Renaissance audiences of Renaissance art did not view the familiar artworks of that era in the same way as contemporary audiences view art. ‘Introduction: whose Renaissance? whose art?’ contextualizes the concept of ‘art’ through the eye of a viewer of art from the 15th and 16th centuries. Many of the artworks by Renaissance artists which are so familiar would originally have been evaluated as functional objects with carefully selected iconographies produced for sacred or secular purposes that evolved from venerable traditions. The Renaissance gave birth to the idea of art as an academic discipline and the artist as a creative genius. What does the term Renaissance mean?