The Trecento refers to the 14th century in Italian cultural history.

Commonly the Trecento is considered to be the beginning of the Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages 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...

 in art history. Painters of the Trecento included 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...

, as well as painters of the Sienese School
Sienese School
The Sienese School of painting flourished in Siena, Italy between the 13th and 15th centuries and for a time rivaled Florence, though it was more conservative, being inclined towards the decorative beauty and elegant grace of late Gothic art...

, which became the most important in Italy during the century, including Duccio
Duccio di Buoninsegna was one of the most influential Italian artists of his time. Born in Siena, Tuscany, he worked mostly with pigment and egg tempera and like most of his contemporaries painted religious subjects...

, Simone Martini
Simone Martini
Simone Martini was an Italian painter born in Siena.He was a major figure in the development of early Italian painting and greatly influenced the development of the International Gothic style....

, Lippo Memmi
Lippo Memmi
Lippo Memmi was an Italian painter from Siena. He was the foremost follower of Simone Martini, who was his brother-in-law....

, 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....

 and his brother Pietro
Pietro Lorenzetti
Pietro Lorenzetti was an Italian painter, active between approximately 1306 and 1345. His younger brother was the painter Ambrogio Lorenzetti....

. Important sculptors included two pupils of Giovanni Pisano
Giovanni Pisano
Giovanni Pisano was an Italian sculptor, painter and architect. Son of the famous sculptor Nicola Pisano, he received his training in the workshop of his father....

: 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....

 and Tino di Camaino
Tino di Camaino
thumb|300px|Tomb of Antonio d'Orso, in [[Santa Maria del Fiore]], [[Florence]].Tino di Camaino was an Italian sculptor....

, and Bonino da Campione
Bonino da Campione
Bonino da Campione was an Italian sculptor in the Gothic style, active between 1350 and 1390.His name indicates that he was born in - or into a family originating in - Campione d'Italia, a Lombardy town in an enclave within Switzerland...


The Trecento was also famous as a time of heightened literary activity, with writers working in the vernacular instead of Latin. Dante
Delivery of Advanced Network Technology to Europe is a not-for-profit organisation that plans, builds and operates the international networks that interconnect the various national research and education networks in Europe and surrounding regions...

, 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"...

 and Boccaccio
Giovanni Boccaccio
Giovanni Boccaccio was an Italian author and poet, a friend, student, and correspondent of Petrarch, an important Renaissance humanist and the author of a number of notable works including the Decameron, On Famous Women, and his poetry in the Italian vernacular...

 were the leading writers of the age. Dante produced his famous La divina commedia (The Divine Comedy), a summation of the medieval worldview, and Petrarch wrote verse in a lyrical style influenced by the Provençal poetry of the troubadour
A troubadour was a composer and performer of Old Occitan lyric poetry during the High Middle Ages . Since the word "troubadour" is etymologically masculine, a female troubadour is usually called a trobairitz....


In music, the Trecento was a time of vigorous activity in Italy, as it was in France, with which there was a frequent interchange of musicians and influences. Distinguishing the period from the preceding century was an emphasis on secular song, especially love lyrics; much of the surviving music is polyphonic, but the influence of the troubadour
A troubadour was a composer and performer of Old Occitan lyric poetry during the High Middle Ages . Since the word "troubadour" is etymologically masculine, a female troubadour is usually called a trobairitz....

s who came to Italy, fleeing the Albigensian Crusade
Albigensian Crusade
The Albigensian Crusade or Cathar Crusade was a 20-year military campaign initiated by the Catholic Church to eliminate Catharism in Languedoc...

 in the early 13th century, is evident. In contrast to the artistic and literary achievements of the century, Trecento music (at least in written form) flourished in the second half of the century, and the period is often extended (especially in English-language scholarship) into the first decades of the fifteenth century, as a so-called "Long Trecento." Musicians and composers of the Trecento included the renowned Francesco Landini
Francesco Landini
Francesco degli Organi, Francesco il Cieco, or Francesco da Firenze, called by later generations Francesco Landini or Landino was an Italian composer, organist, singer, poet and instrument maker...

, as well as Maestro Piero
Maestro Piero
Maestro Piero was an Italian composer of the late medieval era. He was one of the first composers of the Trecento who is known by name, and probably one of the oldest...

, Gherardello da Firenze
Gherardello da Firenze
Gherardello da Firenze was an Italian composer of the Trecento...

, Jacopo da Bologna
Jacopo da Bologna
Jacopo da Bologna was an Italian composer of the Trecento, the period sometimes known as the Italian ars nova. He was one of the first composers of this group, making him a contemporary of Gherardello da Firenze and Giovanni da Firenze...

, Giovanni da Cascia
Giovanni da Cascia
Giovanni da Cascia, also Jovannes de Cascia, Johannes de Florentia, Maestro Giovanni da Firenze, was an Italian composer of the medieval era, active in the middle of the fourteenth century....

, Paolo "Tenorista" da Firenze
Paolo da Firenze
Paolo da Firenze was an Italian composer and music theorist of the late 14th and early 15th centuries, the transition from the musical Medieval era to the Renaissance...

, Niccolò da Perugia
Niccolò da Perugia
Niccolò da Perugia was an Italian composer of the Trecento, the musical period also known as the "Italian ars nova". He was a contemporary of Francesco Landini, and apparently was most active in Florence.Little is known for certain about his life; only a few biographical details are verifiable...

, Bartolino da Padova
Bartolino da Padova
Bartolino da Padova was an Italian composer of the late 14th century...

, Antonio Zachara da Teramo, Matteo da Perugia
Matteo da Perugia
Matteo da Perugia was a Medieval Italian composer, presumably from Perugia. From 1402 to 1407 he was the first magister cappellae of the Milan Cathedral; his duties included being cantor and teaching three boys selected by the Cathedral deputies. Little is known about his life apart from this...

, and Johannes Ciconia
Johannes Ciconia
Johannes Ciconia was a late medieval composer and music theorist who worked most of his adult life in Italy, particularly in the service of the Papal Chapels and at the cathedral of Padua....


See also

  • Music of the Trecento
    Music of the trecento
    The Trecento was a period of vigorous activity in Italy in the arts, including painting, architecture, literature, and music. The music of the Trecento paralleled the achievements in the other arts in many ways, for example, in pioneering new forms of expression, especially in secular song in the...

  • Quattrocento
    The cultural and artistic events of 15th century Italy are collectively referred to as the Quattrocento...

    - the 15th century in Italian culture
  • Cinquecento
    Cinquecento is a term used to describe the Italian Renaissance of the 16th century, including the current styles of art, music, literature, and architecture.-Art:...

    - the 16th century in Italian culture
  • Seicento
    This article talks about culture and history in 17th century Italy. For more specific information regarding the Baroque artistic and social period in Italy, please see Italian Baroque. For an article regarding Italian history from the 16th to the mid-19th century, see Early Modern Italy...

    - the 17th century in Italian culture
  • 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...

    - started at end of 14th century

Further reading

Michael Long, "Trecento Italy," in James McKinnon, ed., Antiquity and the Middle Ages, Man and Music (renamed: Music and Society) series. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice Hall, 1991. pp. 241–268.
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