Renaissance

Renaissance

Overview
The Renaissance was a cultural movement
Cultural movement
A cultural movement is a change in the way a number of different disciplines approach their work. This embodies all art forms, the sciences, and philosophies. Historically, different nations or regions of the world have gone through their own independent sequence of movements in culture, but as...

 that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages
Late Middle Ages
The Late Middle Ages was the period of European history generally comprising the 14th to the 16th century . The Late Middle Ages followed the High Middle Ages and preceded the onset of the early modern era ....

 and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not uniform across Europe, this is a general use of the term. As a cultural movement, it encompassed a flowering of literature, science, art, religion, and politics, and a resurgence of learning based on classical
Classical antiquity
Classical antiquity is a broad term for a long period of cultural history centered on the Mediterranean Sea, comprising the interlocking civilizations of ancient Greece and ancient Rome, collectively known as the Greco-Roman world...

 sources, the development of linear perspective
Perspective (graphical)
Perspective in the graphic arts, such as drawing, is an approximate representation, on a flat surface , of an image as it is seen by the eye...

 in painting, and gradual but widespread educational
History of education
The history of education its part of the past and present teaching and learning. Each generation, since the beginning of human existence, has sought to pass on cultural and social values, traditions, morality, religion and skills to the next generation. The passing on of culture is also known as...

 reform.
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Encyclopedia
The Renaissance was a cultural movement
Cultural movement
A cultural movement is a change in the way a number of different disciplines approach their work. This embodies all art forms, the sciences, and philosophies. Historically, different nations or regions of the world have gone through their own independent sequence of movements in culture, but as...

 that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages
Late Middle Ages
The Late Middle Ages was the period of European history generally comprising the 14th to the 16th century . The Late Middle Ages followed the High Middle Ages and preceded the onset of the early modern era ....

 and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not uniform across Europe, this is a general use of the term. As a cultural movement, it encompassed a flowering of literature, science, art, religion, and politics, and a resurgence of learning based on classical
Classical antiquity
Classical antiquity is a broad term for a long period of cultural history centered on the Mediterranean Sea, comprising the interlocking civilizations of ancient Greece and ancient Rome, collectively known as the Greco-Roman world...

 sources, the development of linear perspective
Perspective (graphical)
Perspective in the graphic arts, such as drawing, is an approximate representation, on a flat surface , of an image as it is seen by the eye...

 in painting, and gradual but widespread educational
History of education
The history of education its part of the past and present teaching and learning. Each generation, since the beginning of human existence, has sought to pass on cultural and social values, traditions, morality, religion and skills to the next generation. The passing on of culture is also known as...

 reform. Traditionally, this intellectual transformation has resulted in the Renaissance being viewed as a bridge between the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

 and the Modern era. Although the Renaissance saw revolutions in many intellectual
Intellectual
An intellectual is a person who uses intelligence and critical or analytical reasoning in either a professional or a personal capacity.- Terminology and endeavours :"Intellectual" can denote four types of persons:...

 pursuits, as well as social and political upheaval, it is perhaps best known for its art
Art
Art is the product or process of deliberately arranging items in a way that influences and affects one or more of the senses, emotions, and intellect....

istic developments and the contributions of such polymath
Polymath
A polymath is a person whose expertise spans a significant number of different subject areas. In less formal terms, a polymath may simply be someone who is very knowledgeable...

s as Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci was an Italian Renaissance polymath: painter, sculptor, architect, musician, scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist and writer whose genius, perhaps more than that of any other figure, epitomized the Renaissance...

 and Michelangelo
Michelangelo
Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni , commonly known as Michelangelo, was an Italian Renaissance painter, sculptor, architect, poet, and engineer who exerted an unparalleled influence on the development of Western art...

, who inspired the term "Renaissance man
Polymath
A polymath is a person whose expertise spans a significant number of different subject areas. In less formal terms, a polymath may simply be someone who is very knowledgeable...

".

There is a consensus the Renaissance began in Florence
Florence
Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and of the province of Florence. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with approximately 370,000 inhabitants, expanding to over 1.5 million in the metropolitan area....

, Tuscany
Tuscany
Tuscany is a region in Italy. It has an area of about 23,000 square kilometres and a population of about 3.75 million inhabitants. The regional capital is Florence ....

 in the 14th century. Various theories have been proposed to account for its origins and characteristics, focusing on a variety of factors including the social and civic peculiarities of Florence
Florence
Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and of the province of Florence. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with approximately 370,000 inhabitants, expanding to over 1.5 million in the metropolitan area....

 at the time; its political structure; the patronage of its dominant family, the Medici
Medici
The House of Medici or Famiglia de' Medici was a political dynasty, banking family and later royal house that first began to gather prominence under Cosimo de' Medici in the Republic of Florence during the late 14th century. The family originated in the Mugello region of the Tuscan countryside,...

; and the migration of Greek scholars
Greek scholars in the Renaissance
The migration of Byzantine scholars and other émigrés from southern Italy and Byzantium during the decline of the Byzantine Empire and mainly after the fall of Constantinople in 1453 until the 16th century, is considered by some scholars as key to the revival of Greek and Roman studies and...

 and texts to Italy following the Fall of Constantinople
Fall of Constantinople
The Fall of Constantinople was the capture of the capital of the Byzantine Empire, which occurred after a siege by the Ottoman Empire, under the command of Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II, against the defending army commanded by Byzantine Emperor Constantine XI...

 at the hands of the Ottoman Turks
Ottoman Turks
The Ottoman Turks were the Turkish-speaking population of the Ottoman Empire who formed the base of the state's military and ruling classes. Reliable information about the early history of Ottoman Turks is scarce, but they take their Turkish name, Osmanlı , from the house of Osman I The Ottoman...

.

The Renaissance has a long and complex historiography
Historiography
Historiography refers either to the study of the history and methodology of history as a discipline, or to a body of historical work on a specialized topic...

, and there has been much debate among historians as to the usefulness of Renaissance as a term and as a historical delineation. Some have called into question whether the Renaissance was a cultural "advance" from the Middle Ages, instead seeing it as a period of pessimism and nostalgia
Nostalgia
The term nostalgia describes a yearning for the past, often in idealized form.The word is a learned formation of a Greek compound, consisting of , meaning "returning home", a Homeric word, and , meaning "pain, ache"...

 for the classical age, while others have instead focused on the continuity between the two eras. Indeed, some have called for an end to the use of the term, which they see as a product of presentism
Presentism (literary and historical analysis)
Presentism is a mode of literary or historical analysis in which present-day ideas and perspectives are anachronistically introduced into depictions or interpretations of the past...

 – the use of history
History
History is the discovery, collection, organization, and presentation of information about past events. History can also mean the period of time after writing was invented. Scholars who write about history are called historians...

 to validate and glorify modern ideals. The word Renaissance has also been used to describe other historical and cultural movement
Cultural movement
A cultural movement is a change in the way a number of different disciplines approach their work. This embodies all art forms, the sciences, and philosophies. Historically, different nations or regions of the world have gone through their own independent sequence of movements in culture, but as...

s, such as the Carolingian Renaissance
Carolingian Renaissance
In the history of ideas the Carolingian Renaissance stands out as a period of intellectual and cultural revival in Europe occurring from the late eighth century, in the generation of Alcuin, to the 9th century, and the generation of Heiric of Auxerre, with the peak of the activities coordinated...

 and the Renaissance of the 12th century
Renaissance of the 12th century
The Renaissance of the 12th century was a period of many changes at the outset of the High Middle Ages. It included social, political and economic transformations, and an intellectual revitalization of Western Europe with strong philosophical and scientific roots...

.

Overview


The Renaissance was a cultural movement that profoundly affected European intellectual life in the early modern period
Early modern period
In history, the early modern period of modern history follows the late Middle Ages. Although the chronological limits of the period are open to debate, the timeframe spans the period after the late portion of the Middle Ages through the beginning of the Age of Revolutions...

. Beginning in Italy, and spreading to the rest of Europe by the 16th century, its influence was felt in literature
Literature
Literature is the art of written works, and is not bound to published sources...

, philosophy
Philosophy
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational...

, art
Art
Art is the product or process of deliberately arranging items in a way that influences and affects one or more of the senses, emotions, and intellect....

, music
Music
Music is an art form whose medium is sound and silence. Its common elements are pitch , rhythm , dynamics, and the sonic qualities of timbre and texture...

, politics
Politics
Politics is a process by which groups of people make collective decisions. The term is generally applied to the art or science of running governmental or state affairs, including behavior within civil governments, but also applies to institutions, fields, and special interest groups such as the...

, science
Science
Science is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe...

, religion
Religion
Religion is a collection of cultural systems, belief systems, and worldviews that establishes symbols that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values. Many religions have narratives, symbols, traditions and sacred histories that are intended to give meaning to life or to...

, and other aspects of intellectual inquiry. Renaissance scholars employed the humanist
Renaissance humanism
Renaissance humanism was an activity of cultural and educational reform engaged by scholars, writers, and civic leaders who are today known as Renaissance humanists. It developed during the fourteenth and the beginning of the fifteenth centuries, and was a response to the challenge of Mediæval...

 method in study, and searched for realism and human emotion in art.

Renaissance thinkers sought out in Europe's monastic libraries and the crumbling Byzantine Empire the literary, historical, and oratorical texts of antiquity, typically written in Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 or ancient Greek
Ancient Greek
Ancient Greek is the stage of the Greek language in the periods spanning the times c. 9th–6th centuries BC, , c. 5th–4th centuries BC , and the c. 3rd century BC – 6th century AD of ancient Greece and the ancient world; being predated in the 2nd millennium BC by Mycenaean Greek...

, many of which had fallen into obscurity. It is in their new focus on literary and historical texts that Renaissance scholars differed so markedly from the medieval scholars of the Renaissance of the 12th century
Renaissance of the 12th century
The Renaissance of the 12th century was a period of many changes at the outset of the High Middle Ages. It included social, political and economic transformations, and an intellectual revitalization of Western Europe with strong philosophical and scientific roots...

, who had focused on studying Greek and Arabic works of natural sciences, philosophy and mathematics, rather than on such cultural texts. Renaissance humanists did not reject Christianity; quite the contrary, many of the Renaissance's greatest works were devoted to it, and the Church patronized
Patronage
Patronage is the support, encouragement, privilege, or financial aid that an organization or individual bestows to another. In the history of art, arts patronage refers to the support that kings or popes have provided to musicians, painters, and sculptors...

 many works of Renaissance art. However, a subtle shift took place in the way that intellectuals approached religion that was reflected in many other areas of cultural life. In addition, many Greek Christian works, including the Greek New Testament, were brought back from Byzantium to Western Europe and engaged Western scholars for the first time since late antiquity. This new engagement with Greek Christian works, and particularly the return to the original Greek of the New Testament promoted by humanists Lorenzo Valla
Lorenzo Valla
Lorenzo Valla was an Italian humanist, rhetorician, and educator. His family was from Piacenza; his father, Luciave della Valla, was a lawyer....

 and Erasmus, would help pave the way for the Protestant Reformation
Protestant Reformation
The Protestant Reformation was a 16th-century split within Western Christianity initiated by Martin Luther, John Calvin and other early Protestants. The efforts of the self-described "reformers", who objected to the doctrines, rituals and ecclesiastical structure of the Roman Catholic Church, led...

.

Artists such as Masaccio
Masaccio
Masaccio , born Tommaso di Ser Giovanni di Simone, was the first great painter of the Quattrocento period of the Italian Renaissance. According to Vasari, Masaccio was the best painter of his generation because of his skill at recreating lifelike figures and movements as well as a convincing sense...

 strove to portray the human form realistically, developing techniques to render perspective and light more naturally. Political philosophers
Political philosophy
Political philosophy is the study of such topics as liberty, justice, property, rights, law, and the enforcement of a legal code by authority: what they are, why they are needed, what, if anything, makes a government legitimate, what rights and freedoms it should protect and why, what form it...

, most famously Niccolò Machiavelli
Niccolò Machiavelli
Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli was an Italian historian, philosopher, humanist, and writer based in Florence during the Renaissance. He is one of the main founders of modern political science. He was a diplomat, political philosopher, playwright, and a civil servant of the Florentine Republic...

, sought to describe political life as it really was, that is to understand it rationally. A critical contribution to Italian Renaissance humanism Pico della Mirandola wrote the famous text "De hominis dignitate" (Oration on the Dignity of Man
Oration on the Dignity of Man
The Oration on the Dignity of Man is a famous public discourse pronounced in 1486 by Pico della Mirandola, a philosopher of the Renaissance. It has been called the "Manifesto of the Renaissance"....

, 1486), which consists of a series of theses on philosophy, natural thought, faith and magic defended against any opponent on the grounds of reason. In addition to studying classical Latin and Greek, Renaissance authors also began increasingly to use vernacular
Vernacular
A vernacular is the native language or native dialect of a specific population, as opposed to a language of wider communication that is not native to the population, such as a national language or lingua franca.- Etymology :The term is not a recent one...

 languages; combined with the introduction of printing, this would allow many more people access to books, especially the Bible.

In all, the Renaissance could be viewed as an attempt by intellectuals to study and improve the secular and worldly, both through the revival of ideas from antiquity, and through novel approaches to thought. Some scholars, such as Rodney Stark
Rodney Stark
Rodney Stark is an American sociologist of religion. He grew up in Jamestown, North Dakota in a Lutheran family. He spent time in the U.S. Army and worked as a journalist before pursuing graduate studies at The University of California, Berkeley...

, play down the Renaissance in favor of the earlier innovations of the Italian city states in the High Middle Ages
High Middle Ages
The High Middle Ages was the period of European history around the 11th, 12th, and 13th centuries . The High Middle Ages were preceded by the Early Middle Ages and followed by the Late Middle Ages, which by convention end around 1500....

, which married responsive government, Christianity and the birth of capitalism. This analysis argues that, whereas the great European states (France and Spain) were absolutist monarchies, and others were under direct Church control, the independent city republics of Italy took over the principles of capitalism invented on monastic estates and set off a vast unprecedented commercial revolution which preceded and financed the Renaissance.

Origins



Most historians agree that the ideas that characterized the Renaissance had their origin in late 13th century Florence
Florence
Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and of the province of Florence. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with approximately 370,000 inhabitants, expanding to over 1.5 million in the metropolitan area....

, in particular with the writings of Dante Alighieri
Dante Alighieri
Durante degli Alighieri, mononymously referred to as Dante , was an Italian poet, prose writer, literary theorist, moral philosopher, and political thinker. He is best known for the monumental epic poem La commedia, later named La divina commedia ...

 (1265–1321) and Francesco Petrarca (1304–1374), as well as the painting of Giotto di Bondone
Giotto di Bondone
Giotto di Bondone , better known simply as Giotto, was an Italian painter and architect from Florence in the late Middle Ages...

 (1267–1337). Some writers date the Renaissance quite precisely; one proposed starting point is 1401, when the rival geniuses Lorenzo Ghiberti
Lorenzo Ghiberti
Lorenzo Ghiberti , born Lorenzo di Bartolo, was an Italian artist of the early Renaissance best known for works in sculpture and metalworking.-Early life:...

 and Filippo Brunelleschi
Filippo Brunelleschi
Filippo Brunelleschi was one of the foremost architects and engineers of the Italian Renaissance. He is perhaps most famous for inventing linear perspective and designing the dome of the Florence Cathedral, but his accomplishments also included bronze artwork, architecture , mathematics,...

 competed for the contract to build the bronze doors for the Baptistery of the Florence Cathedral (Ghiberti won). Others see more general competition between artists and polymaths such as Brunelleschi, Ghiberti, Donatello
Donatello
Donato di Niccolò di Betto Bardi , also known as Donatello, was an early Renaissance Italian artist and sculptor from Florence...

, and Masaccio
Masaccio
Masaccio , born Tommaso di Ser Giovanni di Simone, was the first great painter of the Quattrocento period of the Italian Renaissance. According to Vasari, Masaccio was the best painter of his generation because of his skill at recreating lifelike figures and movements as well as a convincing sense...

 for artistic commissions as sparking the creativity of the Renaissance. Yet it remains much debated why the Renaissance began in Italy, and why it began when it did. Accordingly, several theories have been put forward to explain its origins.

During the Renaissance, money and art went hand in hand. Artists depended totally on patrons while the patrons needed money to sustain geniuses. Wealth was brought to Italy in the 14th, 15th, and 16th centuries by expanding trade into Asia and Europe. Silver mining in Tyrol
County of Tyrol
The County of Tyrol, Princely County from 1504, was a State of the Holy Roman Empire, from 1814 a province of the Austrian Empire and from 1867 a Cisleithanian crown land of Austria-Hungary...

 increased the flow of money. Luxuries from the Eastern world, brought home during the Crusades
Crusades
The Crusades were a series of religious wars, blessed by the Pope and the Catholic Church with the main goal of restoring Christian access to the holy places in and near Jerusalem...

, increased the prosperity of Genoa and Venice.

Latin and Greek Phases of Renaissance humanism


In stark contrast to the High Middle Ages
High Middle Ages
The High Middle Ages was the period of European history around the 11th, 12th, and 13th centuries . The High Middle Ages were preceded by the Early Middle Ages and followed by the Late Middle Ages, which by convention end around 1500....

