Year 7

The Italian Renaissance: science and anatomy

I can explain what some artefacts show us about Renaissance science.

Year 7

The Italian Renaissance: science and anatomy

I can explain what some artefacts show us about Renaissance science.

Share activities with pupils
Share function coming soon...

Lesson details

Key learning points

  1. Inventors like da Vinci developed new scientific ideas.
  2. Da Vinci's notebooks contain examples of his new inventions.
  3. People began to study anatomy more scientifically.
  4. Some developments were made in the understanding of the human body.

Common misconception

Pupils might think that dissection was banned by the medieval Catholic Church.

Explain to pupils that, while dissection was not banned, there was still a taboo around handling dead bodies which limited the number of dissections that took place during the medieval period.


  • Church - the Church refers to the institution of the Christian religion

  • Anatomy - the scientific study of the body and how it functions is called anatomy

Content guidance

  • Contains nudity.


Adult supervision suggested.


This content is © Oak National Academy Limited (2024), licensed on Open Government Licence version 3.0 except where otherwise stated. See Oak's terms & conditions (Collection 2).



6 Questions

Renaissance artists were inspired by the classical worlds of...
Greece and Mespotamia
Egypt and Greece
Rome and Egypt
Correct answer: Greece and Rome
Match the painting technique to its description.
Correct Answer:sfumato,a soft change between colours

a soft change between colours

Correct Answer:proportion,ensuring objects are correctly sized

ensuring objects are correctly sized

Correct Answer:chiaroscuro,using a great of light and dark tones

using a great of light and dark tones

Da Vinci's painting of del Giocondo uses the technique known as sfumato.
Correct Answer: Lisa, lisa
How did the use of new mathematical principles help da Vinci in his paintings?
Correct answer: They helped him to make his paintings more realistic.
They helped him to calculate the size of his canvases.
They helped him to calculate how much paint he would need.
Before it was rebuilt, St Peter's was 1200 years old.
Correct Answer: Basilica, basilica
Which of these ancient buildings did the new St Peter's take inspiration from?
Correct answer: The Pantheon
The pyramids of Giza
The Ishtar Gate
Correct answer: The Parthenon

6 Questions

The study of the human body and how it functions is called...
Correct Answer: anatomy, Anatomy
Leonardo da Vinci was especially interested in human...
Correct Answer: flight, Flight
Starting with the earliest, place these events in chronological order.
1 - Ancient Greeks and Romans produced theories about the natural world.
2 - Early Renaissance humanists rediscovered classical knowledge.
3 - The printing press spread rediscovered knowledge across Europe.
4 - A 'Scientific Revolution' built on classical knowledge.
Which of these statements best describes the controversy surrounding Copernicus' work.
Copernicus' work directly attacked the teachings of the Catholic Church.
Correct answer: Galileo's attempts to improve Copernicus' work led to his trial by the Church.
Copernicus' argued that the Sun and other celestial bodies orbited the Earth.
Why were Vesalius' dissections different to many others that had been performed up to that point?
Vesalius conducted numerous dissections of live animals (vivisections)
Vesalius did not conduct the dissections himself, and just described the process
Correct answer: Vesalius conducted the dissections himself, rather than a barber-surgeon
Vesalius' dissections were allowed by the Church
Individual pages of anatomy books were known as sheets.
Correct Answer: fugitive, Fugitive

Additional material

Download additional material
We're sorry, but preview is not currently available. Download to see additional material.