   One final work.  Last, but very definitely not least, this superb female artist of the 17th century, painting very powerfully in the style of Caravaggio.  Preconceptions and social conventions made it almost impossible for women to be painters in the Renaissance or Baroque era, but this woman’s father owned a studio and so she worked alongside him, becoming an accomplished artist in her own right.  A thug working for the family studio raped her, but, although clearly marked by the experience, she recovered and prevailed, to become one of the greatest Italian painters of the 17th century.  She often painted powerful women, sometimes taking terrible revenge on abusive men.  Here she depicts the Israelite, the beautiful widow Judith, who saved her people by seducing, then decapitating, the enemy, besieging general, Holofernes.

So, last question- who is the brilliant artist, responsible for this work?


Hope you enjoyed the pictures, questions,  and bits of hints and extra information.  No need to leave your answers, but by all means leave a comment, it’s always great to hear from readers.

Arran Henderson Dublin Decoded at National Gallery of Iteland How to Read a Painting

If you’d like to skip straight to the answer to the quiz,  just hit this link. 

Art History teachers based in Ireland may also be interested in bringing their class to our Georgian Architecture for Leaving Certificate tours, modified especially for students, and with additional follow-up support for teachers (in the form of notes for easy handouts, a refresher quiz and answer sheet)

For people in Dublin, or passing through Dublin, if you’d like to become a real Robert Langton yourself,  come along to our famous “How to Read a Painting” symbol tour each month, at the National Gallery of Ireland, (pictured above)   See the tour spec here.

We only run 2 or 3 public tours each month,  so if you’d like to get alerts on when they go ahead each month it’s warmly recommended to sign up for the newsletter, which sends one bulletin each month,  advising you which tours are running along with dates and details.     Alternatively, all our tours are also bookable as private events on flexible dates of course,  by contacting   Please include the tour title and your preferred dates in the subject header, for a speedy reply,  thank you.  eg:  “Medieval Walls tour, private group tour? 23/09/15 ”  

Thank you for reading.  Until the next post, all the best.

12 thoughts on “Italian Renassaince Art, a picture quiz.

      1. I always think it is such a shame that Medieval and Renaissance painting was so closely confined to religious and then classical subjects. When you look for medieval paintings of women, for example it’s hard to find one who isn’t on her knees praying.


        1. Hi Jane, that’s certainly true in most medieval depictions of women in paining, since the church was, by far, the biggest patron, and set the tone for everything else as well. Oddly enough, illumination artists, even those working on religious Manuscripts, tended to have more freedom, so sometimes you get great little anecdotal or domestic details. There are occasional secular depictions of women as well, like the equality-couple (in sculpture) featured in my Musée Cluny post a year or two back. By the humanism of the Renaissance there’s much more scope and freedom in Classical subjects, for private or aristocratic patrons obviously. Although, with overwhelmingly male patrons, the issue there is that women now often become sexual objects of desire instead, (instead of endless praying. 🙂
          But crucially, from Renaissance on, there are also the portraits of course, including some of very singular, independent and interesting women. Vittoria Colonna for example (an accomplished poet and friend and patron of Michelangelo) or the enigmatic muse Simonetta Vespucci or the formidable Caterina Sforza, a regent, then ruler in her own right and accomplished military commander. It’s a huge topic, obviously, (women in historic art) Vast in fact. Of course women did no generally get the same standing. There are however, occasional chinks of light. 🙂


          1. Some of the monks certainly got out of line especially the Irish monks while the Church was occupied recovering from the nth sack of Rome. I have a strong suspicion we’d never have had the old stories written down at all if the later lot had had their way.


            1. Well that’s certainly true. My post was about Italian Renaissance art of course, and naturally that’s all very much in the tradition of Latin Christianity, with everything seen (and enforced) through that lens and world -view. As you say, the earlier, Celtic, church was far freer in many ways.

              Liked by 1 person

  1. Arran, How sweet of you to dedicate your quiz to me. Like fellow history of art graduate Tig, I used to know all of the answers, especially after tutoring the UCD first years their Italian Renaissance module, but alas I have forgotten much. Emxox

    Liked by 1 person

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