, when Latin scholars focused almost entirely on studying Greek and Arabic works of natural science, philosophy and mathematics, Renaissance scholars were most interested in recovering and studying Latin and Greek literary, historical, and oratorical texts. Broadly speaking, this began in the 14th century with a Latin phase, when Renaissance scholars such as Petrarch
Petrarch
Francesco Petrarca , known in English as Petrarch, was an Italian scholar, poet and one of the earliest humanists. Petrarch is often called the "Father of Humanism"...

, Coluccio Salutati
Coluccio Salutati
Coluccio Salutati was an Italian Humanist and man of letters, and one of the most important political and cultural leaders of Renaissance Florence.-Birth and Early Career:...

 (1331–1406), Niccolò de' Niccoli
Niccolò de' Niccoli
Niccolò de' Niccoli was an Italian Renaissance humanist.He was born and died in Florence, and was one of the chief figures in the company of learned men which gathered around the patronage of Cosimo de' Medici...

 (1364–1437) and Poggio Bracciolini (1380–1459 AD) scoured the libraries of Europe in search of works by such Latin authors as Cicero
Cicero
Marcus Tullius Cicero , was a Roman philosopher, statesman, lawyer, political theorist, and Roman constitutionalist. He came from a wealthy municipal family of the equestrian order, and is widely considered one of Rome's greatest orators and prose stylists.He introduced the Romans to the chief...

, Livy
Livy
Titus Livius — known as Livy in English — was a Roman historian who wrote a monumental history of Rome and the Roman people. Ab Urbe Condita Libri, "Chapters from the Foundation of the City," covering the period from the earliest legends of Rome well before the traditional foundation in 753 BC...

 and Seneca
Seneca the Younger
Lucius Annaeus Seneca was a Roman Stoic philosopher, statesman, dramatist, and in one work humorist, of the Silver Age of Latin literature. He was tutor and later advisor to emperor Nero...

. By the early 15th century, the bulk of such Latin literature had been recovered; the Greek phase of Renaissance humanism was now under way, as Western European scholars turned to recovering ancient Greek literary, historical, oratorical and theological texts.

Unlike the case of those Latin texts, which had been preserved and studied in Western Europe since late antiquity, the study of ancient Greek texts was very limited in medieval Western Europe. Ancient Greek works on science, maths and philosophy had been studied since the High Middle Ages
High Middle Ages
The High Middle Ages was the period of European history around the 11th, 12th, and 13th centuries . The High Middle Ages were preceded by the Early Middle Ages and followed by the Late Middle Ages, which by convention end around 1500....

 in Western Europe and in the medieval Islamic world (normally in translation), but Greek literary, oratorical and historical works, (such as Homer, the Greek dramatists, Demosthenes
Demosthenes
Demosthenes was a prominent Greek statesman and orator of ancient Athens. His orations constitute a significant expression of contemporary Athenian intellectual prowess and provide an insight into the politics and culture of ancient Greece during the 4th century BC. Demosthenes learned rhetoric by...

 and Thucydides
Thucydides
Thucydides was a Greek historian and author from Alimos. His History of the Peloponnesian War recounts the 5th century BC war between Sparta and Athens to the year 411 BC...

 and so forth), were not studied in either the Latin or medieval Islamic worlds; in the Middle Ages these sorts of texts were only studied by Byzantine scholars. One of the greatest achievements of Renaissance scholars was to bring this entire class of Greek cultural works back into Western Europe for the first time since late antiquity. This movement to reintegrate the regular study of Greek literary, historical, oratorical and theological texts back into the Western European curriculum is usually dated to Coluccio Salutati
Coluccio Salutati
Coluccio Salutati was an Italian Humanist and man of letters, and one of the most important political and cultural leaders of Renaissance Florence.-Birth and Early Career:...

's invitation to the Byzantine diplomat and scholar Manuel Chrysoloras
Manuel Chrysoloras
Manuel Chrysoloras was a pioneer in the introduction of Greek literature to Western Europe during the late middle ages....

 (c.1355–1415) to Florence to teach Greek.

Social and political structures in Italy



The unique political structures of late Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

 Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 have led some to theorize that its unusual social climate allowed the emergence of a rare cultural efflorescence. Italy did not exist as a political entity
Nation-state
The nation state is a state that self-identifies as deriving its political legitimacy from serving as a sovereign entity for a nation as a sovereign territorial unit. The state is a political and geopolitical entity; the nation is a cultural and/or ethnic entity...

 in the early modern period. Instead, it was divided into smaller city states
Italian city-states
The Italian city-states were a political phenomenon of small independent states mostly in the central and northern Italian peninsula between the 10th and 15th centuries....

 and territories: the Kingdom of Naples
Kingdom of Naples
The Kingdom of Naples, comprising the southern part of the Italian peninsula, was the remainder of the old Kingdom of Sicily after secession of the island of Sicily as a result of the Sicilian Vespers rebellion of 1282. Known to contemporaries as the Kingdom of Sicily, it is dubbed Kingdom of...

 controlled the south, the Republic of Florence
Republic of Florence
The Republic of Florence , or the Florentine Republic, was a city-state that was centered on the city of Florence, located in modern Tuscany, Italy. The republic was founded in 1115, when the Florentine people rebelled against the Margraviate of Tuscany upon Margravine Matilda's death. The...

 and the Papal States
Papal States
The Papal State, State of the Church, or Pontifical States were among the major historical states of Italy from roughly the 6th century until the Italian peninsula was unified in 1861 by the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia .The Papal States comprised territories under...

 at the center, the Milan
Milan
Milan is the second-largest city in Italy and the capital city of the region of Lombardy and of the province of Milan. The city proper has a population of about 1.3 million, while its urban area, roughly coinciding with its administrative province and the bordering Province of Monza and Brianza ,...

ese and the Genoese
Genoa
Genoa |Ligurian]] Zena ; Latin and, archaically, English Genua) is a city and an important seaport in northern Italy, the capital of the Province of Genoa and of the region of Liguria....

 to the north and west respectively, and the Venetians
Venice
Venice is a city in northern Italy which is renowned for the beauty of its setting, its architecture and its artworks. It is the capital of the Veneto region...

 to the east. Fifteenth-century Italy was one of the most urbanised
Urbanization
Urbanization, urbanisation or urban drift is the physical growth of urban areas as a result of global change. The United Nations projected that half of the world's population would live in urban areas at the end of 2008....

 areas in Europe. Many of its cities stood among the ruins of ancient Roman buildings; it seems likely that the classical nature of the Renaissance was linked to its origin in the Roman Empire's heartland.

Historian and political philosopher Quentin Skinner
Quentin Skinner
Quentin Robert Duthie Skinner is the Barber Beaumont Professor of the Humanities at Queen Mary, University of London.-Biography:...

 points out that Otto of Freising
Otto of Freising
Otto von Freising was a German bishop and chronicler.-Life:He was the fifth son of Leopold III, margrave of Austria, by his wife Agnes, daughter of the emperor Henry IV...

 (c. 1114–1158), a German bishop visiting north Italy during the 12th century, noticed a widespread new form of political and social organization, observing that Italy appeared to have exited from Feudalism so that its society was based on merchants and commerce. Linked to this was anti-monarchical thinking, represented in the famous early Renaissance fresco cycle Allegory of Good and Bad Government in Siena by Ambrogio Lorenzetti
Ambrogio Lorenzetti
Ambrogio Lorenzetti was an Italian painter of the Sienese school. He was active between approximately 1317 to 1348. His elder brother was the painter Pietro Lorenzetti....

 (painted 1338–1340) whose strong message is about the virtues of fairness, justice, republicanism and good administration. Holding both Church and Empire at bay, these city republics were devoted to notions of liberty. Skinner reports that there were many defences of liberty such as Matteo Palmieri
Matteo Palmieri
Matteo di Marco Palmieri was a Florentine humanist and historian who is best known for his work Della vita civile which advocated civic humanism, and his influence in refining the Tuscan vernacular to the same level as Latin. He was sent as Florentine ambassador to the court of Alfonso of Naples...

's (1406–1475) celebration of Florentine genius not only in art, sculpture and architecture, but "the remarkable efflorescence of moral, social and political philosophy that occurred in Florence at the same time".

Even cities and states beyond central Italy, such as the Republic of Florence
Republic of Florence
The Republic of Florence , or the Florentine Republic, was a city-state that was centered on the city of Florence, located in modern Tuscany, Italy. The republic was founded in 1115, when the Florentine people rebelled against the Margraviate of Tuscany upon Margravine Matilda's death. The...

 at this time, were also notable for their merchant Republics, especially the Republic of Venice
Republic of Venice
The Republic of Venice or Venetian Republic was a state originating from the city of Venice in Northeastern Italy. It existed for over a millennium, from the late 7th century until 1797. It was formally known as the Most Serene Republic of Venice and is often referred to as La Serenissima, in...

. Although in practice these were oligarchical
Oligarchy
Oligarchy is a form of power structure in which power effectively rests with an elite class distinguished by royalty, wealth, family ties, commercial, and/or military legitimacy...

, and bore little resemblance to a modern democracy
Democracy
Democracy is generally defined as a form of government in which all adult citizens have an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives. Ideally, this includes equal participation in the proposal, development and passage of legislation into law...

, they did have democratic features and were responsive states, with forms of participation in governance and belief in liberty. The relative political freedom they afforded was conducive to academic and artistic advancement. Likewise, the position of Italian cities such as Venice as great trading centres made them intellectual crossroads. Merchants brought with them ideas from far corners of the globe, particularly the Levant. Venice was Europe's gateway to trade with the East, and a producer of fine glass
Venetian glass
Venetian glass is a type of glass object made in Venice, Italy, primarily on the island of Murano. It is world-renowned for being colourful, elaborate, and skillfully made....

, while Florence was a capital of textiles. The wealth such business brought to Italy meant large public and private artistic projects could be commissioned and individuals had more leisure time for study.

Black Death/Plague


One theory that has been advanced is that the devastation caused by the Black Death
Black Death
The Black Death was one of the most devastating pandemics in human history, peaking in Europe between 1348 and 1350. Of several competing theories, the dominant explanation for the Black Death is the plague theory, which attributes the outbreak to the bacterium Yersinia pestis. Thought to have...

 in Florence
Florence
Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and of the province of Florence. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with approximately 370,000 inhabitants, expanding to over 1.5 million in the metropolitan area....

, which hit Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

 between 1348 and 1350, resulted in a shift in the world view of people in 14th-century Italy. Italy was particularly badly hit by the plague, and it has been speculated that the resulting familiarity with death caused thinkers to dwell more on their lives on Earth, rather than on spirituality
Spirituality
Spirituality can refer to an ultimate or an alleged immaterial reality; an inner path enabling a person to discover the essence of his/her being; or the “deepest values and meanings by which people live.” Spiritual practices, including meditation, prayer and contemplation, are intended to develop...

 and the afterlife
Afterlife
The afterlife is the belief that a part of, or essence of, or soul of an individual, which carries with it and confers personal identity, survives the death of the body of this world and this lifetime, by natural or supernatural means, in contrast to the belief in eternal...

. It has also been argued that the Black Death prompted a new wave of piety, manifested in the sponsorship of religious works of art. However, this does not fully explain why the Renaissance occurred specifically in Italy in the 14th century. The Black Death was a pandemic that affected all of Europe in the ways described, not only Italy. The Renaissance's emergence in Italy was most likely the result of the complex interaction of the above factors.

The plague was carried by fleas on sailing vessels returning from the ports of Asia, spreading quickly due to lack of proper sanitation: the population of England, then about 4.2 million, lost 1.4 million people to the bubonic plague. Florence's population was nearly halved in the year 1347. As a result of the decimation in the populace the value of the working class increased, and commoners came to enjoy more freedom. To answer the increased need for labor, workers traveled in search of the most favorable position economically.

The demographic decline due to the plague had some economic consequences: the prices of food dropped and land values declined by 30 to 40 percent in most parts of Europe between 1350 and 1400. Landholders faced a great loss but for ordinary men and women, it was a windfall. The survivors of the plague found not only that the prices of food were cheaper but also found that lands were more abundant, and that most of them inherited property from their dead relatives.

The spread of disease was significantly more rampant in areas of poverty. Epidemics ravaged cities, particularly children. Plagues were easily spread by lice,unsanitary drinking water,armies, or by poor sanitation. Children were hit the hardest because many diseases such as typhus and syphilis target the immune system and left young children without a fighting chance. Children in city dwellings were more affected by the spread of disease than the children of the wealthy.

The Black Death caused greater upheaval to Florence's social and political structure than later epidemics. Despite a significant number of deaths among members of the ruling classes, the government of Florence continued to function during this period. Formal meetings of elected representatives were suspended during the height of the epidemic due to the chaotic conditions in the city, but a small group of officials was appointed to conduct the affairs of the city, which ensured continuity of government.

Cultural conditions in Florence



It has long been a matter of debate why the Renaissance began in Florence
Florence
Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and of the province of Florence. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with approximately 370,000 inhabitants, expanding to over 1.5 million in the metropolitan area....

, and not elsewhere in Italy. Scholars have noted several features unique to Florentine cultural life which may have caused such a cultural movement. Many have emphasized the role played by the Medici
Medici
The House of Medici or Famiglia de' Medici was a political dynasty, banking family and later royal house that first began to gather prominence under Cosimo de' Medici in the Republic of Florence during the late 14th century. The family originated in the Mugello region of the Tuscan countryside,...

, a banking family and later ducal ruling house
Royal House
A royal house or royal dynasty consists of at least one, but usually more monarchs who are related to one another, as well as their non-reigning descendants and spouses. Monarchs of the same realm who are not related to one another are usually deemed to belong to different houses, and each house is...

, in patronizing and stimulating the arts. Lorenzo de' Medici
Lorenzo de' Medici
Lorenzo de' Medici was an Italian statesman and de facto ruler of the Florentine Republic during the Italian Renaissance. Known as Lorenzo the Magnificent by contemporary Florentines, he was a diplomat, politician and patron of scholars, artists and poets...

 (1449–1492) was the catalyst for an enormous amount of arts patronage, encouraging his countryman to commission works from Florence's leading artists, including Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci was an Italian Renaissance polymath: painter, sculptor, architect, musician, scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist and writer whose genius, perhaps more than that of any other figure, epitomized the Renaissance...

, Sandro Botticelli
Sandro Botticelli
Alessandro di Mariano di Vanni Filipepi, better known as Sandro Botticelli was an Italian painter of the Early Renaissance...

, and Michelangelo Buonarroti.

The Renaissance was certainly underway before Lorenzo came to power; indeed, before the Medici family itself achieved hegemony in Florentine society. Some historians have postulated that Florence was the birthplace of the Renaissance as a result of luck, i.e. because "Great Men
Great man theory
The Great Man Theory was a popular 19th century idea according to which history can be largely explained by the impact of "great men", or heroes: highly influential individuals who, due to either their personal charisma, intelligence, wisdom, or Machiavellianism utilized their power in a way that...

" were born there by chance. Da Vinci, Botticelli and Michelangelo were all born in Tuscany
Tuscany
Tuscany is a region in Italy. It has an area of about 23,000 square kilometres and a population of about 3.75 million inhabitants. The regional capital is Florence ....

. Arguing that such chance seems improbable, other historians have contended that these "Great Men" were only able to rise to prominence because of the prevailing cultural conditions at the time.

Humanism


In some ways Humanism
Renaissance humanism
Renaissance humanism was an activity of cultural and educational reform engaged by scholars, writers, and civic leaders who are today known as Renaissance humanists. It developed during the fourteenth and the beginning of the fifteenth centuries, and was a response to the challenge of Mediæval...

 was not a philosophy per se, but rather a method of learning. In contrast to the medieval scholastic
Scholasticism
Scholasticism is a method of critical thought which dominated teaching by the academics of medieval universities in Europe from about 1100–1500, and a program of employing that method in articulating and defending orthodoxy in an increasingly pluralistic context...

 mode, which focused on resolving contradictions between authors, humanists would study ancient texts in the original, and appraise them through a combination of reasoning and empirical evidence. Humanist education was based on the programme of 'Studia Humanitatis', that being the study of five humanities: poetry
Poetry
Poetry is a form of literary art in which language is used for its aesthetic and evocative qualities in addition to, or in lieu of, its apparent meaning...

, grammar
Grammar
In linguistics, grammar is the set of structural rules that govern the composition of clauses, phrases, and words in any given natural language. The term refers also to the study of such rules, and this field includes morphology, syntax, and phonology, often complemented by phonetics, semantics,...

, history
History
History is the discovery, collection, organization, and presentation of information about past events. History can also mean the period of time after writing was invented. Scholars who write about history are called historians...

, moral philosophy and rhetoric
Rhetoric
Rhetoric is the art of discourse, an art that aims to improve the facility of speakers or writers who attempt to inform, persuade, or motivate particular audiences in specific situations. As a subject of formal study and a productive civic practice, rhetoric has played a central role in the Western...

. Although historians have sometimes struggled to define humanism precisely, most have settled on "a middle of the road definition... the movement to recover, interpret, and assimilate the language, literature, learning and values of ancient Greece and Rome". Above all, humanists asserted "the genius of man ... the unique and extraordinary ability of the human mind."

