Heavy focus on physical anatomy and the use of dissection
Italian Renaissance artists were fascinated with the human body. This fascination stemmed from their appreciation and revival of classical Greek and Roman statues. Many of those statues were in the nude or had large parts of the human body exposed. As Italian Renaissance artists sought to revive the ancient art, they replicated and innovated techniques on showcasing the human body. Artists partnered with physicians and doctors in order to accurately portray the human body in their art.  Artists like Leonardo Da Vinci began dissecting human bodies in order to better understand anatomy and proportion.  This type of behavior became the norm for Italian Renaissance artists. Artists also studied human bodies by painting live nude models.  Italian artists found importance in understanding both the exterior of the body and the interior.  The basis of their art was scientific, which gave sculpture and painting highly realistic proportion and depth. Italian Renaissance art was much more secular than in Northern Europe. Italian Renaissance artists were more interested in depicting philosophical entities and realism than the religious.  Italian Renaissance artists were mystified with the "ideal" body type. Their work portrayed the idealistic models of Ancient Greek and Roman statues, which were sculpted and painted to portray the highest beauty standards.  To this end, Italian Renaissance artists gave males plenty of muscle and athletic bone structure, while giving women soft curves and full stomachs to signify reproductive health.  Bodies were also elongated in painting to show grace and balance. These standards were seen as normal and coveted by Italians during the Renaissance.
Rejecting the premises