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17 March 2010. Outline  End of the Medieval Era  Plague  Learning  Social Order and Cultural Change  Household  Women  Trade  Vernacular Literature.

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Presentation on theme: "17 March 2010. Outline  End of the Medieval Era  Plague  Learning  Social Order and Cultural Change  Household  Women  Trade  Vernacular Literature."— Presentation transcript:

1 17 March 2010

2 Outline  End of the Medieval Era  Plague  Learning  Social Order and Cultural Change  Household  Women  Trade  Vernacular Literature  Humanism  Petrarch  Print  Civic Humanism  The Origins of the Renaissance  Origins  Intellectual values  Northern renaissance  Social Order

3  Plague, 1348  Loss of up to one-half the population  Alters dynamics of feudal system  More land meant less reliance on the upper class to provide for the peasants  Decreased overall production  BUT:  Increased individual wealth  Increased demand for luxury goods  Falling grain prices led to diversified crops and better diet for Europeans

4  The Household  Small, nuclear families  Shopkeepers and craftsmen live above shops  Rural families shared quarters with livestock  Generally overcrowded  Quick remarriage the norm—why?  Women  Excluded from trade- and craft-controlling guilds  Worked in agriculture and commerce  Engaged in unorganized (no guilds) retail trade: dairy products, textile production, brewing  Geographical differences: Mediterranean culture marginalized women more than northern Europe  underclass women were slaves and prostitutes

5  Trade  downturn after religious and civil unrest  Italian bankers hit after borrowers default on war loans  Trade decreases  merchants seek to avoid dangerous travel  Emerging underclass rife with violence and crime disrupts trade routes  Looking for alternate investments, merchants turn to art and luxury

6  Rise of Vernacular Literature  Fourteenth century  Urban, middle-class movement  Write for a literate laity  Figures include: Francesco Petrarch, Giovanni Boccaccio in Florence, Geoffrey Chaucer in London  Royal or noble patronage vital to careers of writers  Increased focus on classical Latin as the language of learning

7  Studied by scholars, civil servants, notaries, and rich patricians  Attempts to emulate the virtues and learning of the ancients gives rise to humanism  Humanism emphasizes the study of man: history and literature used to help scholars identify with the ancient past  Reject “logic” and abstract language of medieval era for eloquence and style in discourse  Imitate Cicero and other Roman authors

8  Humanism celebrated the glory of human achievements and was not viewed by humanists as conflicting with their Christian faith  Cosimo de Medici even sponsors the Platonic Academy in Florence  Scholars there argue the concept of immortal soul is Platonic  Ancient wisdom prefigured Christian teaching

9  Petrarch viewed the 14 th Century as a positive and clear break with the “Dark Ages,” celebrating a return/rediscovery of the culture of antiquity (humanism)  You have heard what I think of your life and your genius. Are you hoping to hear of your books also; what fate has befallen them, how they are esteemed by the masses and among scholars? They still are in existence, glorious volumes, but we of today are too feeble a folk to read them, or even to be acquainted with their mere titles. Your fame extends far and wide; your name is mighty, and fills the ears of men; and yet those who really know you are very few, be it because the times are unfavourable, or because men's minds are slow and dull, or, as I am the more inclined to believe, because the love of money forces our thoughts in other directions. Consequently right in our own day, unless I am much mistaken, some of your books have disappeared, I fear beyond recovery. It is a great grief to me, a great disgrace to this generation, a great wrong done to posterity. The shame of failing to cultivate our own talents, thereby depriving the future of the fruits that they might have yielded, is not enough for us; we must waste and spoil, through our cruel and insufferable neglect, the fruits of your labours too, and of those of your fellows as well, for the fate that I lament in the case of your own books has befallen the works of many another illustrious man. (“To Cicero”)

10  Humanistic ideas are helped by the development of moveable type  Johannes Gutenberg, 1440s  Single press could produce volumes at the rate of one thousand scribes  Aided the spread of classical, religious, and political texts

11  Florence,  Imitation of ancient Roman rhetoric leads to adoption of ancient ideas  Study of humanities leads to republican ideology  Study of ancient civilization call to public service and political action

12  The Renaissance was the self- declared break/period (rebirth) of commercial, financial, political and cultural awakening that coincided with the “decline” of the medieval European world  A political and economic movement as much it was as an intellectual and artistic/cultural one

13  Northern Italian cities (Genoa, Venice, Milan, Florence) went through a period of commercial renewal in the wake of the Black Death  The merging of Italian feudal nobility with the commercial aristocracy of the cities led to a new and powerful social class: the urban nobility  By 1300, members of the urban nobility dominated Italian city-state politics and the “Renaissance” reflects their power, wealth, and values

