Early Renaissance art and architecture evolved out of a combination of late medieval advances and rediscovery of many elements of Graeco-Roman art and architecture along with increasing technological innovation.
The first major characteristic was increasing focus on the secular and civic as opposed to religion and military. While many of the great buildings and monumental works of the late middle ages were cathedrals and castles, many great works of civic architecture and mansions built for living rather than defense, and civic buildings (such as theaters and parliaments) flourished in the Renaissance. The Gothic style, with its pointed arches and buttresses was replaced by domes, rounded arches, tunnel vaults, and columns, and ornament, was more restrained and symmetrical, rather than expressing the individual creativity and embellishment of the Gothic (such as the imaginative and fantastic gargoyles that adorned Gothic cathedrals).
Painting became more realistic, using vanishing point perspective, portraying people as individuals rather than types, and using more natural poses and fluid drapery (often influenced by classical models). Subject matter included a wider range of secular themes, including many portraits, works on mythological themes, and domestic themes, and even religious art became more realistic.