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Italy Births the Renaissance

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Presentation on theme: "Italy Births the Renaissance"— Presentation transcript:

1 Italy Births the Renaissance
The European explosion in arts and learning between 1300 and 1600 began in Northern Italy and spread north due to 3 factors: Urban Centers: large city states sprung up in Northern Italy due to the presence of sizable towns and overseas trade. New ideas flourished in these urban centers, but the bubonic plague ravaged the population and reduced opportunities for business growth. Many wealth merchants began to pursue other interests, such as the arts. Merchants and the Medici: Merchants were the wealthiest, most dominant social class and they controlled political life. Their belief in individual merit became a dominant theme of the Renaissance Era. Cosimo de’ Medici controlled Florence’s govt. and after his death his grandson Lorenzo controlled the govt. and contributed to the arts.

2 Classical and Worldly Values
Classical Heritage: Italian artists and scholars were inspired by the ruins of Rome that surrounded them. In the 1300s, scholars studied ancient Latin manuscripts. Then in the 1450s Byzantine scholars fled to Rome with ancient Greek manuscripts which Italians thought had been lost. As scholars studied the Greek and Latin works, they were increasingly influenced by classical ideas which they used to develop new outlooks on life: Humanism: focused on human potential and achievements and popularized the study of history, literature, and philosophy (the Humanities). Secularism: the belief that one could enjoy life without offending God led to material luxuries, fine music, and a focus on the here and now. (Mansions, expensive clothes).

3 Patrons of the Arts Renaissance popes beautified Rome by expending large sums for fine art and supporting artists. Wealthy merchants and wealthy families (like the Medicis) also patronized the arts via self portraits and by donating art to the city. Renaissance Man: a man who excelled in several fields; he could dance, sing, play music, and write poetry in addition to being a skilled rider, wrestler, and swordsman. Renaissance Woman: expected to inspire art rather than create it. Isabella d’Este exercised rare power, maintained a famed art collection, and was skilled in politics.

4 Renaissance Revolutionizes Art
Rather than using religious subjects to convey spiritual ideals, Renaissance artists emphasized individuals and painted prominent citizens. Michelangelo glorified the human body via his sculpture of David, the posture of whose image is graceful and displays strength and power. Donatello carved natural postures and expressions to reveal personality through art. Masaccio rediscovered the technique of perspective, which indicates three dimensions.

5 Renaissance Revolutionizes Art
Leonardo da Vinci (painter, sculptor, inventor, scientist) incorporated his fascination with how things worked into his art. Da’Vinci’s Mona Lisa seems so real that many have attempted to explain the thoughts behind her smile; his Last Supper used facial expressions to depict the personalities of Jesus’ disciples. Raphael often portrayed the Virgin Mary and Jesus Christ. He also painted School of Athens, which depicted he and Michelangelo, among others, listening to classical Greek philosophers.

6 Renaissance Writers Change Literature
Sofinisba Anguissola created portraits of King Phillip II of Spain. Artemesia Gentileschi painted pictures of strong, heroic women. Renaissance writers used the common vernacular and wrote for self-expression or to portray their subjects. Francisco Petrarch, an influential humanist and poet, wrote sonnets in Italian and personal letters to his friends in Latin. Boccaccio wrote Decameron, a series of off-color stories told from the perspective of worldly youth waiting out the black plague in a Florentine villa.

7 Machiavelli Advises Rulers
Niccolo Machiavelli penned a political guidebook, The Prince (1513), in which he examined how rulers gain and maintain power in spite of his enemies. More concerned with what was politically effective rather than what was morally right, Machiavelli advised rulers to trick his enemies as well as his own people, for the good of the state. Victoria Colonna exchanged sonnets with Michelangelo and helped Castiglione publish The Courtier.

8 The Northern Renaissance Begins
Merchants who traveled to Italy were impressed by Italian artists interest in classical culture, their curiosity about the world, and their belief in human potential. By the late 1400s, these merchants had spread Renaissance ideals from Italy to the northern European nations of England, France, Germany, and Flanders. Having recovered from the bubonic plague and the Hundred Years War, European monarchs began to sponsor the arts. Francis I of France bought Renaissance paintings, invited Leonardo da Vinci to retire in France, and hired Italian architects to rebuild his castle at Fontainebleau. The Northern Renaissance developed its own character as Italian ideas mingled with northern traditions.;

9 The Northern Renaissance Begins
Clergy began to charge high fees to perform services for the dying, and some deserted their flock. Humanists of the northern Renaissance were more interested in religious themes than their Italian counterparts. Inspired by the Renaissance ideal of human dignity, many of them developed plans for social reform based on Christian values.

10 Artistic Ideas Spread Forced out of Southern Italy by war, many Italian artists took their ideas north into Europe. Albrecht Durer, a German artist who had studied in Italy, produced woodcuts and engravings of religious subjects. One of his most famous, Adoration of the Trinity, influenced other German artists such as Hans Holbein. Hans Holbein specialized in paintings of almost photographic detail. He enjoyed great success in England, where he painted portraits of King Henry VIII and other members of the royal family. Jan van Eyck using oil based paints to add realism by creating a variety of subtle colors in clothing and jewels.

11 Realism in Art Van Eyck’s paintings displayed unusually realistic details to reveal the personality of their subjects. Pieter Bruegel was also interested in realism and captured common scenes such as weddings, dances, harvests, and changing seasons. Bruegel produced paintings that communicated morality, such as his paintings protesting Spanish rule over Flanders.

12 Northern Writers Try to Reform Society
Northern writers adopted the ideal of humanism, but with a religious slant. Hence, they are called Christian humanists. Desiderious Erasmus – best known Christian humanist who received honors from princes, kings, and cardinals for his writings, such as the Praise of Folly, which ridiculed greedy merchants, heartsick lovers, quarrelsome scholars, and pompous priests. Erasmus believed that rather than adhere to a legalistic set of rules, all people should study the Bible in order to improve society. Thomas More – wrote Utopia, a book about an imaginary land inhabited by peace loving people.

13 Northern Writers Try to Reform Society
In More’s Utopia, there is no greed, corruption, war, or crime because people were very generous and had little use for money. Desiderious Erasmus – best known Christian humanist who received honors from princes, kings, and cardinals for his writings, such as the Praise of Folly, which ridiculed greedy merchants, heartsick lovers, quarrelsome scholars, and pompous priests. Francois Rabelais wrote his comic adventure Gargantua and Pantagruel in common French. Rabelais believed that people were basically good and should live by their instincts rather than religious rules. He wrote secular humorous social commentary.

14 Northern Writers Try to Reform Society
William Shakespeare, regarded by many as the greatest playwright of all time, wrote plays in England that revealed the souls of men and women through scenes of dramatic conflict. His greatest works include the tragedies Macbeth, King Lear, Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, and the comedy A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Shakespeare admired the classics and drew on them for inspiration. Renaissance in England is called the Elizabethan Age due to Queen Elizabeth I’s patronage of artists and writers, such as Edmund Spenser.

15 Printing Spreads Renaissance Ideas
Encouraged by the slow process of the block printing method, Johann Gutenberg, a German craftsman, reinvented movable type in 1440. Guttenberg then invented the printing press, which he used to print a complete Guttenberg Bible, the first full-sized book printed with movable type, in about 1455. The printing press revolutionized learning in Europe by producing large quantities of affordable books. Printers began to produce the Bible in people’s common language, allowing even more people to read it and call for religious reform.


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