Work of art: Ryse features in a major new Renaissance exhibition

April 30, 2014 by Crytek

Work of art: Ryse features in a major new Renaissance exhibition

Crytek's Ryse: Son of Rome has taken its place among some of the great masters of Renaissance art as part of a new exhibition at London's National Gallery.

Running from today until late September, the exhibition – titled 'Building the Picture: Architecture in Italian Renaissance Painting' – is inviting audiences to see not only how artists integrated structures into their compositions hundreds of years ago, but also how contemporary mediums are being influenced by classical Romanesque buildings and the techniques of Renaissance art.

Set amid the dramatic days of the Roman Empire, Ryse is loaded with Renaissance-inspired imagery, and features in one of five short videos created in connection with the exhibition. In the video, Crytek's Global Cinematic Director, Peter Gornstein, discusses how the use of space, depth and light in Ryse's beautiful environments share common ground with some of the masterworks on show.

Ryse Art 01

Early Ryse artwork planning the form of Emperor Nero's throne room.

Making specific reference to Marcello Venusti's 'The Purification of the Temple', one of many paintings in the exhibition, Peter points out, "I think when you look at the Venusti picture and then look at, for instance, the (Ryse) setting of Nero's palace, you can see a lot of similarities. We have the columns, the space, we use the same sort of depth of field, we use the same kind of vertical composition because we want to emphasize greatness – we want to emphasize scale; almost a superhuman or godly presence."

At the outset of developing Ryse, some of the team visited Rome for inspiration, and now that the game has shipped Peter is glad to see the National Gallery acknowledging Crytek's faithfulness to the source material. "Including Ryse in an exhibition like this makes the entire art team on Ryse incredibly proud - the team, who have all put so much hard work into every detail you see on screen, really appreciates that their work will be seen by a very different audience that it normally is."

Ryse Art 02

Concept stage - Renaissance art influenced the look and feel of Ryse from day one.

Tasked with a monumental challenge such as recreating the grandeur or Rome, Peter says there were conflicting feelings as the development process got underway. "We were intimidated, excited, inspired – all at once! But as we started the work and really began understanding the level of sophistication behind all things Roman, then it was mostly a humbling experience."   

'Building the Picture: Architecture in Italian Renaissance Painting' runs from today until 21 September in London's National Gallery. Check out the Ryse feature video below, as well as a gallery of rare Ryse concept art. You can find out more about the exhibition by visiting