St. Peter Museum of Arts


Artworks and Artists during the Renaissance

The main types of artwork during 1350 and 1650 were paintings, sculptures, and creating or designing buildings. Two of the most popular artists at the time were Michelangelo and John van Eyck.


Michelangelo, born Michelangelo de Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni, was an Italian sculptor, painter, architect, poet, and engineer. He was born on March 6, 1475 in Capres, near the Republic of Florence, which is present day Italy. He lived to be 88 and dies February 18, 1564. Michelangelo was known for his two most famous pieces, Pieta and David.


The Pieta was sculpted in honor of french cardinal, Jean de Billhores' funeral monument, the artwork illustrates the body of Jesus Christ on the lap of his mother, Virgin Mary after the crucifixion. Pieta is a pyramidal sculpture, Mary's head is the vertex, and the sculpture continues to widen progressively through her dress. This way the only piece Michelangelo had signed. Eventually his artwork was moved to its current location, St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City.


David was a 17 foot marble statue of a nude man. This man was the biblical hero David. The sculpture was supposed to be placed along the roof line of the east end of the Florene Cathedral, instead it was places in a public square outside the Palazzo della Signoria. David symbolizes the defense of civil liberties demonstrated in the Florentin Republic. The statue was moved to the Academic Gallery in Florence in 1873, then later replaced at the original location by a replica.

Jan van Eyck

Jan van Eyck was born around 1395, his birth place and time are not specifically documented. In 1425, he began to service prince Duke. In addition to his court work, van Eyck also produced paintings for private clients. His two most famous painting are the Adoration of the Lamb and Arnolfini Wedding.

Adoration of the Lamb

In this painting, a lamb is in the center and is being worshiped by many groups. The groups included angels, martyrs, prophets, and apostles. Many people today assume the construction and designing of the painting was done by Jan's brother, Hubert, and jan himself did the painting. Spanish king Philip II wanted the painting, and he wasn't given it, but he was given a copy instead.

Aronolfini Wedding

The purpose of the painting is to show the marriage of Giovanni Arnolfini and his bride. He shows that the couple had wealth by putting a fur coat of Giovanni. The wedding took place in a contemporary Flemish bedroom. The dog that was placed on the bottom of the painting was a high breed which also shows the wealth.