Humanist scholars shaped the intellectual landscape throughout the early modern period. Political philosophers such as Niccolò Machiavelli
Niccolò Machiavelli
Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli was an Italian historian, philosopher, humanist, and writer based in Florence during the Renaissance. He is one of the main founders of modern political science. He was a diplomat, political philosopher, playwright, and a civil servant of the Florentine Republic...

 and Thomas More
Thomas More
Sir Thomas More , also known by Catholics as Saint Thomas More, was an English lawyer, social philosopher, author, statesman and noted Renaissance humanist. He was an important councillor to Henry VIII of England and, for three years toward the end of his life, Lord Chancellor...

 revived the ideas of Greek and Roman thinkers, and applied them in critiques of contemporary government. Pico della Mirandola wrote what is often considered the manifesto of the Renaissance, a vibrant defence of thinking, the Oration on the Dignity of Man
Oration on the Dignity of Man
The Oration on the Dignity of Man is a famous public discourse pronounced in 1486 by Pico della Mirandola, a philosopher of the Renaissance. It has been called the "Manifesto of the Renaissance"....

. Matteo Palmieri
Matteo Palmieri
Matteo di Marco Palmieri was a Florentine humanist and historian who is best known for his work Della vita civile which advocated civic humanism, and his influence in refining the Tuscan vernacular to the same level as Latin. He was sent as Florentine ambassador to the court of Alfonso of Naples...

 (1406–1475), another humanist, is most known for his work Della vita civile ("On Civic Life"; printed 1528) which advocated civic humanism, and his influence in refining the Tuscan vernacular to the same level as Latin. Palmieri's written works drawn on Roman philosophers and theorists, especially Cicero
Cicero
Marcus Tullius Cicero , was a Roman philosopher, statesman, lawyer, political theorist, and Roman constitutionalist. He came from a wealthy municipal family of the equestrian order, and is widely considered one of Rome's greatest orators and prose stylists.He introduced the Romans to the chief...

, who, like Palmieri, lived an active public life as a citizen and official, as well as a theorist and philosopher and also Quintilian
Quintilian
Marcus Fabius Quintilianus was a Roman rhetorician from Hispania, widely referred to in medieval schools of rhetoric and in Renaissance writing...

. Perhaps the most succinct expression of his perspective on humanism is in a 1465 poetic work La città di vita, but an earlier work Della vita civile (On Civic Life) is more wide-ranging. Composed as a series of dialogues set in a country house in the Mugello countryside outside Florence during the plague of 1430, Palmieri expounds on the qualities of the ideal citizen. The dialogues include ideas about how children develop mentally and physically, how citizens can conduct themselves morally, how citizens and states can ensure probity in public life, and an important debate on the difference between that which is pragmatically useful and that which is honest.

The humanists believed that it is important to transcend to the afterlife with a perfect mind and body. This transcending belief can be done with education. The purpose of humanism was to create a universal man whose person combined intellectual and physical excellence and who was capable of functioning honorably in virtually any situation. This ideology was referred to as il uomo universal, an ancient Greco-Roman ideal. The education during Renaissance was mainly composed of ancient literature and history. It was thought that the classics provided moral instruction and an intensive understanding of human behavior.

Art



The Renaissance marks the period of European history at the close of the Middle Ages and the rise of the Modern world.
It represents a cultural rebirth from the 14th through the middle of the 17th centuries.
Early Renaissance, mostly in Italy, bridges the art period during the fifteenth century, between the Middle Ages and the High Renaissance in Italy.
It is generally known that Renaissance matured in Northern Europe later, in 16th century.
One of the distinguishing features of Renaissance art was its development of highly realistic linear perspective. Giotto di Bondone
Giotto di Bondone
Giotto di Bondone , better known simply as Giotto, was an Italian painter and architect from Florence in the late Middle Ages...

 (1267–1337) is credited with first treating a painting as a window into space, but it was not until the demonstrations of architect Filippo Brunelleschi
Filippo Brunelleschi
Filippo Brunelleschi was one of the foremost architects and engineers of the Italian Renaissance. He is perhaps most famous for inventing linear perspective and designing the dome of the Florence Cathedral, but his accomplishments also included bronze artwork, architecture , mathematics,...

 (1377–1446) and the subsequent writings of Leon Battista Alberti (1404–1472) that perspective was formalized as an artistic technique. The development of perspective was part of a wider trend towards realism in the arts. To that end, painters also developed other techniques, studying light, shadow, and, famously in the case of Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci was an Italian Renaissance polymath: painter, sculptor, architect, musician, scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist and writer whose genius, perhaps more than that of any other figure, epitomized the Renaissance...

, human anatomy
Human anatomy
Human anatomy is primarily the scientific study of the morphology of the human body. Anatomy is subdivided into gross anatomy and microscopic anatomy. Gross anatomy is the study of anatomical structures that can be seen by the naked eye...

. Underlying these changes in artistic method, was a renewed desire to depict the beauty of nature, and to unravel the axioms of aesthetics
Aesthetics
Aesthetics is a branch of philosophy dealing with the nature of beauty, art, and taste, and with the creation and appreciation of beauty. It is more scientifically defined as the study of sensory or sensori-emotional values, sometimes called judgments of sentiment and taste...

, with the works of Leonardo, Michelangelo
Michelangelo
Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni , commonly known as Michelangelo, was an Italian Renaissance painter, sculptor, architect, poet, and engineer who exerted an unparalleled influence on the development of Western art...

 and Raphael
Raphael
Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino , better known simply as Raphael, was an Italian painter and architect of the High Renaissance. His work is admired for its clarity of form and ease of composition and for its visual achievement of the Neoplatonic ideal of human grandeur...

 representing artistic pinnacles that were to be much imitated by other artists. Other notable artists include Sandro Botticelli
Sandro Botticelli
Alessandro di Mariano di Vanni Filipepi, better known as Sandro Botticelli was an Italian painter of the Early Renaissance...

, working for the Medici in Florence, Donatello
Donatello
Donato di Niccolò di Betto Bardi , also known as Donatello, was an early Renaissance Italian artist and sculptor from Florence...

 another Florentine and Titian
Titian
Tiziano Vecelli or Tiziano Vecellio Tiziano Vecelli or Tiziano Vecellio Tiziano Vecelli or Tiziano Vecellio (c. 1488/1490 – 27 August 1576 better known as Titian was an Italian painter, the most important member of the 16th-century Venetian school. He was born in Pieve di Cadore, near...

 in Venice, among others.

Concurrently, in the Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

, a particularly vibrant artistic culture developed, the work of Hugo van der Goes
Hugo van der Goes
Hugo van der Goes was a Flemish painter. He was, along with Jan van Eyck, Rogier van der Weyden, Hans Memling and Gerard David, one of the most important of the Early Netherlandish painters.-Biography:...

 and Jan van Eyck
Jan van Eyck
Jan van Eyck was a Flemish painter active in Bruges and considered one of the best Northern European painters of the 15th century....

 having particular influence on the development of painting in Italy, both technically with the introduction of oil paint
Oil paint
Oil paint is a type of slow-drying paint that consists of particles of pigment suspended in a drying oil, commonly linseed oil. The viscosity of the paint may be modified by the addition of a solvent such as turpentine or white spirit, and varnish may be added to increase the glossiness of the...

 and canvas, and stylistically in terms of naturalism in representation. (For more, see Renaissance in the Netherlands
Renaissance in the Netherlands
The Renaissance in the Low Countries is the cultural period that roughly corresponds to the 16th century in the Low Countries. In 1500 the Seventeen Provinces were in a personal union under the Burgundian Dukes, and with the Flemish cities as centers of gravity, culturally and economically formed...

). Later, the work of Pieter Brueghel the Elder
Pieter Brueghel the Elder
Pieter Bruegel the Elder was a Flemish renaissance painter and printmaker known for his landscapes and peasant scenes . He is sometimes referred to as the "Peasant Bruegel" to distinguish him from other members of the Brueghel dynasty, but he is also the one generally meant when the context does...

 would inspire artists to depict themes of everyday life.
In architecture, Filippo Brunelleschi
Filippo Brunelleschi
Filippo Brunelleschi was one of the foremost architects and engineers of the Italian Renaissance. He is perhaps most famous for inventing linear perspective and designing the dome of the Florence Cathedral, but his accomplishments also included bronze artwork, architecture , mathematics,...

 was foremost in studying the remains of ancient classical buildings, and with rediscovered knowledge from the 1st-century writer Vitruvius
Vitruvius
Marcus Vitruvius Pollio was a Roman writer, architect and engineer, active in the 1st century BC. He is best known as the author of the multi-volume work De Architectura ....

 and the flourishing discipline of mathematics
Mathematics
Mathematics is the study of quantity, space, structure, and change. Mathematicians seek out patterns and formulate new conjectures. Mathematicians resolve the truth or falsity of conjectures by mathematical proofs, which are arguments sufficient to convince other mathematicians of their validity...

, formulated the Renaissance style which emulated and improved on classical forms. Brunelleschi's major feat of engineering was the building of the dome of Florence Cathedral. The first building to demonstrate this is claimed to be the church of St. Andrew built by Alberti in Mantua
Mantua
Mantua is a city and comune in Lombardy, Italy and capital of the province of the same name. Mantua's historic power and influence under the Gonzaga family, made it one of the main artistic, cultural and notably musical hubs of Northern Italy and the country as a whole...

. The outstanding architectural work of the High Renaissance was the rebuilding of St. Peter's Basilica
St. Peter's Basilica
The Papal Basilica of Saint Peter , officially known in Italian as ' and commonly known as Saint Peter's Basilica, is a Late Renaissance church located within the Vatican City. Saint Peter's Basilica has the largest interior of any Christian church in the world...

, combining the skills of Bramante, Michelangelo
Michelangelo
Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni , commonly known as Michelangelo, was an Italian Renaissance painter, sculptor, architect, poet, and engineer who exerted an unparalleled influence on the development of Western art...

, Raphael
Raphael
Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino , better known simply as Raphael, was an Italian painter and architect of the High Renaissance. His work is admired for its clarity of form and ease of composition and for its visual achievement of the Neoplatonic ideal of human grandeur...

, Sangallo
Antonio da Sangallo the Younger
thumb|250px|The church of Santa Maria di Loreto near the [[Trajan's Market]] in [[Rome]], considered Sangallo's masterwork.thumb|250px|View of St. Patrick's Well in [[Orvieto]]....

 and Maderno
Carlo Maderno
Carlo Maderno was a Swiss-Italian architect, born in Ticino, who is remembered as one of the fathers of Baroque architecture. His façades of Santa Susanna, St. Peter's Basilica and Sant'Andrea della Valle were of key importance in the evolution of the Italian Baroque...

.
The Roman orders types of columns are used: Tuscan, Doric, Ionic, Corinthian and Composite. These can either be structural, supporting an arcade or architrave, or purely decorative, set against a wall in the form of pilasters. During the Renaissance, architects aimed to use columns, pilasters, and entablatures as an integrated system. One of the first buildings to use pilasters as an integrated system was in the Old Sacristy (1421–1440) by Filippo Brunelleschi.

Arches, semi-circular or (in the Mannerist
Mannerism
Mannerism is a period of European art that emerged from the later years of the Italian High Renaissance around 1520. It lasted until about 1580 in Italy, when a more Baroque style began to replace it, but Northern Mannerism continued into the early 17th century throughout much of Europe...

 style) segmental, are often used in arcades, supported on piers or columns with capitals. There may be a section of entablature between the capital and the springing of the arch. Alberti was one of the first to use the arch on a monumental. Renaissance vaults do not have ribs. They are semi-circular or segmental and on a square plan, unlike the Gothic vault which is frequently rectangular.

The Renaissance artists were not pagans although they admired antiquity and they also kept some ideas and symbols of the medieval past. Nicola Pisano (c. 1220-c. 1278) imitated classical forms by portraying scenes from the Bible. The Anunciation by Nicola Pisano, from the Baptistry at Pisa, demonstrates that classical models influenced Italian art before the Renaissance took root as a literary movement

Science




The rediscovery of ancient texts and the invention of printing
Printing
Printing is a process for reproducing text and image, typically with ink on paper using a printing press. It is often carried out as a large-scale industrial process, and is an essential part of publishing and transaction printing....

 democratized learning and allowed a faster propagation of ideas. But the first period of Italian Renaissance
Italian Renaissance
The Italian Renaissance began the opening phase of the Renaissance, a period of great cultural change and achievement in Europe that spanned the period from the end of the 13th century to about 1600, marking the transition between Medieval and Early Modern Europe...

 is often seen as one of scientific backwardness: humanists favoured the study of humanities
Humanities
The humanities are academic disciplines that study the human condition, using methods that are primarily analytical, critical, or speculative, as distinguished from the mainly empirical approaches of the natural sciences....

 over natural philosophy
Natural philosophy
Natural philosophy or the philosophy of nature , is a term applied to the study of nature and the physical universe that was dominant before the development of modern science...

 or applied mathematics
Applied mathematics
Applied mathematics is a branch of mathematics that concerns itself with mathematical methods that are typically used in science, engineering, business, and industry. Thus, "applied mathematics" is a mathematical science with specialized knowledge...

. And their reverence for classical sources further enshrined the Aristotelian
Aristotle
Aristotle was a Greek philosopher and polymath, a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great. His writings cover many subjects, including physics, metaphysics, poetry, theater, music, logic, rhetoric, linguistics, politics, government, ethics, biology, and zoology...

 and Ptolemaic
Ptolemy
Claudius Ptolemy , was a Roman citizen of Egypt who wrote in Greek. He was a mathematician, astronomer, geographer, astrologer, and poet of a single epigram in the Greek Anthology. He lived in Egypt under Roman rule, and is believed to have been born in the town of Ptolemais Hermiou in the...

 views of the universe.

Even though, around 1450, the writings of Nicholas Cusanus
Nicholas of Cusa
Nicholas of Kues , also referred to as Nicolaus Cusanus and Nicholas of Cusa, was a cardinal of the Catholic Church from Germany , a philosopher, theologian, jurist, mathematician, and an astronomer. He is widely considered one of the great geniuses and polymaths of the 15th century...

 were anticipating Copernicus
Nicolaus Copernicus
Nicolaus Copernicus was a Renaissance astronomer and the first person to formulate a comprehensive heliocentric cosmology which displaced the Earth from the center of the universe....

heliocentric
Heliocentrism
Heliocentrism, or heliocentricism, is the astronomical model in which the Earth and planets revolve around a stationary Sun at the center of the universe. The word comes from the Greek . Historically, heliocentrism was opposed to geocentrism, which placed the Earth at the center...

 world-view, it was made in a non-scientific fashion. Science and art were very much intermingled in the early Renaissance, with polymath
Polymath
A polymath is a person whose expertise spans a significant number of different subject areas. In less formal terms, a polymath may simply be someone who is very knowledgeable...

 artists such as Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci was an Italian Renaissance polymath: painter, sculptor, architect, musician, scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist and writer whose genius, perhaps more than that of any other figure, epitomized the Renaissance...

 making observational drawings of anatomy and nature. He set up controlled experiments in water flow, medical dissection, and systematic study of movement and aerodynamics; he devised principles of research method that led to Fritjof Capra classifying him as "father of modern science".

In 1492 the discovery
Age of Discovery
The Age of Discovery, also known as the Age of Exploration and the Great Navigations , was a period in history starting in the early 15th century and continuing into the early 17th century during which Europeans engaged in intensive exploration of the world, establishing direct contacts with...

 of the "New World
New World
The New World is one of the names used for the Western Hemisphere, specifically America and sometimes Oceania . The term originated in the late 15th century, when America had been recently discovered by European explorers, expanding the geographical horizon of the people of the European middle...

" by Christopher Columbus
Christopher Columbus
Christopher Columbus was an explorer, colonizer, and navigator, born in the Republic of Genoa, in northwestern Italy. Under the auspices of the Catholic Monarchs of Spain, he completed four voyages across the Atlantic Ocean that led to general European awareness of the American continents in the...

 challenged the classical world-view, as the works of Ptolemy
Ptolemy
Claudius Ptolemy , was a Roman citizen of Egypt who wrote in Greek. He was a mathematician, astronomer, geographer, astrologer, and poet of a single epigram in the Greek Anthology. He lived in Egypt under Roman rule, and is believed to have been born in the town of Ptolemais Hermiou in the...

 (geography) and Galen
Galen
Aelius Galenus or Claudius Galenus , better known as Galen of Pergamon , was a prominent Roman physician, surgeon and philosopher...

 (medicine) were found not always to match everyday observations: a suitable environment was created to question scientific doctrine. As the Protestant Reformation
Protestant Reformation
The Protestant Reformation was a 16th-century split within Western Christianity initiated by Martin Luther, John Calvin and other early Protestants. The efforts of the self-described "reformers", who objected to the doctrines, rituals and ecclesiastical structure of the Roman Catholic Church, led...

 and Counter-Reformation
Counter-Reformation
The Counter-Reformation was the period of Catholic revival beginning with the Council of Trent and ending at the close of the Thirty Years' War, 1648 as a response to the Protestant Reformation.The Counter-Reformation was a comprehensive effort, composed of four major elements:#Ecclesiastical or...

 clashed, the Northern Renaissance
Northern Renaissance
The Northern Renaissance is the term used to describe the Renaissance in northern Europe, or more broadly in Europe outside Italy. Before 1450 Italian Renaissance humanism had little influence outside Italy. From the late 15th century the ideas spread around Europe...

 showed a decisive shift in focus from Aristotelean natural philosophy to chemistry and the biological sciences (botany, anatomy, and medicine). The willingness to question previously held truths and search for new answers resulted in a period of major scientific advancements.

