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The first appearance of the free-standing, erotic,young male nude connects this period to the ancient Greeks and Romans -- but the sculptural style borrows equally, if not more, from the late Gothic masters like Lorenzo Ghiberti, Tullio Lombardo, Jacobo Della Quercia, and Andrea Pisano. Donatello is usually singled out as the first master of the Renaissance -- with dazzling complexity in his deep perspective reliefs and virtuosity everywhere in his large body of work. The Renaissance period ends with the beginning of the 17th Century, as sculpture is primarily called to serve a revived and militant Roman Catholicism. But its many great sculptural monuments continued to make the cities and churches of Northern Italy important tourist centers through the 18th, 19th, 20th centures -- and up to the present day.


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