14  Individualism – Belief in the intellectual power and capacity of human beings to think, rather than feel, their way through the world  Revival of Ancient values – By reading and copying ancient texts, Renaissance scholars took on antiquity values like …?  Secularism – Such values led Renaissance scholars to focus in on the material world

15  Italian influence reached northern Europe and inspired similar values and ideas  Europeans stressed more in the way of social reform  Northern Renaissance Humanists sought to create a “perfect” world  Erasmus: education makes reform possible; Christianity comes from within  “from the effort to align the heart and spirit with worldly values”  focused on developing peaceful kingdoms, based on piety and learning and charity/good works - curbing the power of “Christian” princes, clerical corruption  Thomas More’s Utopian vision  communal world where an equal distribution of goods/services - public schools, communal kitchens, hospitals, nurseries - and no private property or money allowed people to pursue knowledge and natural religions

16  Florence was a major urban region in north Italy with 260,000 people.  “ little people” 60% versus the “fat people” 30% and the elite (Medici and friends)  Large wealthy families—why?  Women outnumber men, but suffer from a lack of privileges  Marriageable commodity  Widows gain and lose power

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18  The Renaissance Looking Back:  Academics ▪ Pursuit of the Humanities  Arts ▪ Private consumption ▪ Secular subjects ▪ Artist as celebrity  The Renaissance Looking Forward:  Politics  Development of States  Exploration and Empire

19  Individualism – Belief in the intellectual power and capacity of human beings to think, rather than feel, their way through the world  Revival of Ancient values – By reading and copying ancient texts, Renaissance scholars took on antiquity values like …  Secularism – Such values led Renaissance scholars to focus in on the material world

20  Artists gain social status and individual authority in Renaissance culture  Unique effort to prove “creative genius”  Conflict between creativity and patronage—who dictates artistic vision?  The creative environment: long-term service at court, piecework, the workshop

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22 Michelangelo, March 6, 1475 – February 18, 1564 creator of key sculptural works best known for the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel ( )

23  Focus on human body, “realistic,” symbolism of secular values set in religious themes, glorification of antiquity, use of new concepts like linear perspective

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35 ANDREA DEL VERROCCHIO. David. c

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39  13: Heraclitus (Michelangelo). 14: Plato holding the Timaeus (Leonardo da Vinci). 15: Aristotle R: Apelles (Raphael)

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41  On the Mona Lisa: “seeing that the eyes had that lustre and watery sheen which are always seen in life, and around them were all those rosy and pearly tints, as well as the lashes, which cannot be represented without the greatest subtlety. The eyebrows, through his having shown the manner in which the hairs spring from the flesh, here more close and here more scanty, and curve according to the pores of the skin, could not be more natural. The nose, with its beautiful nostrils, rosy and tender, appeared to be alive. The mouth, with its opening, and with its ends united by the red of the lips to the flesh-tints of the face, seemed, in truth, to be not colours but flesh. In the pit of the throat, if one gazed upon it intently, could be seen the beating of the pulse. And, indeed, it may be said that it was painted in such a manner as to make every valiant craftsman, be he who he may, tremble and lose heart. He made use, also, of this device: Mona Lisa being very beautiful, he always employed, while he was painting her portrait, persons to play or sing, and jesters, who might make her remain merry, in order to take away that melancholy which painters are often wont to give to the portraits that they paint. And in this work of Leonardo's there was a smile so pleasing, that it was a thing more divine than human to behold; and it was held to be something marvellous, since the reality was not more alive”

42 Leonardo da Vinci, Mona Lisa,

43  Born in Florence, 1469  becomes secretary and chancellor (diplomatic job) in 1498  negotiates with several Italian and foreign courts, including the Medicis and several popes  1513, writes On Principalities (The Prince)  Dies in 1527  The Prince never gaining wide popularity in his time

44  Late Renaissance in Italy  The work is circulated mainly in Florence  written for a specific ruler  chastised for being un-diplomatic, shockingly vulgar, and anti-Christian  Period of rising papal power and fear of foreign (Spanish and French) takeover – fear that Italian power/greatness is on its way out

45  Written in Italian, not elegant Latin  Relies on contemporary examples as it does ancient literature  Machiavelli openly critiques humanism  suggests that Petrarch and others relied too much on the “style” of antiquity not on its substance  Humanists never put their writings to practical use  Anti-Christian reform  Machiavelli thought the Church was the cause of problems in the world and that internal reform of the Church would not make things better


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