Roman High Renaissance
By the 1500s, Rome had developed into Europe's cultural, religious and political centre. For the artists of the Renaissance, it had become typical practise that they complete their training in Rome, studying contemporary and antique objects. Thus Rome simultaneously became an important artistic centre. The Pope’s cultural politics also played a significant role here. He engaged artists to give their visions and claims to power a visible expression, and as such, accelerate the development of the city.
The highpoint of the Roman high renaissance, which took place between c.1500 and 1530, includes the work of Michelangelo (1475-1564), who moved from Florence to Rome, where, under the Pope’s patronage. He demonstrated his skills in every artistic medium.
Michelangelo’s works include the monumental ceiling frescos (1508-12), and the Last Judgement (1536-41) in the Sistine Chapel, Julius II's gravestone (1505-45), and the works on St Peter's and the Capitoline Hill.
Raphael's (1483-1520) work also had a significant impact on Rome’s artistic image. In 1508, he began painting Julius II's private rooms (Stanza) in the Vatican palace. One of his most famous works, the "School of Athens" is located in the "Stanza della Segnatura" (1508-11) and depicts famous antique philosophers, such as Plato and Aristotle, within an architectural setting, composed from a central perspective.
In addition, Rome became the location of various other buildings, which realised the architectonic principles of the high Renaissance: Donato Bramante’s "Tempietto" (1502), which was composed as a round design, as well as New St. Peter's - which for liturgical reasons, was completed at the beginning of the 17th century as a nave - are both masterpieces of central architecture.