Some have seen this as a "scientific revolution
Scientific revolution
The Scientific Revolution is an era associated primarily with the 16th and 17th centuries during which new ideas and knowledge in physics, astronomy, biology, medicine and chemistry transformed medieval and ancient views of nature and laid the foundations for modern science...

", heralding the beginning of the modern age. Others as an acceleration of a continuous process stretching from the ancient world to the present day. Regardless, there is general agreement that the Renaissance saw significant changes in the way the universe was viewed and the methods sought to explain natural phenomena. Traditionally held to have begun in 1543, when were first printed the books De humani corporis fabrica
De humani corporis fabrica
De humani corporis fabrica libri septem is a textbook of human anatomy written by Andreas Vesalius in 1543....

 (On the Workings of the Human Body) by Andreas Vesalius, which gave a new confidence to the role of dissection
Dissection
Dissection is usually the process of disassembling and observing something to determine its internal structure and as an aid to discerning the functions and relationships of its components....

, observation, and mechanistic view of anatomy., and also De Revolutionibus
De revolutionibus orbium coelestium
De revolutionibus orbium coelestium is the seminal work on the heliocentric theory of the Renaissance astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus...

, by the Nicolaus Copernicus
Nicolaus Copernicus
Nicolaus Copernicus was a Renaissance astronomer and the first person to formulate a comprehensive heliocentric cosmology which displaced the Earth from the center of the universe....

. The revolutionary thesis of Copernicus' book was that the Earth moved around the Sun. Significant scientific advances were made during this time by Galileo Galilei
Galileo Galilei
Galileo Galilei , was an Italian physicist, mathematician, astronomer, and philosopher who played a major role in the Scientific Revolution. His achievements include improvements to the telescope and consequent astronomical observations and support for Copernicanism...

, Tycho Brahe
Tycho Brahe
Tycho Brahe , born Tyge Ottesen Brahe, was a Danish nobleman known for his accurate and comprehensive astronomical and planetary observations...

 and Johannes Kepler
Johannes Kepler
Johannes Kepler was a German mathematician, astronomer and astrologer. A key figure in the 17th century scientific revolution, he is best known for his eponymous laws of planetary motion, codified by later astronomers, based on his works Astronomia nova, Harmonices Mundi, and Epitome of Copernican...

.

Perhaps the most significant development of the era was not a specific discovery, but rather a process for discovery, the scientific method
Scientific method
Scientific method refers to a body of techniques for investigating phenomena, acquiring new knowledge, or correcting and integrating previous knowledge. To be termed scientific, a method of inquiry must be based on gathering empirical and measurable evidence subject to specific principles of...

. This revolutionary new way of learning about the world focused on empirical evidence
Empiricism
Empiricism is a theory of knowledge that asserts that knowledge comes only or primarily via sensory experience. One of several views of epistemology, the study of human knowledge, along with rationalism, idealism and historicism, empiricism emphasizes the role of experience and evidence,...

, the importance of mathematics
Mathematics
Mathematics is the study of quantity, space, structure, and change. Mathematicians seek out patterns and formulate new conjectures. Mathematicians resolve the truth or falsity of conjectures by mathematical proofs, which are arguments sufficient to convince other mathematicians of their validity...

, and discarded the Aristotelian "final cause" in favor of a mechanical philosophy. Early and influential proponents of these ideas included Copernicus
Nicolaus Copernicus
Nicolaus Copernicus was a Renaissance astronomer and the first person to formulate a comprehensive heliocentric cosmology which displaced the Earth from the center of the universe....

 and Galileo
Galileo Galilei
Galileo Galilei , was an Italian physicist, mathematician, astronomer, and philosopher who played a major role in the Scientific Revolution. His achievements include improvements to the telescope and consequent astronomical observations and support for Copernicanism...

 and Francis Bacon
Francis Bacon
Francis Bacon, 1st Viscount St Albans, KC was an English philosopher, statesman, scientist, lawyer, jurist, author and pioneer of the scientific method. He served both as Attorney General and Lord Chancellor of England...


The new scientific method led to great contributions in the fields of astronomy
Astronomy
Astronomy is a natural science that deals with the study of celestial objects and phenomena that originate outside the atmosphere of Earth...

, physics
Physics
Physics is a natural science that involves the study of matter and its motion through spacetime, along with related concepts such as energy and force. More broadly, it is the general analysis of nature, conducted in order to understand how the universe behaves.Physics is one of the oldest academic...

, biology
Biology
Biology is a natural science concerned with the study of life and living organisms, including their structure, function, growth, origin, evolution, distribution, and taxonomy. Biology is a vast subject containing many subdivisions, topics, and disciplines...

, and anatomy
Anatomy
Anatomy is a branch of biology and medicine that is the consideration of the structure of living things. It is a general term that includes human anatomy, animal anatomy , and plant anatomy...

.

Religion





The new ideals of humanism, although more secular in some aspects, developed against a Christian
Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

 backdrop, especially in the Northern Renaissance
Northern Renaissance
The Northern Renaissance is the term used to describe the Renaissance in northern Europe, or more broadly in Europe outside Italy. Before 1450 Italian Renaissance humanism had little influence outside Italy. From the late 15th century the ideas spread around Europe...

. Indeed, much (if not most) of the new art was commissioned by or in dedication to the Church
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

. However, the Renaissance had a profound effect on contemporary theology
Theology
Theology is the systematic and rational study of religion and its influences and of the nature of religious truths, or the learned profession acquired by completing specialized training in religious studies, usually at a university or school of divinity or seminary.-Definition:Augustine of Hippo...

, particularly in the way people perceived the relationship between man and God. Many of the period's foremost theologians were followers of the humanist method, including Erasmus, Zwingli, Thomas More
Thomas More
Sir Thomas More , also known by Catholics as Saint Thomas More, was an English lawyer, social philosopher, author, statesman and noted Renaissance humanist. He was an important councillor to Henry VIII of England and, for three years toward the end of his life, Lord Chancellor...

, Martin Luther
Martin Luther
Martin Luther was a German priest, professor of theology and iconic figure of the Protestant Reformation. He strongly disputed the claim that freedom from God's punishment for sin could be purchased with money. He confronted indulgence salesman Johann Tetzel with his Ninety-Five Theses in 1517...

, and John Calvin
John Calvin
John Calvin was an influential French theologian and pastor during the Protestant Reformation. He was a principal figure in the development of the system of Christian theology later called Calvinism. Originally trained as a humanist lawyer, he broke from the Roman Catholic Church around 1530...

.

The Renaissance began in times of religious turmoil. The late Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

 saw a period of political intrigue surrounding the Papacy, culminating in the Western Schism
Western Schism
The Western Schism or Papal Schism was a split within the Catholic Church from 1378 to 1417. Two men simultaneously claimed to be the true pope. Driven by politics rather than any theological disagreement, the schism was ended by the Council of Constance . The simultaneous claims to the papal chair...

, in which three men simultaneously claimed to be true Bishop
Bishop
A bishop is an ordained or consecrated member of the Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight. Within the Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox Churches, in the Assyrian Church of the East, in the Independent Catholic Churches, and in the...

 of Rome
Diocese of Rome
The Diocese of Rome is a diocese of the Catholic Church in Rome, Italy. The bishop of Rome is the Pope, who is the Supreme Pontiff and leader of the Catholic Church...

. While the schism was resolved by the Council of Constance
Council of Constance
The Council of Constance is the 15th ecumenical council recognized by the Roman Catholic Church, held from 1414 to 1418. The council ended the Three-Popes Controversy, by deposing or accepting the resignation of the remaining Papal claimants and electing Pope Martin V.The Council also condemned and...

 (1414), the 15th century saw a resulting reform movement known as Conciliarism
Conciliarism
Conciliarism, or the conciliar movement, was a reform movement in the 14th, 15th and 16th century Roman Catholic Church which held that final authority in spiritual matters resided with the Roman Church as a corporation of Christians, embodied by a general church council, not with the pope...

, which sought to limit the pope's power. Although the papacy eventually emerged supreme in ecclesiastical matters by the Fifth Council of the Lateran
Fifth Council of the Lateran
The Fifth Council of the Lateran was the last Ecumenical council of the Catholic Church before reformation.When elected pope in 1503, Pope Julius II , promised under oath that he would soon convoke a general council. However, as time passed the promise was not fulfilled...

 (1511), it was dogged by continued accusations of corruption, most famously in the person of Pope Alexander VI
Pope Alexander VI
Pope Alexander VI , born Roderic Llançol i Borja was Pope from 1492 until his death on 18 August 1503. He is one of the most controversial of the Renaissance popes, and his Italianized surname—Borgia—became a byword for the debased standards of the Papacy of that era, most notoriously the Banquet...

, who was accused variously of simony
Simony
Simony is the act of paying for sacraments and consequently for holy offices or for positions in the hierarchy of a church, named after Simon Magus , who appears in the Acts of the Apostles 8:9-24...

, nepotism
Nepotism
Nepotism is favoritism granted to relatives regardless of merit. The word nepotism is from the Latin word nepos, nepotis , from which modern Romanian nepot and Italian nipote, "nephew" or "grandchild" are also descended....

 and fathering four illegitimate children whilst Pope, whom he married off to gain more power.

Churchmen such as Erasmus and Luther proposed reform to the Church, often based on humanist textual criticism
Textual criticism
Textual criticism is a branch of literary criticism that is concerned with the identification and removal of transcription errors in the texts of manuscripts...

 of the New Testament
New Testament
The New Testament is the second major division of the Christian biblical canon, the first such division being the much longer Old Testament....

. Indeed, it was Luther who in October 1517 published the 95 Theses
95 Theses
The Ninety-Five Theses on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences , commonly known as , was written by Martin Luther, 1517 and is widely regarded as the primary catalyst for the Protestant Reformation...

, challenging papal authority and criticizing its perceived corruption, particularly with regard to its sale of indulgences. The 95 Theses led to the Reformation
Protestant Reformation
The Protestant Reformation was a 16th-century split within Western Christianity initiated by Martin Luther, John Calvin and other early Protestants. The efforts of the self-described "reformers", who objected to the doctrines, rituals and ecclesiastical structure of the Roman Catholic Church, led...

, a break with the Roman Catholic Church that previously claimed hegemony in Western Europe
Western Europe
Western Europe is a loose term for the collection of countries in the western most region of the European continents, though this definition is context-dependent and carries cultural and political connotations. One definition describes Western Europe as a geographic entity—the region lying in the...

. Humanism and the Renaissance therefore played a direct role in sparking the Reformation, as well as in many other contemporaneous religious debates and conflicts.

In an era following the sack of Rome in 1527
Sack of Rome (1527)
The Sack of Rome on 6 May 1527 was a military event carried out by the mutinous troops of Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor in Rome, then part of the Papal States...

 and prevalent with uncertainties in the Catholic Church following the Protestant Reformation, Pope Paul III
Pope Paul III
Pope Paul III , born Alessandro Farnese, was Pope of the Roman Catholic Church from 1534 to his death in 1549. He came to the papal throne in an era following the sack of Rome in 1527 and rife with uncertainties in the Catholic Church following the Protestant Reformation...

 came to the papal throne (1534–1549), to whom Nicolaus Copernicus
Nicolaus Copernicus
Nicolaus Copernicus was a Renaissance astronomer and the first person to formulate a comprehensive heliocentric cosmology which displaced the Earth from the center of the universe....

 dedicated De revolutionibus orbium coelestium
De revolutionibus orbium coelestium
De revolutionibus orbium coelestium is the seminal work on the heliocentric theory of the Renaissance astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus...

 (On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres) and who became the grandfather of Alessandro Farnese (cardinal), who had paintings by Titian
Titian
Tiziano Vecelli or Tiziano Vecellio Tiziano Vecelli or Tiziano Vecellio Tiziano Vecelli or Tiziano Vecellio (c. 1488/1490 – 27 August 1576 better known as Titian was an Italian painter, the most important member of the 16th-century Venetian school. He was born in Pieve di Cadore, near...

, Michelangelo
Michelangelo
Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni , commonly known as Michelangelo, was an Italian Renaissance painter, sculptor, architect, poet, and engineer who exerted an unparalleled influence on the development of Western art...

, and Raphael
Raphael
Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino , better known simply as Raphael, was an Italian painter and architect of the High Renaissance. His work is admired for its clarity of form and ease of composition and for its visual achievement of the Neoplatonic ideal of human grandeur...

, and an important collection of drawings and who commissioned the masterpiece of Giulio Clovio, arguably the last major illuminated manuscript
Illuminated manuscript
An illuminated manuscript is a manuscript in which the text is supplemented by the addition of decoration, such as decorated initials, borders and miniature illustrations...

, the Farnese Hours
Farnese Hours
The Farnese Hours is an illuminated manuscript created by Giulio Clovio, a Croatian artist, for cardinal Alessandro Farnese in 1546. Considered the masterpiece of Clovio, the book of hours is now in the possession of the Pierpont Morgan Library in New York City.It contains religious stories , and...

.

Self-awareness


By the 15th century, writers, artists and architects in Italy were well aware of the transformations that were taking place and were using phrases like modi antichi (in the antique manner) or alle romana et alla antica (in the manner of the Romans and the ancients) to describe their work. In the 1330s Petrarch
Petrarch
Francesco Petrarca , known in English as Petrarch, was an Italian scholar, poet and one of the earliest humanists. Petrarch is often called the "Father of Humanism"...

 referred to pre-Christian times as antiqua (ancient) and to the Christian period as nova (new). From Petrarch's Italian perspective, this new period (which included his own time) was an age of national eclipse.
Leonardo Bruni
Leonardo Bruni
Leonardo Bruni was an Italian humanist, historian and statesman. He has been called the first modern historian.-Biography:...

 was the first to use tripartite periodization
Periodization
Periodization is the attempt to categorize or divide time into named blocks. The result is a descriptive abstraction that provides a useful handle on periods of time with relatively stable characteristics...

 in his History of the Florentine People (1442). Bruni's first two periods were based on those of Petrarch, but he added a third period because he believed that Italy was no longer in a state of decline. Flavio Biondo
Flavio Biondo
Flavio Biondo was an Italian Renaissance humanist historian. He was one of the first historians to used a three-period division of history and is known as one of the first archaeologists.Born in the capital city of Forlì, in the Romagna region, Flavio was well schooled from an early age,...

 used a similar framework in Decades of History from the Deterioration of the Roman Empire (1439–1453).

Humanist historians argued that contemporary scholarship restored direct links to the classical period, thus bypassing the Medieval period, which they then named for the first time the "Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

". The term first appears in Latin in 1469 as media tempestas (middle times). The term la rinascita (rebirth) first appeared, however, in its broad sense in Giorgio Vasari
Giorgio Vasari
Giorgio Vasari was an Italian painter, writer, historian, and architect, who is famous today for his biographies of Italian artists, considered the ideological foundation of art-historical writing.-Biography:...

's Vite de' più eccellenti architetti, pittori, et scultori Italiani (The Lives of the Artists, 1550, revised 1568). Vasari divides the age into three phases: the first phase contains Cimabue
Cimabue
Cimabue , also known as Bencivieni di Pepo or in modern Italian, Benvenuto di Giuseppe, was an Italian painter and creator of mosaics from Florence....

, Giotto, and Arnolfo di Cambio
Arnolfo di Cambio
Arnolfo di Cambio was an Italian architect and sculptor.-Biography:Arnolfo was born in Colle Val d'Elsa, Tuscany....

; the second phase contains Masaccio
Masaccio
Masaccio , born Tommaso di Ser Giovanni di Simone, was the first great painter of the Quattrocento period of the Italian Renaissance. According to Vasari, Masaccio was the best painter of his generation because of his skill at recreating lifelike figures and movements as well as a convincing sense...

, Brunelleschi
Filippo Brunelleschi
Filippo Brunelleschi was one of the foremost architects and engineers of the Italian Renaissance. He is perhaps most famous for inventing linear perspective and designing the dome of the Florence Cathedral, but his accomplishments also included bronze artwork, architecture , mathematics,...

, and Donatello
Donatello
Donato di Niccolò di Betto Bardi , also known as Donatello, was an early Renaissance Italian artist and sculptor from Florence...

; the third centers on Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci was an Italian Renaissance polymath: painter, sculptor, architect, musician, scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist and writer whose genius, perhaps more than that of any other figure, epitomized the Renaissance...

 and culminates with Michelangelo
Michelangelo
Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni , commonly known as Michelangelo, was an Italian Renaissance painter, sculptor, architect, poet, and engineer who exerted an unparalleled influence on the development of Western art...

. It was not just the growing awareness of classical antiquity that drove this development, according to Vasari, but also the growing desire to study and imitate nature.

Spread


In the 15th century, the Renaissance spread with great speed from its birthplace in Florence, first to the rest of Italy, and soon to the rest of Europe. The invention of the printing press
Printing press
A printing press is a device for applying pressure to an inked surface resting upon a print medium , thereby transferring the ink...

 allowed the rapid transmission of these new ideas. As it spread, its ideas diversified and changed, being adapted to local culture. In the 20th century, scholars began to break the Renaissance into regional and national movements.

