An epithet applied to art between 1500-1600; called in France Renaissance, and in England Elizabethan. It was the revival of the classical or antique, but is generally understood as a derogatory term, implying debased or inferior art. The great schools of art closed with 1500. The “immortal five” great painters were all born in the previous century: viz. Leonardo da Vinci, born 1452; Michel Angelo, 1474; Titian, 1477; Raphael, 1480; and Correggio, 1494. Cinque Cento is the Italian for 500, omitting the thousand=mil cinque cento.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894