Renaissance Artists Realized Children Were Not UglyRenaissance art brought realistic depictions of children. Just 200 years earlier, artists were creating rather ugly grown man-like children. But by the fifteenth century, Renaissance artists were painting realistic children with beautiful features. In the sixteenth century, artists were painting almost too-cute cheruby children, such as those famous flying baby angels and the Madonna by Raphael. The misshapen ugly tots of the pre-renaissance period were but a distant memory.
This painting from Raphael shows the Madonna sitting serenely in front of a dark landscape, and the Christ child lovingly grasping her neck. The two radiate warmth and peace. The people are painted realistically, and unlike earlier works, they show dimension and true proportion.