Fun Facts: The Renaissance

  • The word "Renaissance" means "rebirth".  The Renaissance was a time of coming out of the dark and took place from around1300 to 1600. It was a rebirth of education, science, art, literature, music, and a better life for people in general.
  • Two of the most talented artists during the Renaissance, were Michelangelo Buonarroti and Leonardo Da Vinci.  They became rivals when Michelangelo mocked Da Vinci for not finishing a statue of a horse.
  • One of the most famous paintings in the world is a Renaissance painting – the Mona Lisa by Leonardo Da Vinci.  Although the painting looks large, when you see it in the Louvre Museum in Paris, the painting is just 30 inches by 21 inches.  Scientists examining the painting, say that she had eyebrows at one point, but they faded over time!  Now, they're shy-brows!
  • Da Vinci was not just a painter he also made statues and designed weapons. He even drew up plans for a helicopter, which is amazing, seeing as this was hundreds of years before helicopters were invented!

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Make and Do: Recreating a Renaissance Painting

Portrait of a Young Man'
Painting by Giovanni Francesco Penni
Photo © National Gallery of Ireland

Step 1:  Sketch the painting.

Step 2:  Apply glue to the different parts of the sketch.

Step 3:  Tear up strips of coloured paper, and stick them on to the areas of the image, in a mosaic-style (as shown).

Step 4:  Cut out the image.

Step 5:  Glue the image on to a new background.  We've used a black background, but you can use any colour you like.  There you have it!

National Gallery of Ireland

You can see the Portrait of a Young Man painting on the National Gallery website here

Also, why not take a virtual tour of the National Gallery of Ireland online and choose a different piece of art and make your own mosaic version? We'd love to see it, so send it into us! 

Send us pictures or videos of what you have done. Ask your parents to help you send them to