Northern Europe



The Renaissance as it occurred in Northern Europe has been termed the "Northern Renaissance". While Renaissance ideas were moving north from Italy, there was a simultaneous southward spread of some areas of innovation, particularly in music
Renaissance music
Renaissance music is European music written during the Renaissance. Defining the beginning of the musical era is difficult, given that its defining characteristics were adopted only gradually; musicologists have placed its beginnings from as early as 1300 to as late as the 1470s.Literally meaning...

. The music of the 15th century Burgundian School
Burgundian School
The Burgundian School is a term used to denote a group of composers active in the 15th century in what is now northern and eastern France, Belgium, and the Netherlands, centered on the court of the Dukes of Burgundy. The main names associated with this school are Guillaume Dufay, Gilles Binchois,...

 defined the beginning of the Renaissance in that art and the polyphony
Polyphony
In music, polyphony is a texture consisting of two or more independent melodic voices, as opposed to music with just one voice or music with one dominant melodic voice accompanied by chords ....

 of the Netherlanders
Franco-Flemish School
In music, the Franco-Flemish School or more precisely the Netherlandish School refers, somewhat imprecisely, to the style of polyphonic vocal music composition in Europe in the 15th and 16th centuries, and to the composers who wrote it...

, as it moved with the musicians themselves into Italy, formed the core of what was the first true international style in music
Music
Music is an art form whose medium is sound and silence. Its common elements are pitch , rhythm , dynamics, and the sonic qualities of timbre and texture...

 since the standardization of Gregorian Chant
Gregorian chant
Gregorian chant is the central tradition of Western plainchant, a form of monophonic liturgical music within Western Christianity that accompanied the celebration of Mass and other ritual services...

 in the 9th century. The culmination of the Netherlandish school was in the music of the Italian composer
Composer
A composer is a person who creates music, either by musical notation or oral tradition, for interpretation and performance, or through direct manipulation of sonic material through electronic media...

, Palestrina
Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina
Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina was an Italian Renaissance composer of sacred music and the best-known 16th-century representative of the Roman School of musical composition...

. At the end of the 16th century Italy again became a center of musical innovation, with the development of the polychoral style of the Venetian School, which spread northward into Germany around 1600.

The paintings of the Italian Renaissance differed from those of the Northern Renaissance. Italian Renaissance
Italian Renaissance
The Italian Renaissance began the opening phase of the Renaissance, a period of great cultural change and achievement in Europe that spanned the period from the end of the 13th century to about 1600, marking the transition between Medieval and Early Modern Europe...

 artists were among the first to paint secular scenes, breaking away from the purely religious art of medieval painters. At first, Northern Renaissance artists remained focused on religious subjects, such as the contemporary religious upheaval portrayed by Albrecht Dürer
Albrecht Dürer
Albrecht Dürer was a German painter, printmaker, engraver, mathematician, and theorist from Nuremberg. His prints established his reputation across Europe when he was still in his twenties, and he has been conventionally regarded as the greatest artist of the Northern Renaissance ever since...

. Later on, the works of Pieter Bruegel influenced artists to paint scenes of daily life rather than religious or classical themes. It was also during the Northern Renaissance that Flemish brothers Hubert
Hubert van Eyck
Hubert van Eyck was a Flemish painter and older brother of Jan van Eyck. He was probably born in Maaseik, Flanders, now in Belgium....

 and Jan van Eyck
Jan van Eyck
Jan van Eyck was a Flemish painter active in Bruges and considered one of the best Northern European painters of the 15th century....

 perfected the oil painting
Oil painting
Oil painting is the process of painting with pigments that are bound with a medium of drying oil—especially in early modern Europe, linseed oil. Often an oil such as linseed was boiled with a resin such as pine resin or even frankincense; these were called 'varnishes' and were prized for their body...

 technique, which enabled artists to produce strong colors on a hard surface that could survive for centuries. A feature of the Northern Renaissance was its use of the vernacular in place of Latin or Greek, which allowed greater freedom of expression. This movement had started in Italy with the decisive influence of Dante Alighieri
Dante Alighieri
Durante degli Alighieri, mononymously referred to as Dante , was an Italian poet, prose writer, literary theorist, moral philosopher, and political thinker. He is best known for the monumental epic poem La commedia, later named La divina commedia ...

 on the development of vernacular languages; in fact the focus on writing in Italian has neglected a major source of Florentine ideas expressed in Latin. The spread of the technology of the German invention of movable type printing boosted the Renaissance, in Northern Europe
Northern Europe
Northern Europe is the northern part or region of Europe. Northern Europe typically refers to the seven countries in the northern part of the European subcontinent which includes Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Finland and Sweden...

 as elsewhere; with Venice becoming a world center of printing.

Portugal



Although Italian Renaissance had a modest impact in Portuguese arts, Portugal was influential in broadening the European worldview, stimulating humanist inquiry.

Renaissance arrived through the influence of wealthy Italian and Flemish merchants who invested in the profitable commerce overseas. As the pioneer headquarters of European exploration
Age of Discovery
The Age of Discovery, also known as the Age of Exploration and the Great Navigations , was a period in history starting in the early 15th century and continuing into the early 17th century during which Europeans engaged in intensive exploration of the world, establishing direct contacts with...

, Lisbon
Lisbon
Lisbon is the capital city and largest city of Portugal with a population of 545,245 within its administrative limits on a land area of . The urban area of Lisbon extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of 3 million on an area of , making it the 9th most populous urban...

 flourished in the late 15th century, attracting experts who made several breakthroughs in mathematics, astronomy and naval technology including Pedro Nunes
Pedro Nunes
Pedro Nunes , was a Portuguese mathematician, cosmographer, and professor, from a New Christian family. Nunes, considered to be one of the greatest mathematicians of his time , is best known for his contributions in the technical field of navigation, which was crucial to the Portuguese period of...

, João de Castro
João de Castro
Dom João de Castro was a Portuguese naval officer and fourth viceroy of Portuguese India. He was called Castro Forte by poet Luís de Camões. Castro was the son of Álvaro de Castro, civil governor of Lisbon...

, Abraham Zacuto
Abraham Zacuto
Abraham Zacuto was a Sephardi Jewish astronomer, astrologer, mathematician and historian who served as Royal Astronomer in the 15th century to King John II of Portugal. The crater Zagut on the Moon is named after him....

 and Martin Behaim
Martin Behaim
Martin Behaim , was a German mariner, artist, cosmographer, astronomer, philosopher, geographer and explorer in service to the King of Portugal.-Biography:The Behaim family had immigrated to Nuremberg because of religious persecution around...

. Cartographers Pedro Reinel
Pedro Reinel
Pedro Reinel was a Portuguese cartographer of the 16th century, author of one of the oldest signed Portuguese nautical chart . That is a portolan type of chart, covering western Europe and part of Africa, and already reflecting the explorations made by Diogo Cão in 1482-1485. With his son Jorge...

, Lopo Homem
Lopo Homem
Lopo Homem was a Portuguese cartographer and cosmographer.- Biography :In 1517 King Manuel I of Portugal handed Lopo Homem a charter entitling him the privilege of certifying and amending all compass needles in vessels. This charter was revalidated in 1524 by King John III of Portugal...

, Esteban Gómez
Esteban Gómez
Esteban Gómez, also known as Estevan Gómez, and born Estêvão Gomes, , was a Portuguese cartographer and explorer. He sailed at the service of Spain in the fleet of Ferdinand Magellan, but deserted the expedition before reaching the Strait of Magellan, and returned to Spain in May 1521...

 and Diogo Ribeiro made crucial advances to help mapping the world. Apothecary Tomé Pires
Tomé Pires
Tomé Pires was an apothecary from Lisbon who spent 1512 to 1515 in Malacca immediately after the Portuguese conquest, at a time when Europeans were only first arriving in South East Asia...

 and physicians Garcia de Orta
Garcia de Orta
Garcia de Orta was a Portuguese Renaissance Sephardi Jewish physician and naturalist. He was a pioneer of tropical medicine.- Life :...

 and Cristóbal Acosta collected and published works on plants and medicines, soon translated by Flemish pioneer botanist Carolus Clusius.

In architecture, the huge profits of the spice trade
Spice trade
Civilizations of Asia were involved in spice trade from the ancient times, and the Greco-Roman world soon followed by trading along the Incense route and the Roman-India routes...

 financed a sumptuous composite style in the first decades of the 16th century, the Manueline
Manueline
The Manueline, or Portuguese late Gothic, is the sumptuous, composite Portuguese style of architectural ornamentation of the first decades of the 16th century, incorporating maritime elements and representations of the discoveries brought from the voyages of Vasco da Gama and Pedro Álvares Cabral...

, incorporating maritime elements. The main painters being Nuno Gonçalves
Nuno Gonçalves
Nuno Gonçalves was a 15th century Portuguese artist credited for the painting of the paineis de São Vicente de Fora . The panels depict the main elements of Portuguese society in the 15th century: clergy, nobility and common people....

, Gregório Lopes
Gregório Lopes
Gregório Lopes was one of the most important Renaissance painters from Portugal.Gregório Lopes was educated in the workshop of Jorge Afonso, the court painter of King Manuel I. Later he himself became court painter for both Manuel I and for his successor, John III...

 and Vasco Fernandes
Vasco Fernandes
Vasco Fernandes , better known as Grão Vasco, was one of the main Portuguese Renaissance painters.Vasco Fernandes was probably born in Viseu, in Northern Portugal, where he began his career in the team of painters executing the main altarpiece of Viseu Cathedral . Between 1506 and 1511 he painted...

. In music, Pedro de Escobar
Pedro de Escobar
Pedro de Escobar , a.k.a. Pedro do Porto, was a Portuguese composer of the Renaissance, mostly active in Spain. He was one of the earliest and most skilled composers of polyphony in the Iberian Peninsula, whose music has survived.-Life:He was born at Oporto, Portugal, but nothing is known of his...

 and Duarte Lobo
Duarte Lobo
Duarte Lobo was a Portuguese composer of the late Renaissance and early Baroque. He was one of the most famous Portuguese composers of the time, together with Filipe de Magalhães, Manuel Cardoso, composers who all began their academic studies as students of Manuel Mendes...

, and four songbooks, including the Cancioneiro de Elvas
Cancioneiro de Elvas
The Cancioneiro de Elvas is one of the four Renaissance songbooks of Portuguese music from the 16th century - along with the Lisbon Songbook, the Belém Songbook, and the Paris songbook...

. In literature, Sá de Miranda introduced Italian forms of verse, Bernardim Ribeiro
Bernardim Ribeiro
Bernardim Ribeiro was a Portuguese poet and writer. His father, Damião Ribeiro, was implicated in the conspiracy against John II of Portugal...

 developed pastoral romance; Gil Vicente
Gil Vicente
Gil Vicente , called the Trobadour, was a Portuguese playwright and poet who acted in and directed his own plays. Considered the chief dramatist of Portugal he is sometimes called the "Portuguese Plautus,"[3] often referred to as the "Father of Portuguese drama" and as one of Western literature's...

 plays fused it with popular culture, reporting the changing times, and Luís de Camões
Luís de Camões
Luís Vaz de Camões is considered Portugal's and the Portuguese language's greatest poet. His mastery of verse has been compared to that of Shakespeare, Vondel, Homer, Virgil and Dante. He wrote a considerable amount of lyrical poetry and drama but is best remembered for his epic work Os Lusíadas...

 inscribed the Portuguese feats overseas in the epic poem the Lusiads. Travel literature
Travel literature
Travel literature is travel writing of literary value. Travel literature typically records the experiences of an author touring a place for the pleasure of travel. An individual work is sometimes called a travelogue or itinerary. Travel literature may be cross-cultural or transnational in focus, or...

 specially flourished: João de Barros
João de Barros
João de Barros , called the Portuguese Livy, is one of the first great Portuguese historians, most famous for his Décadas da Ásia , a history of the Portuguese in India and Asia.-Early years:...

, Castanheda, António Galvão
António Galvão
António Galvão , known in English as Antonio Galvano, was a Portuguese soldier and administrator in the Maluku islands, and a Renaissance historian, the first to present a comprehensive report of all the leading voyages and explorers up to 1550, either by Portuguese and by other nationalities...

, Gaspar Correia
Gaspar Correia
Gaspar Correia or Gaspar Corrêa was a Portuguese historian, author of "Lendas da Índia , one of the earliest and most important works about Portuguese rule in Asia, being referred to as a Portuguese Polybius.- Biography :There is little information about the life of the author...

, Duarte Barbosa
Duarte Barbosa
Duarte Barbosa was a Portuguese writer and Portuguese India officer between 1500 and 1516–17, with the post of scrivener in Cannanore factory and sometimes interpreter of the local language...

, Fernão Mendes Pinto
Fernão Mendes Pinto
Fernão Mendes Pinto was a Portuguese explorer and writer. His exploits are known through the posthumous publication of his memoir Pilgrimage in 1614, an autobiographical work whose truthfulness is nearly impossible to assess...

, among others, described new lands and were translated and spread with the new printing press. After joining the Portuguese exploration of Brazil in 1500, Amerigo Vespucci
Amerigo Vespucci
Amerigo Vespucci was an Italian explorer, financier, navigator and cartographer. The Americas are generally believed to have derived their name from the feminized Latin version of his first name.-Expeditions:...

 coined the term New World
New World
The New World is one of the names used for the Western Hemisphere, specifically America and sometimes Oceania . The term originated in the late 15th century, when America had been recently discovered by European explorers, expanding the geographical horizon of the people of the European middle...

, in his letters to Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco de' Medici
Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco de' Medici
Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco de' Medici , nicknamed the Popolano, was an Italian banker and politician, the brother of Giovanni de' Medici il Popolano....

.

The intense international exchange produced several cosmopolitan humanist scholars: Francisco de Holanda
Francisco de Holanda
Francisco de Holanda , was a Portuguese humanist and painter. Considered to be one of the most important figures of the Portuguese Renaissance, he was also an essayist, architect, and historian...

, André de Resende
Andre de Resende
André de Resende , the father of archaeology in Portugal, a Dominican friar.He spent many years traveling in Spain, France and Belgium, where he corresponded with Erasmus and other learned men. He was also intimate with King John III and his sons, and acted as tutor to the Infante D...

 and Damião de Gois
Damião de Góis
Damiao de Góis , born in Alenquer, Portugal, was an important Portuguese humanist philosopher. He was a friend and student of Erasmus. He was appointed secretary to the Portuguese factory in Antwerp in 1523 by King John III of Portugal...

, a friend of Erasmus who wrote with rare independence on the reign of King Manuel I; Diogo
Diogo de Gouveia
Diogo de Gouveia , known as Diogo de Gouveia, the Elder to distinguish him from contemporary homonyms such as his nephew, was a leading Portuguese teacher, theologian, diplomat and humanist during the Renaissance...

 and André de Gouveia
André de Gouveia
André de Gouveia was a Portuguese humanist and pedagogue during the Renaissance.André de Gouveia became one of the first Portuguese to study in the Collège Sainte-Barbe, in Paris, which was then directed by his uncle Diogo de Gouveia...

, who made relevant teaching reforms via France. Foreign news and products in the Portuguese factory
Factory (trading post)
Factory was the English term for the trading posts system originally established by Europeans in foreign territories, first within different states of medieval Europe, and later in their colonial possessions...

 in Antwerp attracted the interest of Thomas More and Durer to the wider world. There, profits and know-how helped nurture the Dutch Renaissance and Golden Age
Dutch Golden Age
The Golden Age was a period in Dutch history, roughly spanning the 17th century, in which Dutch trade, science, military and art were among the most acclaimed in the world. The first half is characterised by the Eighty Years' War till 1648...

, especially after the arrival of the wealthy cultured Jewish community expelled from Portugal.

Spain



The Renaissance arrived in the Iberian peninsula through the Mediterranean possessions of the Aragonese Crown
Crown of Aragon
The Crown of Aragon Corona d'Aragón Corona d'Aragó Corona Aragonum controlling a large portion of the present-day eastern Spain and southeastern France, as well as some of the major islands and mainland possessions stretching across the Mediterranean as far as Greece...

 and the city of Valencia
Valencia (city in Spain)
Valencia or València is the capital and most populous city of the autonomous community of Valencia and the third largest city in Spain, with a population of 809,267 in 2010. It is the 15th-most populous municipality in the European Union...

. Indeed, many of the early Spanish Renaissance writers come from the Kingdom of Aragon
Kingdom of Aragon
The Kingdom of Aragon was a medieval and early modern kingdom in the Iberian Peninsula, corresponding to the modern-day autonomous community of Aragon, in Spain...

, including Ausiàs March
Ausiàs March
Ausiàs March was a Valencian poet who was born in Gandia towards the end of the 14th century. He was the son of Pere March, nephew of Jaume March II, and cousin of Arnau March....

 and Joanot Martorell
Joanot Martorell
Joanot Martorell was a Valencian knight and the author of the novel Tirant lo Blanch, which is written in Valencian...

. In the Kingdom of Castile
Kingdom of Castile
Kingdom of Castile was one of the medieval kingdoms of the Iberian Peninsula. It emerged as a political autonomous entity in the 9th century. It was called County of Castile and was held in vassalage from the Kingdom of León. Its name comes from the host of castles constructed in the region...

, the early Renaissance was heavily influenced by the Italian humanism, starting with writers and poets starting with the Marquis of Santillana
Íñigo López de Mendoza, marqués de Santillana
Don Íñigo López de Mendoza y de la Vega, Marquis of Santillana was a Castilian politician and poet who held an important position in society and Literature during the reign of John II of Castile....

