High Renaissance art is characterized by self-confident Humanism. Here we see artists admiring classical art and architecture as a way to show off their classical knowledge or for a patron who commissioned these works to seem more knowledgeable about the world and its history.
With the invention and use of the printing press, there was a greater spread of ideas, and artists could sell prints of their work. Travel also increased during the High Renaissance; therefore, art became more international.
Michelangelo prescribed to “Neo-Platonism,” which says God put the sculpture within the rock and that the artist must uncover it, good art comes from divine inspiration and beauty is a path to salvation.
Leonardo, another High Renaissance artist, began to create deep paintings with spatial illusions, which will be more prevalent in the Baroque period.