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The Italian Renaissance was an unparalleled era of creativity, particularly in the field of painting. Building on the achievements of artists such as Giotto in the fourteenth century and Masacio and Donatello in the fifteenth centuries, and culminating in the careers of the undisputed geniuses Leonardo de Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael and Titian, the period witnessed the rediscovery of naturalistic techniques in art and new interest in portraiture, landscapes and themes from classical mythology. This imaginative richness produced some of the most enduring images in all art history, many of which are reproduced here in a perfect introduction to a unique age. Art historian Sara Elliott has produced a lively and wide-ranging account of this great era of Western civilization, including extensive captions to each colour plate and many invaluable comparative illustrations.