, who introduced the new Italian poetry to Spain in the early 15th century. Other writers, such as Jorge Manrique
Jorge Manrique
Jorge Manrique was a major Spanish poet, whose main work, the Coplas a la muerte de su padre , is still read today...

, Fernando de Rojas
Fernando de Rojas
Fernando de Rojas was a Spanish author about whom little information is known. He possibly attended the University of Salamanca. Although his family was of Jewish ancestry, they were conversos, or Jews who had converted to Christianity under pressure from the Spanish crown...

, Juan del Encina
Juan del Encina
Juan del Enzina – the spelling he used – or Juan del Encina – modern Spanish spelling – was a composer, poet and playwright, often called the founder of Spanish drama...

, Juan Boscán Almogáver
Juan Boscán Almogáver
Joan Boscà i Almogàver , was a Catalan poet born about the end of the 15th century.The exact date of birth for Boscà is unclear, but there is a consensus that he was born anywhere between 1487 and 1492. Boscà was born in Barcelona and was one of three children...

 and Garcilaso de la Vega
Garcilaso de la Vega
Garcilaso de la Vega was a Spanish soldier and poet. He was the most influential poet to introduce Italian Renaissance verse forms, poetic techniques and themes to Spain.-Biography:...

, kept a close resemblance to the Italian canon. Miguel de Cervantes
Miguel de Cervantes
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra was a Spanish novelist, poet, and playwright. His magnum opus, Don Quixote, considered the first modern novel, is a classic of Western literature, and is regarded amongst the best works of fiction ever written...

's masterpiece
Masterpiece
Masterpiece in modern usage refers to a creation that has been given much critical praise, especially one that is considered the greatest work of a person's career or to a work of outstanding creativity, skill or workmanship....

 Don Quixote is credited as the first Western novel. Renaissance humanism flourished in the early 16th century, with influential writers such as philosopher Juan Luis Vives
Juan Luís Vives
Juan Luis Vives , also Joan Lluís Vives i March , was a Valencian Spanish scholar and humanist.-Biography:Vives was born in Valencia...

, grammarian Antonio de Nebrija
Antonio de Nebrija
Antonio de Lebrija , also known as Antonio de Nebrija, Elio Antonio de Lebrija, Antonius Nebrissensis, and Antonio of Lebrixa, was a Spanish scholar, known for writing a grammar of the Castilian language, credited as one of the first published grammars of a Romance language...

 or natural historian Pedro de Mexía
Pedro Mexía
Pedro Mexía , was a Spanish Renaissance writer, humanist and historian...

.

Later Spanish Renaissance tended towards religious themes and mysticism, with poets such as fray Luis de León
Luis Ponce de León
Fray Luis Ponce de León was a Spanish lyric poet, Augustinian friar and theologian and academic, active during the Spanish Golden Age.-Early life:...

, Teresa of Ávila
Teresa of Ávila
Saint Teresa of Ávila, also called Saint Teresa of Jesus, baptized as Teresa Sánchez de Cepeda y Ahumada, was a prominent Spanish mystic, Roman Catholic saint, Carmelite nun, and writer of the Counter Reformation, and theologian of contemplative life through mental prayer...

 and John of the Cross
John of the Cross
John of the Cross , born Juan de Yepes Álvarez, was a major figure of the Counter-Reformation, a Spanish mystic, Catholic saint, Carmelite friar and priest, born at Fontiveros, Old Castile....

, and treated issues related to the exploration of the New World
New World
The New World is one of the names used for the Western Hemisphere, specifically America and sometimes Oceania . The term originated in the late 15th century, when America had been recently discovered by European explorers, expanding the geographical horizon of the people of the European middle...

, with chroniclers and writers such as Inca Garcilaso de la Vega
Inca Garcilaso de la Vega
Garcilaso de la Vega , born Gómez Suárez de Figueroa, was a historian and writer from the Spanish Viceroyalty of Peru. The son of a Spanish conquistador and an Inca noblewoman, he is recognized primarily for his contributions to Inca history, culture, and society...

 or Bartolomé de las Casas
Bartolomé de Las Casas
Bartolomé de las Casas O.P. was a 16th-century Spanish historian, social reformer and Dominican friar. He became the first resident Bishop of Chiapas, and the first officially appointed "Protector of the Indians"...

, giving rise to a body of work, now known as Spanish Renaissance literature
Spanish Renaissance literature
Spanish Renaissance literature is the literature written in Spain during the Renaissance.-Introduction:The political, religious, literary, and war relations between Italy and Spain since the second half of the 15th century caused a remarkable cultural interchange between these two countries...

. The late Renaissance in Spain also saw the rise of artists such as El Greco
El Greco
El Greco was a painter, sculptor and architect of the Spanish Renaissance. "El Greco" was a nickname, a reference to his ethnic Greek origin, and the artist normally signed his paintings with his full birth name in Greek letters, Δομήνικος Θεοτοκόπουλος .El Greco was born on Crete, which was at...

, and composers such as Tomás Luis de Victoria
Tomás Luis de Victoria
Tomás Luis de Victoria, sometimes Italianised as da Vittoria , was the most famous composer of the 16th century in Spain, and one of the most important composers of the Counter-Reformation, along with Giovanni da Palestrina and Orlando di Lasso. Victoria was not only a composer, but also an...

 and Antonio de Cabezón
Antonio de Cabezón
Antonio de Cabezón was a Spanish Renaissance composer and organist. Blind from childhood, he quickly rose to prominence as performer and was eventually employed by the royal family...

.

England




In England, the Elizabethan era
Elizabethan era
The Elizabethan era was the epoch in English history of Queen Elizabeth I's reign . Historians often depict it as the golden age in English history...

 marked the beginning of the English Renaissance
English Renaissance
The English Renaissance was a cultural and artistic movement in England dating from the late 15th and early 16th centuries to the early 17th century. It is associated with the pan-European Renaissance that is usually regarded as beginning in Italy in the late 14th century; like most of northern...

 with the work of writers William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon"...

, Christopher Marlowe
Christopher Marlowe
Christopher Marlowe was an English dramatist, poet and translator of the Elizabethan era. As the foremost Elizabethan tragedian, next to William Shakespeare, he is known for his blank verse, his overreaching protagonists, and his mysterious death.A warrant was issued for Marlowe's arrest on 18 May...

, Edmund Spenser
Edmund Spenser
Edmund Spenser was an English poet best known for The Faerie Queene, an epic poem and fantastical allegory celebrating the Tudor dynasty and Elizabeth I. He is recognised as one of the premier craftsmen of Modern English verse in its infancy, and one of the greatest poets in the English...

, Sir Thomas More, Francis Bacon
Francis Bacon
Francis Bacon, 1st Viscount St Albans, KC was an English philosopher, statesman, scientist, lawyer, jurist, author and pioneer of the scientific method. He served both as Attorney General and Lord Chancellor of England...

, Sir Philip Sidney, John Milton
John Milton
John Milton was an English poet, polemicist, a scholarly man of letters, and a civil servant for the Commonwealth of England under Oliver Cromwell...

, as well as great artists, architects (such as Inigo Jones
Inigo Jones
Inigo Jones is the first significant British architect of the modern period, and the first to bring Italianate Renaissance architecture to England...

 who introduced Italianate architecture to England), and composers such as Thomas Tallis
Thomas Tallis
Thomas Tallis was an English composer. Tallis flourished as a church musician in 16th century Tudor England. He occupies a primary place in anthologies of English church music, and is considered among the best of England's early composers. He is honoured for his original voice in English...

, John Taverner
John Taverner
John Taverner was an English composer and organist, regarded as the most important English composer of his era.- Career :...

, and William Byrd
William Byrd
William Byrd was an English composer of the Renaissance. He wrote in many of the forms current in England at the time, including various types of sacred and secular polyphony, keyboard and consort music.-Provenance:Knowledge of Byrd's biography expanded in the late 20th century, thanks largely...

.

France



In 1495 the Italian Renaissance
Italian Renaissance
The Italian Renaissance began the opening phase of the Renaissance, a period of great cultural change and achievement in Europe that spanned the period from the end of the 13th century to about 1600, marking the transition between Medieval and Early Modern Europe...

 arrived in France, imported by King Charles VIII
Charles VIII of France
Charles VIII, called the Affable, , was King of France from 1483 to his death in 1498. Charles was a member of the House of Valois...

 after his invasion of Italy. A factor that promoted the spread of secularism was the Church's inability to offer assistance against the Black Death
Black Death
The Black Death was one of the most devastating pandemics in human history, peaking in Europe between 1348 and 1350. Of several competing theories, the dominant explanation for the Black Death is the plague theory, which attributes the outbreak to the bacterium Yersinia pestis. Thought to have...

. Francis I
Francis I of France
Francis I was King of France from 1515 until his death. During his reign, huge cultural changes took place in France and he has been called France's original Renaissance monarch...

 imported Italian art and artists, including Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci was an Italian Renaissance polymath: painter, sculptor, architect, musician, scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist and writer whose genius, perhaps more than that of any other figure, epitomized the Renaissance...

, and built ornate palaces at great expense. Writers such as François Rabelais
François Rabelais
François Rabelais was a major French Renaissance writer, doctor, Renaissance humanist, monk and Greek scholar. He has historically been regarded as a writer of fantasy, satire, the grotesque, bawdy jokes and songs...

, Pierre de Ronsard
Pierre de Ronsard
Pierre de Ronsard was a French poet and "prince of poets" .-Early life:...

, Joachim du Bellay
Joachim du Bellay
Joachim du Bellay was a French poet, critic, and a member of the Pléiade.-Biography:He was born at the Château of La Turmelière, not far from Liré, near Angers, being the son of Jean du Bellay, Lord of Gonnor, first cousin of the cardinal Jean du Bellay and of Guillaume du Bellay.Both his parents...

 and Michel de Montaigne
Michel de Montaigne
Lord Michel Eyquem de Montaigne , February 28, 1533 – September 13, 1592, was one of the most influential writers of the French Renaissance, known for popularising the essay as a literary genre and is popularly thought of as the father of Modern Skepticism...

, painters such as Jean Clouet
Jean Clouet
Jean Clouet was a miniaturist and painter who worked in France during the Renaissance. He was the father of François Clouet.-Biography:Clouet was allegedly born in Brussels....

 and musicians such as Jean Mouton
Jean Mouton
Jean Mouton was a French composer of the Renaissance. He was famous both for his motets, which are among the most refined of the time, and for being the teacher of Adrian Willaert, one of the founders of the Venetian School....

 also borrowed from the spirit of the Italian Renaissance.

In 1533, a fourteen-year old Caterina de' Medici
Catherine de' Medici
Catherine de' Medici was an Italian noblewoman who was Queen consort of France from 1547 until 1559, as the wife of King Henry II of France....

, (1519–1589) born in Florence to Lorenzo II de' Medici and Madeleine de la Tour d'Auvergne married Henry
Henry II of France
Henry II was King of France from 31 March 1547 until his death in 1559.-Early years:Henry was born in the royal Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye, near Paris, the son of Francis I and Claude, Duchess of Brittany .His father was captured at the Battle of Pavia in 1525 by his sworn enemy,...

, second son of King Francis I and Queen Claude. Though she became famous and infamous for her role in France's religious wars, she made a direct contribution in bringing arts, sciences and music (including the origins of ballet
Ballet
Ballet is a type of performance dance, that originated in the Italian Renaissance courts of the 15th century, and which was further developed in France and Russia as a concert dance form. The early portions preceded the invention of the proscenium stage and were presented in large chambers with...

) to the French court from her native Florence.

Germany



In the second half of the 15th century, the spirit of the age spread to Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 and the Low Countries
Low Countries
The Low Countries are the historical lands around the low-lying delta of the Rhine, Scheldt, and Meuse rivers, including the modern countries of Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and parts of northern France and western Germany....

, where the development of the printing press (ca. 1450) and early Renaissance artists like the painters Jan van Eyck
Jan van Eyck
Jan van Eyck was a Flemish painter active in Bruges and considered one of the best Northern European painters of the 15th century....

 (1395–1441) and Hieronymus Bosch (1450–1516) and the composers Johannes Ockeghem
Johannes Ockeghem
Johannes Ockeghem was the most famous composer of the Franco-Flemish School in the last half of the 15th century, and is often considered the most...

 (1410–1497), Jacob Obrecht
Jacob Obrecht
Jacob Obrecht was a Flemish composer of the Renaissance. He was the most famous composer of masses in Europe in the late 15th century, being eclipsed by only Josquin des Prez after his death.-Life:...

 (1457–1505) and Josquin des Prez
Josquin Des Prez
Josquin des Prez [Josquin Lebloitte dit Desprez] , often referred to simply as Josquin, was a Franco-Flemish composer of the Renaissance...

 (1455–1521), predated the influence from Italy. In the early Protestant areas of the country humanism
Humanism
Humanism is an approach in study, philosophy, world view or practice that focuses on human values and concerns. In philosophy and social science, humanism is a perspective which affirms some notion of human nature, and is contrasted with anti-humanism....

 became closely linked to the turmoil of the Protestant Reformation, and the art and writing of the German Renaissance
German Renaissance
The German Renaissance, part of the Northern Renaissance, was a cultural and artistic movement that spread among German thinkers in the 15th and 16th centuries, which originated from the Italian Renaissance in Italy...

 frequently reflected this dispute.
However, the gothic style and medieval scholastic philosophy remained exclusively until the turn of the 16th century. Emperor Maximilian I
Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor
Maximilian I , the son of Frederick III, Holy Roman Emperor and Eleanor of Portugal, was King of the Romans from 1486 and Holy Roman Emperor from 1493 until his death, though he was never in fact crowned by the Pope, the journey to Rome always being too risky...

 of Habsburg
Habsburg
The House of Habsburg , also found as Hapsburg, and also known as House of Austria is one of the most important royal houses of Europe and is best known for being an origin of all of the formally elected Holy Roman Emperors between 1438 and 1740, as well as rulers of the Austrian Empire and...

 (Ruling:1493–1519) was the first truly Renaissance monarch of the Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire
The Holy Roman Empire was a realm that existed from 962 to 1806 in Central Europe.It was ruled by the Holy Roman Emperor. Its character changed during the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period, when the power of the emperor gradually weakened in favour of the princes...

, later known as "Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation" (Diet
Reichstag (Holy Roman Empire)
The Imperial Diet was the Diet, or general assembly, of the Imperial Estates of the Holy Roman Empire.During the period of the Empire, which lasted formally until 1806, the Diet was not a parliament in today's sense; instead, it was an assembly of the various estates of the realm...

 of Cologne
Cologne
Cologne is Germany's fourth-largest city , and is the largest city both in the Germany Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia and within the Rhine-Ruhr Metropolitan Area, one of the major European metropolitan areas with more than ten million inhabitants.Cologne is located on both sides of the...

 1512).

Hungary


The Renaissance style came directly from Italy during the Quattrocento
Quattrocento
The cultural and artistic events of 15th century Italy are collectively referred to as the Quattrocento...

 to Hungary first in the Central European region, thanks to the development of early Hungarian-Italian relationships – not only in dynastic connections, but also in cultural, humanistic and commercial relations – growing in strength from the 14th century. Italian architectural influence became stronger in the reign of Zsigmond thanks to the church foundations of the Florentine Scolaries and the castle constructions of Pipo of Ozora
Pipo of Ozora
Pipo of Ozora was an Italian condottiero, general, strategist...

. The relationship between Hungarian and Italian Gothic styles was a second reason – exaggerated breakthrough of walls is avoided, preferring clean and light structures. The new Italian trend combined with existing national traditions to create a particular local Renaissance art. Acceptance of Renaissance art was furthered by the continuous arrival of humanist thought in the country. Many young Hungarians studying at Italian universities came closer to the Florentine humanist center, so a direct connection with Florence
Florence
Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and of the province of Florence. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with approximately 370,000 inhabitants, expanding to over 1.5 million in the metropolitan area....

 evolved. The growing number of Italian traders moving to Hungary, specially to Buda
Buda
For detailed information see: History of Buda CastleBuda is the western part of the Hungarian capital Budapest on the west bank of the Danube. The name Buda takes its name from the name of Bleda the Hun ruler, whose name is also Buda in Hungarian.Buda comprises about one-third of Budapest's...

, helped this process. New thoughts were carried by the humanist prelates, among them Vitéz János, archbishop of Esztergom
Esztergom
Esztergom , is a city in northern Hungary, 46 km north-west of the capital Budapest. It lies in Komárom-Esztergom county, on the right bank of the river Danube, which forms the border with Slovakia there....

, one of the founders of Hungarian humanism.
During the long reign of emperor Sigismund of Luxemburg the Royal Castle of Buda
History of Buda Castle
The history of Buda Castle is marked by periods of building, destruction and rebuilding in connection with the changing fortunes of the city and Hungary itself. The historical castle and palace complex of the Hungarian kings was established in the 14th century by the Angevin rulers of the Kingdom...

 became probably the largest Gothic
Gothic architecture
Gothic architecture is a style of architecture that flourished during the high and late medieval period. It evolved from Romanesque architecture and was succeeded by Renaissance architecture....

 palace of the late Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

. King Matthias Corvinus (r. 1458–1490) rebuilt the palace in early Renaissance style and further explanded it.
After the marriage in 1476 of king Matthias to Beatrice of Naples
Beatrice of Naples
Beatrice of Naples was the daughter of Ferdinand I of Naples and Isabella of Taranto. She was queen consort to both Matthias Corvinus of Hungary and Vladislaus II of Bohemia and Hungary so she was Queen of Hungary and Bohemia.-Biography:Beatrice received a good education at her father's court in...

