Between the `Black Death' in the mid-fourteenth century and the French invasions at the end of the fifteenth, artists such as Masaccio, Donatello, Fra Angelico, and Leonardo, working in the kingdoms, princedoms, and republics of the Italian peninsula, created some of the most influential and exciting works in a variety of artistic fields. Yet the traditional story of the Renaissance has been dramatically revised in the light of new scholarship, and new issues have greatly enriched our understanding of the period. Emphasis has been placed on recreating the experience of contemporary Italians - the patrons who commissioned the works, the members of the public who viewed them, and the artists who produced them. In this book Evelyn Welch presents a fresh picture of the Italian Renaissance. Giving equal weight to the Italian regions outside Florence, she discusses a wide range of works, from paintings to coins, and from sculptures to tapestries, examines the issues of materials, workshop practises, and artist-patron relationships, and explores the ways in which visual imagery related to contemporary sexual, social and political behaviour.