, Buda
Buda
For detailed information see: History of Buda CastleBuda is the western part of the Hungarian capital Budapest on the west bank of the Danube. The name Buda takes its name from the name of Bleda the Hun ruler, whose name is also Buda in Hungarian.Buda comprises about one-third of Budapest's...

 became one of the most important artistic centres of the Renaissance north of the Alps
Alps
The Alps is one of the great mountain range systems of Europe, stretching from Austria and Slovenia in the east through Italy, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Germany to France in the west....

. The most important humanists living in Matthias' court were Antonio Bonfini
Antonio Bonfini
Antonio Bonfini was an Italian humanist and poet who spent the last years of his career as a court historian in Hungary with King Matthias Corvinus....

 and the famous Hungarian poet Janus Pannonius
Janus Pannonius
Janus Pannonius was a Croatian and Hungarian Latinist, poet, diplomat and Bishop of Pécs.He was the only truly significant poet of the Renaissance in the Kingdom of Hungary and one of the better-known figures of Humanist poetry in Europe. He was born in a small village near the Drava river in a...

. András Hess
András Hess
András Hess set up a printing press in Buda in 1472.He printed the first book in Hungary on June 5, 1473 in his Buda press. Hess was probably of German origin. He dedicated the book, the Chronica Hungarorum or Buda Chronicle to the person who had invited him to Hungary.Today a square is named...

 set up a printing press in Buda in 1472. Matthias Corvinus's library, the Bibliotheca Corviniana
Bibliotheca Corviniana
Bibliotheca Corviniana was one of the most renowned libraries of the Renaissance world, established by Matthias Corvinus, King of Hungary and Croatia between 1458 and 1490.-History:...

, was Europe's greatest collections of secular books: historical chronicles, philosophic and scientific works in the 15th century. His library was second only in size to the Vatican Library. (However, the Vatican Library mainly contained Bibles and religious materials.) In 1489, Bartolomeo della Fonte of Florence wrote that Lorenzo de Medici founded his own Greek-Latin library encouraged by the example of the Hungarian king. Corvinus's library is part of UNESCO World Heritage.
Other important figures of Hungarian Renaissance: Bálint Balassi
Bálint Balassi
Bálint Balassi baron of Kékkő and Gyarmat, , was a multilingual Hungarian Renaissance lyric poet, who wrote mostly in Hungarian...

 (poet), Sebestyén Tinódi Lantos
Sebestyén Tinódi Lantos
Sebestyén "Lantos" Tinódi was a 16th century Hungarian lyricist, epic poet, political historian, and minstrel.- Biography :...

 (poet), Bálint Bakfark
Bálint Bakfark
Bálint Bakfark ; 1507 – August 15 or August 22, 1576) was a Hungarian composer and lutenist of the Renaissance...

 (composer and lutenist)

Poland


An early Italian humanist who came to Poland
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

 in the mid-15th century was Filip Callimachus
Filip Callimachus
Filippo Buonaccorsi, called "Callimachus" was an Italian humanist and writer.-Life:...

. Many Italian artists came to Poland with Bona Sforza
Bona Sforza
Bona Sforza was a member of the powerful Milanese House of Sforza. In 1518, she became the second wife of Sigismund I the Old, the King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania, and became the Queen of Poland and Grand Duchess of Lithuania.She was the third child of Gian Galeazzo Sforza and his wife...

 of Milan, when she married King Zygmunt I of Poland in 1518. This was supported by temporarily strengthened monarchies in both areas, as well as by newly established universities. The Polish Renaissance lasted from the late 15th to the late 16th century and is widely considered to have been the Golden Age of Polish culture. Ruled by the Jagiellon dynasty
Jagiellon dynasty
The Jagiellonian dynasty was a royal dynasty originating from the Lithuanian House of Gediminas dynasty that reigned in Central European countries between the 14th and 16th century...

, the Kingdom of Poland (from 1569 known as the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth
Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth
The Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth was a dualistic state of Poland and Lithuania ruled by a common monarch. It was the largest and one of the most populous countries of 16th- and 17th‑century Europe with some and a multi-ethnic population of 11 million at its peak in the early 17th century...

) actively participated in the broad European Renaissance. The multi-national Polish state experienced a substantial period of cultural growth thanks in part to a century without major wars – aside from conflicts in the sparsely populated eastern and southern borderlands. The Reformation
Protestant Reformation
The Protestant Reformation was a 16th-century split within Western Christianity initiated by Martin Luther, John Calvin and other early Protestants. The efforts of the self-described "reformers", who objected to the doctrines, rituals and ecclesiastical structure of the Roman Catholic Church, led...

 spread peacefully throughout the country (giving rise to the Polish Brethren
Polish Brethren
The Polish Brethren were members of the Minor Reformed Church of Poland, a Nontrinitarian Protestant church that existed in Poland from 1565 to 1658...

), while living conditions improved, cities grew, and exports of agricultural products enriched the population, especially the nobility (szlachta
Szlachta
The szlachta was a legally privileged noble class with origins in the Kingdom of Poland. It gained considerable institutional privileges during the 1333-1370 reign of Casimir the Great. In 1413, following a series of tentative personal unions between the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the Kingdom of...

) who gained dominance in the new political system of Golden Liberty
Golden Liberty
Golden Liberty , sometimes referred to as Golden Freedoms, Nobles' Democracy or Nobles' Commonwealth refers to a unique aristocratic political system in the Kingdom of Poland and later, after the Union of Lublin , in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth...

.

Russia


Renaissance trends from Italy and Central Europe influenced Russia in many ways, though this influence was rather limited due to the large distances between Russia and the main European cultural centers, on one hand, and the strong adherence of Russians to their Orthodox traditions
Russian Orthodox Church
The Russian Orthodox Church or, alternatively, the Moscow Patriarchate The ROC is often said to be the largest of the Eastern Orthodox churches in the world; including all the autocephalous churches under its umbrella, its adherents number over 150 million worldwide—about half of the 300 million...

 and Byzantine legacy
Third Rome
The term Third Rome describes the idea that some European city, state, or country is the successor to the legacy of the Roman Empire and its successor state, the Byzantine Empire ....

, on the other hand.

Prince Ivan III introduced Renaissance architecture
Renaissance architecture
Renaissance architecture is the architecture of the period between the early 15th and early 17th centuries in different regions of Europe, demonstrating a conscious revival and development of certain elements of ancient Greek and Roman thought and material culture. Stylistically, Renaissance...

 to Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

 by inviting a number of architects from Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

, who brought new construction techniques and some Renaissance style elements with them, while in general following the traditional designs of the Russian architecture
Russian architecture
Russian architecture follows a tradition whose roots were established in the Eastern Slavic state of Kievan Rus'. After the fall of Kiev, Russian architectural history continued in the principalities of Vladimir-Suzdal, Novgorod, the succeeding states of the Tsardom of Russia, the Russian Empire,...

. In 1475 the Bolognese architect Aristotele Fioravanti came to rebuild the Cathedral of the Dormition
Cathedral of the Dormition
The Cathedral of the Dormition is a Russian Orthodox church dedicated to the Dormition of the Theotokos. It is located on the north side of Cathedral Square of the Moscow Kremlin in Russia, where a narrow alley separates the north from the Patriarch's Palace with the Twelve Apostles Church....

 in the Moscow Kremlin
Moscow Kremlin
The Moscow Kremlin , sometimes referred to as simply The Kremlin, is a historic fortified complex at the heart of Moscow, overlooking the Moskva River , Saint Basil's Cathedral and Red Square and the Alexander Garden...

, damaged in an earthquake. Fioravanti was given the 12th-century Vladimir Cathedral
Assumption Cathedral in Vladimir
Dormition Cathedral in Vladimir used to be a mother church of medieval Russia in the 13th and 14th centuries...

 as a model, and produced a design combining traditional Russian style with a Renaissance sense of spaciousness, proportion and symmetry.


In 1485 Ivan III commissioned the building of a royal Terem Palace
Terem Palace
Terem Palace or Teremnoy Palace is a historical building in the Moscow Kremlin, Russia, which used to be the main residence of the Russian tsars in the 17th century. Its name is derived from the Greek word τερεμνον...

 within the Kremlin, with Aloisio da Milano
Aloisio da Milano
Aloisio da Milano, also known as Aloisio da Carezano, Aleviz Milanets and Aleviz Fryazin was an Italian architect who worked in Muscovy....

 being the architect of the first three floors. Aloisio da Milano, as well as the other Italian architects, also greatly contributed to the construction of the Kremlin walls and towers. The small banqueting hall of the Russian Tsars, called the Palace of Facets
Palace of Facets
The Palace of the Facets is a building in the Moscow Kremlin, Russia, which contains what used to be the main banquet reception hall of the Muscovite Tsars. It is the oldest preserved secular building in Moscow. Located on Kremlin Cathedral Square, between the Cathedral of the Annunciation and the...

 because of its facetted upper story, is the work of two Italians, Marco Ruffo
Marco Ruffo
Marco Ruffo as known as Marco Fryazin was an Italian architect active in Moscow in the 15th century....

 and Pietro Solario, and shows a more Italian style. In 1505, an Italian known in Russia as Aleviz Novyi or Aleviz Fryazin arrived in Moscow. He may have been the Venetian sculptor, Alevisio Lamberti da Montagne. He built 12 churches for Ivan III, including the Cathedral of the Archangel
Cathedral of the Archangel
The Cathedral of the Archangel is a Russian Orthodox church dedicated to the Archangel Michael. It is located in Cathedral Square of the Moscow Kremlin in Russia between the Great Kremlin Palace and the Ivan the Great Bell Tower. It was the main necropolis for members of the Tsars of Russia until...

, a building remarkable for the successful blending of Russian tradition, Orthodox requirements and Renaissance style. It is believed that the Cathedral of the Metropolitan Peter
Metropolitan Peter
Saint Peter, Metropolitan of Moscow and all Russia was the Russian metropolitan who moved his see from Vladimir to Moscow in 1325. Later he was proclaimed a patron saint of Moscow. In spite of the move, the office remained officially entitled "Metropolitan of Kiev and All Rus'" until the...

 in Vysokopetrovsky Monastery
Vysokopetrovsky Monastery
Vysokopetrovsky Monastery is a Russian Orthodox monastery in the Bely Gorod of Moscow commanding a hill whence Petrovka Street descends towards the Kremlin....

, another work of Aleviz Novyi, later served as an inspiration for the so called octagon-on-tetragon architectural form in the Moscow Baroque of the late 17th century.


Between the early 16th and the late 17th centuries, however, an original tradition of stone tented roof
Tented roof
A tented roof is a type of roof widely used in 16th and 17th century Russian architecture for churches. It is like a polygonal spire but differs in purpose in that it is typically used to roof the main internal space of a church, rather than an auxiliary structure...

 architecture had been developed in Russia. It was quite unique and different from the contemporary Renaissance architecture elsewhere in Europe, though some researches call that style 'Russian Gothic' and compare it with the European Gothic architecture
Gothic architecture
Gothic architecture is a style of architecture that flourished during the high and late medieval period. It evolved from Romanesque architecture and was succeeded by Renaissance architecture....

 of the earlier period. The Italians, with their advanced technology, may have influenced the invention of the stone tented roof
Tented roof
A tented roof is a type of roof widely used in 16th and 17th century Russian architecture for churches. It is like a polygonal spire but differs in purpose in that it is typically used to roof the main internal space of a church, rather than an auxiliary structure...

 (the wooden tents were known in Russia and Europe long before). According to one hypothesis, an Italian architect called Petrok Maly
Petrok Maly
Petrok Maly, also known as Petrok Maly Fryazin , was an Italian architect, who arrived in Moscow together with the envoys of Pope Clement VII in 1528....

 may have been an author of the Ascension Church in Kolomenskoye
Kolomenskoye
Kolomenskoye is a former royal estate situated several kilometers to the south-east of the city-centre of Moscow, Russia, on the ancient road leading to the town of Kolomna...

, one of the earliest and most prominent tented roof churches.

By the 17th century the influence of Renaissance painting resulted in Russian icons
Russian icons
The use and making of icons entered Kievan Rus' following its conversion to Orthodox Christianity in 988 AD. As a general rule, these icons strictly followed models and formulas hallowed by Byzantine art, led from the capital in Constantinople...

 becoming slightly more realistic, while still following most of the old icon painting canon
Aesthetic canon
A canon in the sphere of visual arts and aesthetics, or an aesthetic canon, is a rule for proportions, so as to produce a harmoniously formed figure.-Evolution:...

s, as seen in the works of Bogdan Saltanov
Bogdan Saltanov
Bogdan Saltanov , also known as Ivan Ievlevich Saltanov, was an Armenian-born Russian painter at the court of Alexis I of Russia and his successors. Saltanov headed the painting workshop of the Kremlin Armoury from 1686...

, Simon Ushakov
Simon Ushakov
Simon Fyodorovich Ushakov was a leading Russian graphic artist of the late 17th-century. Together with Fyodor Zubov and Fyodor Rozhnov, he is associated with the comprehensive reform of the Russian Orthodox Church undertaken by Patriarch Nikon.-Biography:We know almost nothing about the early...

, Gury Nikitin
Gury Nikitin
Gury Nikitin was a Russian painter and iconographer. He worked principally on wall paintings and frescos, but also produced icons on wood panels and designed engravings. He was head of the Kostroma Brotherhood of Painters, an artists guild, until his death...

, Karp Zolotaryov
Karp Zolotaryov
Karp Ivanovich Zolotaryov was a Muscovite painter, interior designer and wood carver, employed by Posolsky prikaz and the Kremlin Armoury. Zolotaryov was the author of iconostasis of the Transfiguration church in Novodevichy Convent and the Church of the Intercession at Fili and the icons of...

 and other Russian artists of the era. Gradually the new type of secular portrait painting appeared, called parsúna (from "persona" – person), which was transitional style between abstract iconographics and real paintings.

In the mid 16th century Russians adopted printing
Printing
Printing is a process for reproducing text and image, typically with ink on paper using a printing press. It is often carried out as a large-scale industrial process, and is an essential part of publishing and transaction printing....

 from Central Europe, with Ivan Fyodorov
Ivan Fyodorov (printer)
Ivan Fyodorov or Fedorovič , was one of the fathers of Eastern Slavonic printing...

 being the first known Russian printer. In the 17th century printing became widespread, and woodcut
Woodcut
Woodcut—occasionally known as xylography—is a relief printing artistic technique in printmaking in which an image is carved into the surface of a block of wood, with the printing parts remaining level with the surface while the non-printing parts are removed, typically with gouges...

s became especially popular. That led to the development of a special form of folk art
Folk art
Folk art encompasses art produced from an indigenous culture or by peasants or other laboring tradespeople. In contrast to fine art, folk art is primarily utilitarian and decorative rather than purely aesthetic....

 known as lubok
Lubok
A lubok is a Russian popular print, characterized by simple graphics and narratives derived from literature, religious stories and popular tales. Lubki prints were used as decoration in houses and inns...

 printing, which persisted in Russia well into the 19th century.

A number of technologies of Renaissance period was adopted by Russians from Europe rather early, and perfected subsequently to became a part of strong domestic tradition. Mostly these were military technologies, such as cannon
Cannon
A cannon is any piece of artillery that uses gunpowder or other usually explosive-based propellents to launch a projectile. Cannon vary in caliber, range, mobility, rate of fire, angle of fire, and firepower; different forms of cannon combine and balance these attributes in varying degrees,...

 casting
Casting
In metalworking, casting involves pouring liquid metal into a mold, which contains a hollow cavity of the desired shape, and then allowing it to cool and solidify. The solidified part is also known as a casting, which is ejected or broken out of the mold to complete the process...

 adopted at least in the 15th century. The Tsar Cannon
Tsar Cannon
The Tsar Cannon is a huge cannon on display on the grounds of the Moscow Kremlin. It was cast in 1586 in Moscow, by the Russian master bronze caster Andrey Chokhov. Mostly of symbolic impact, it was never fired in war...

, which is the world's largest bombard by caliber, is the masterpiece of Russian cannon making. It was cast in 1586 by Andrey Chokhov
Andrey Chokhov
Andrey Chokhov, also spelled Chekhov was one of the most prominent Russian casters...

, and is notable also by its rich relief
Relief
Relief is a sculptural technique. The term relief is from the Latin verb levo, to raise. To create a sculpture in relief is thus to give the impression that the sculpted material has been raised above the background plane...

 decoration. Another technology, that according to one hypothesis originally was brought from Europe by Italians, resulted in the development of vodka
Vodka
Vodka , is a distilled beverage. It is composed primarily of water and ethanol with traces of impurities and flavorings. Vodka is made by the distillation of fermented substances such as grains, potatoes, or sometimes fruits....

, the national beverage of Russia. As early as 1386 the Genoese
Genoa
Genoa |Ligurian]] Zena ; Latin and, archaically, English Genua) is a city and an important seaport in northern Italy, the capital of the Province of Genoa and of the region of Liguria....

 ambassadors brought the first aqua vitae ("the living water") to Moscow
Moscow
Moscow is the capital, the most populous city, and the most populous federal subject of Russia. The city is a major political, economic, cultural, scientific, religious, financial, educational, and transportation centre of Russia and the continent...

 and presented it to Grand Duke
Grand Duchy of Moscow
The Grand Duchy of Moscow or Grand Principality of Moscow, also known in English simply as Muscovy , was a late medieval Rus' principality centered on Moscow, and the predecessor state of the early modern Tsardom of Russia....

 Dmitry Donskoy. The Genoese likely got this beverage with the help of the alchemist
Alchemist
An alchemist is a person who practices alchemy. Alchemist may also refer to:-People and groups:*The Alchemist , a hip hop music producer and rapper*Alchemist , an Australian progressive metal band...

s of Provance, who used the Arab
Arab
Arab people, also known as Arabs , are a panethnicity primarily living in the Arab world, which is located in Western Asia and North Africa. They are identified as such on one or more of genealogical, linguistic, or cultural grounds, with tribal affiliations, and intra-tribal relationships playing...

-invented distillation apparatus to convert grape
Grape
A grape is a non-climacteric fruit, specifically a berry, that grows on the perennial and deciduous woody vines of the genus Vitis. Grapes can be eaten raw or they can be used for making jam, juice, jelly, vinegar, wine, grape seed extracts, raisins, molasses and grape seed oil. Grapes are also...

 must
Must
Must is freshly pressed fruit juice that contains the skins, seeds, and stems of the fruit. The solid portion of the must is called pomace; it typically makes up 7%–23% of the total weight of the must. Making must is the first step in winemaking...

 into alcohol
Alcohol
In chemistry, an alcohol is an organic compound in which the hydroxy functional group is bound to a carbon atom. In particular, this carbon center should be saturated, having single bonds to three other atoms....

. A Moscovite
Moscow
Moscow is the capital, the most populous city, and the most populous federal subject of Russia. The city is a major political, economic, cultural, scientific, religious, financial, educational, and transportation centre of Russia and the continent...

 monk called Isidore
Isidore (inventor)
Isidore was a 15th century Russian Orthodox monk from Chudov Monastery in Moscow, credited with producing the first genuine recipe of Russian vodka circa 1430, a fact later recognised by international arbitration in 1982....

 used this technology to produce the first original Russian vodka c. 1430.

The Importance of the Renaissance to the Enlightenment


Scholars, philosophers and writers were responsible for the Renaissance and carried Renaissance, humanist ideologies to the period of the Enlightenment - "ideologies determined to shape the future - seventeenth-century rationalism, the eighteenth-century Enlightenment, Marxism in the nineteenth century...” Literacy was important in the spread of the Renaissance and the Enlightenment. The period of the Renaissance was a period of valuing humanity. Literature and education, major building blocks of the Enlightenment, were considered food and energy for the human soul. The Renaissance laid the foundation for the Enlightenment, building a democratic atmosphere for European people. During the Renaissance it was determined that knowledge of literature, science, math, art and philosophy are vital to better humanity.

Conception


The term was first used retrospectively by the Italian artist
Artist
An artist is a person engaged in one or more of any of a broad spectrum of activities related to creating art, practicing the arts and/or demonstrating an art. The common usage in both everyday speech and academic discourse is a practitioner in the visual arts only...

 and critic
Critic
A critic is anyone who expresses a value judgement. Informally, criticism is a common aspect of all human expression and need not necessarily imply skilled or accurate expressions of judgement. Critical judgements, good or bad, may be positive , negative , or balanced...

 Giorgio Vasari
Giorgio Vasari
Giorgio Vasari was an Italian painter, writer, historian, and architect, who is famous today for his biographies of Italian artists, considered the ideological foundation of art-historical writing.-Biography:...

 (1511–1574) in his book The Lives of the Artists (published 1550). In the book Vasari was attempting to define what he described as a break with the barbarities of gothic art
Gothic art
Gothic art was a Medieval art movement that developed in France out of Romanesque art in the mid-12th century, led by the concurrent development of Gothic architecture. It spread to all of Western Europe, but took over art more completely north of the Alps, never quite effacing more classical...

: the arts had fallen into decay with the collapse of the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

 and only the Tuscan artists, beginning with Cimabue
Cimabue
Cimabue , also known as Bencivieni di Pepo or in modern Italian, Benvenuto di Giuseppe, was an Italian painter and creator of mosaics from Florence....

 (1240–1301) and Giotto (1267–1337) began to reverse this decline in the arts. According to Vasari, antique art was central to the rebirth of Italian art.

However, it was not until the 19th century that the French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

 word Renaissance achieved popularity in describing the cultural movement that began in the late-13th century. The Renaissance was first defined by French historian
Historian
A historian is a person who studies and writes about the past and is regarded as an authority on it. Historians are concerned with the continuous, methodical narrative and research of past events as relating to the human race; as well as the study of all history in time. If the individual is...

 Jules Michelet
Jules Michelet
Jules Michelet was a French historian. He was born in Paris to a family with Huguenot traditions.-Early life:His father was a master printer, not very prosperous, and Jules assisted him in the actual work of the press...

 (1798–1874), in his 1855 work, Histoire de France. For Michelet, the Renaissance was more a development in science than in art and culture. He asserted that it spanned the period from Columbus
Christopher Columbus
Christopher Columbus was an explorer, colonizer, and navigator, born in the Republic of Genoa, in northwestern Italy. Under the auspices of the Catholic Monarchs of Spain, he completed four voyages across the Atlantic Ocean that led to general European awareness of the American continents in the...

 to Copernicus to Galileo; that is, from the end of the 15th century to the middle of the 17th century. Moreover, Michelet distinguished between what he called, "the bizarre and monstrous" quality of the Middle Ages and the democratic
Democracy
Democracy is generally defined as a form of government in which all adult citizens have an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives. Ideally, this includes equal participation in the proposal, development and passage of legislation into law...

 values that he, as a vocal Republican
Republicanism
Republicanism is the ideology of governing a nation as a republic, where the head of state is appointed by means other than heredity, often elections. The exact meaning of republicanism varies depending on the cultural and historical context...

, chose to see in its character. A French nationalist, Michelet also sought to claim the Renaissance as a French movement.

The Swiss
Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

 historian Jacob Burckhardt
Jacob Burckhardt
Carl Jacob Christoph Burckhardt was a historian of art and culture, and an influential figure in the historiography of each field. He is known as one of the major progenitors of cultural history, albeit in a form very different from how cultural history is conceived and studied in academia today...

 (1818–1897) in his Die Cultur der Renaissance in Italien (1860), by contrast, defined the Renaissance as the period between Giotto and Michelangelo
Michelangelo
Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni , commonly known as Michelangelo, was an Italian Renaissance painter, sculptor, architect, poet, and engineer who exerted an unparalleled influence on the development of Western art...

 in Italy, that is, the 14th to mid-16th centuries. He saw in the Renaissance the emergence of the modern spirit of individuality
Individualism
Individualism is the moral stance, political philosophy, ideology, or social outlook that stresses "the moral worth of the individual". Individualists promote the exercise of one's goals and desires and so value independence and self-reliance while opposing most external interference upon one's own...

, which had been stifled in the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

. His book was widely read and was influential in the development of the modern interpretation of the Italian Renaissance
Italian Renaissance
The Italian Renaissance began the opening phase of the Renaissance, a period of great cultural change and achievement in Europe that spanned the period from the end of the 13th century to about 1600, marking the transition between Medieval and Early Modern Europe...

. However, Buckhardt has been accused of setting forth a linear Whiggish
Whig history
Whig history is the approach to historiography which presents the past as an inevitable progression towards ever greater liberty and enlightenment, culminating in modern forms of liberal democracy and constitutional monarchy. In general, Whig historians stress the rise of constitutional government,...

 view of history in seeing the Renaissance as the origin of the modern world.

More recently, historians have been much less keen to define the Renaissance as a historical age, or even a coherent cultural movement. Randolph Starn, Historian at the University of California Berkeley, stated:

Debates about progress



There is debate about the extent to which the Renaissance improved on the culture of the Middle Ages. Both Michelet and Burckhardt were keen to describe the progress made in the Renaissance towards the modern age
Modern Age
Modern Age is an American conservative academic quarterly journal, founded in 1957 by Russell Kirk in close collaboration with Henry Regnery...

. Burckhardt likened the change to a veil being removed from man's eyes, allowing him to see clearly.
On the other hand, many historians now point out that most of the negative social factors popularly associated with the medieval period – poverty, warfare, religious and political persecution, for example – seem to have worsened in this era which saw the rise of Machiavellian politics
Niccolò Machiavelli
Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli was an Italian historian, philosopher, humanist, and writer based in Florence during the Renaissance. He is one of the main founders of modern political science. He was a diplomat, political philosopher, playwright, and a civil servant of the Florentine Republic...

, the Wars of Religion
French Wars of Religion
The French Wars of Religion is the name given to a period of civil infighting and military operations, primarily fought between French Catholics and Protestants . The conflict involved the factional disputes between the aristocratic houses of France, such as the House of Bourbon and House of Guise...

, the corrupt Borgia
Borgia
The Borgias, also known as the Borjas, Borjia, were a European Papal family of Italian and Spanish origin with the name stemming from the familial fief seat of Borja belonging to their Aragonese Lords; they became prominent during the Renaissance. The Borgias were patrons of the arts, and their...

 Popes, and the intensified witch-hunt
Witch-hunt
A witch-hunt is a search for witches or evidence of witchcraft, often involving moral panic, mass hysteria and lynching, but in historical instances also legally sanctioned and involving official witchcraft trials...

s of the 16th century. Many people who lived during the Renaissance did not view it as the "golden age
Golden Age
The term Golden Age comes from Greek mythology and legend and refers to the first in a sequence of four or five Ages of Man, in which the Golden Age is first, followed in sequence, by the Silver, Bronze, and Iron Ages, and then the present, a period of decline...

" imagined by certain 19th-century authors, but were concerned by these social maladies. Significantly, though, the artists, writers, and patrons involved in the cultural movements in question believed they were living in a new era that was a clean break from the Middle Ages. Some Marxist historians
Historical materialism
Historical materialism is a methodological approach to the study of society, economics, and history, first articulated by Karl Marx as "the materialist conception of history". Historical materialism looks for the causes of developments and changes in human society in the means by which humans...

 prefer to describe the Renaissance in material terms, holding the view that the changes in art, literature, and philosophy were part of a general economic trend from feudalism
Feudalism
Feudalism was a set of legal and military customs in medieval Europe that flourished between the 9th and 15th centuries, which, broadly defined, was a system for ordering society around relationships derived from the holding of land in exchange for service or labour.Although derived from the...

 towards capitalism
Capitalism
Capitalism is an economic system that became dominant in the Western world following the demise of feudalism. There is no consensus on the precise definition nor on how the term should be used as a historical category...

, resulting in a bourgeois class with leisure time to devote to the arts.

Johan Huizinga
Johan Huizinga
Johan Huizinga , was a Dutch historian and one of the founders of modern cultural history.-Life:Born in Groningen as the son of Dirk Huizinga, a professor of physiology, and Jacoba Tonkens, who died two years after his birth, he started out as a student of Indo-Germanic languages, earning his...

 (1872–1945) acknowledged the existence of the Renaissance but questioned whether it was a positive change. In his book The Waning of the Middle Ages, he argued that the Renaissance was a period of decline from the High Middle Ages
High Middle Ages
The High Middle Ages was the period of European history around the 11th, 12th, and 13th centuries . The High Middle Ages were preceded by the Early Middle Ages and followed by the Late Middle Ages, which by convention end around 1500....

, destroying much that was important. The Latin language
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

, for instance, had evolved greatly from the classical period and was still a living language used in the church and elsewhere. The Renaissance obsession with classical purity halted its further evolution and saw Latin revert to its classical form. Robert S. Lopez has contended that it was a period of deep economic recession. Meanwhile George Sarton
George Sarton
George Sarton was a Belgian chemist and historian who is considered the founder of the discipline of history of science. He left Belgium because of the First World War and settled in the United States where he spent the rest of his life researching and writing about the history of science...

 and Lynn Thorndike
Lynn Thorndike
Lynn Thorndike was an American historian of medieval science and alchemy...

 have both argued that scientific
Science
Science is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe...

 progress was perhaps less original than has traditionally been supposed. Finally, Joan Kelly
Joan Kelly
Joan Kelly was a prominent American historian who wrote on the Italian Renaissance, specifically on Leon Battista Alberti. She earned a PhD at Columbia University in 1963 and served as a lecturer, then as an assistant, associate, and full professor of history at the City College of New York of the...

 argued that the Renaissance led to greater gender dichotomy, lessening the agency women had had during the Middle Ages.

Some historians have begun to consider the word Renaissance to be unnecessarily loaded, implying an unambiguously positive rebirth from the supposedly more primitive "Dark Ages" (Middle Ages). Many historians now prefer to use the term "Early Modern
Early modern Europe
Early modern Europe is the term used by historians to refer to a period in the history of Europe which spanned the centuries between the end of the Middle Ages and the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, roughly the late 15th century to the late 18th century...

" for this period, a more neutral designation that highlights the period as a transitional one between the Middle Ages and the modern era. Others such as Roger Osborne have come to consider the Italian Renaissance as a repository of the myths and ideals of western history in general, and instead of rebirth of ancient ideas as a period of great innovation

Other Renaissances


The term Renaissance has also been used to define periods outside of the 15th and 16th centuries. Charles H. Haskins
Charles H. Haskins
Charles Homer Haskins was an American historian of the Middle Ages, and advisor to US President Woodrow Wilson. He is considered to be America's first medieval historian.-Biography:...

 (1870–1937), for example, made a case for a Renaissance of the 12th century
Renaissance of the 12th century
The Renaissance of the 12th century was a period of many changes at the outset of the High Middle Ages. It included social, political and economic transformations, and an intellectual revitalization of Western Europe with strong philosophical and scientific roots...

. Other historians have argued for a Carolingian Renaissance
Carolingian Renaissance
In the history of ideas the Carolingian Renaissance stands out as a period of intellectual and cultural revival in Europe occurring from the late eighth century, in the generation of Alcuin, to the 9th century, and the generation of Heiric of Auxerre, with the peak of the activities coordinated...

 in the 8th and 9th centuries, and still later for an Ottonian Renaissance
Ottonian Renaissance
The Ottonian Renaissance was a limited "renaissance" of economy and art in central and southern Europe that accompanied the reigns of the first three emperors of the Saxon Dynasty, all named Otto: Otto I , Otto II , and Otto III , and which in large part depended upon their patronage.One of three ...

 in the 10th century. Other periods of cultural rebirth have also been termed "renaissances", such as the Bengal Renaissance
Bengal Renaissance
The Bengal Renaissance refers to a social reform movement during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in the region of Bengal in Undivided India during the period of British rule...

, al-Nahda
Al-Nahda
Al-Nahda was a cultural renaissance that began in the late 19th century and early 20th century in Egypt, then later moving to Ottoman-ruled Arabic-speaking regions including Lebanon, Syria and others...

 or the Harlem Renaissance
Harlem Renaissance
The Harlem Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned the 1920s and 1930s. At the time, it was known as the "New Negro Movement", named after the 1925 anthology by Alain Locke...

.

See also



  • Italian Renaissance
    Italian Renaissance
    The Italian Renaissance began the opening phase of the Renaissance, a period of great cultural change and achievement in Europe that spanned the period from the end of the 13th century to about 1600, marking the transition between Medieval and Early Modern Europe...

  • Weser Renaissance
    Weser Renaissance
    Weser Renaissance is a form of Renaissance architectural style that is found in the area around the River Weser in central Germany and which has been well-preserved in the towns and cities of the region.- Background :...

  • Gilded woodcarving
    Gilded woodcarving
    Gilded woodcarvingGilded woodcarving in Portugal is, along with the tile, one of its most original and rich artistic expressions. It is usually used in the internal decoration of churches and cathedrals, but also as part of the decoration of noble halls in palaces and large public buildings,...

  • List of Renaissance figures
  • List of Renaissance structures
  • Medical Renaissance
    Medical Renaissance
    Medical Renaissance is the term often applied to the period, around 1400 to 1700, of major progress in medical knowledge and a renewed interest in the ancient ideas of the Greeks and Romans. This movement was made possible by the Reformation of the Church, a decline in Conservatism, the work of...

  • Age of Enlightenment
    Age of Enlightenment
    The Age of Enlightenment was an elite cultural movement of intellectuals in 18th century Europe that sought to mobilize the power of reason in order to reform society and advance knowledge. It promoted intellectual interchange and opposed intolerance and abuses in church and state...

  • Scientific Revolution
    Scientific revolution
    The Scientific Revolution is an era associated primarily with the 16th and 17th centuries during which new ideas and knowledge in physics, astronomy, biology, medicine and chemistry transformed medieval and ancient views of nature and laid the foundations for modern science...

  • Western culture
    Western culture
    Western culture, sometimes equated with Western civilization or European civilization, refers to cultures of European origin and is used very broadly to refer to a heritage of social norms, ethical values, traditional customs, religious beliefs, political systems, and specific artifacts and...


Primary sources

  • Bartlett, Kenneth, ed. The Civilization of the Italian Renaissance: A Sourcebook (2nd ed. 2011)
  • Ross, James Bruce, and Mary M. McLaughlin, eds. The Portable Renaissance Reader (1977) excerpt and text search

External links