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ITALY AND THE RENAISSANCE The Birth of Venus, Botticelli (1485)

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Presentation on theme: "ITALY AND THE RENAISSANCE The Birth of Venus, Botticelli (1485)"— Presentation transcript:

1 ITALY AND THE RENAISSANCE The Birth of Venus, Botticelli (1485)

2 What was the Renaissance? The term means rebirth – in this case, the term refers to a revival of art and learning. The Renaissance originated in Northern Italy and then spread throughout Europe.

3 Why Italy? Italy had 3 advantages that made it the birthplace of the Renaissance. 1. thriving cities 2. a wealthy merchant class 3. the classical heritage of Greece and Rome.

4 City-States Overseas trade led to the growth of many large city-states in Northern Italy, making this part of the country predominately urban. The bubonic plague caused labor shortages which pushed up wages. With few opportunities to expand business, merchants began to pursue art.

5 Merchants A wealthy merchant class developed in each Italian city- state. In Florence, a powerful banking family called the Medici came to power.

6 Cosimo de Medici Dictator of Florence,

7 Lorenzo de Medici Followed his grandfather as ruler of Florence.

8 Heritage of Greece & Rome 1. Artists drew inspiration from the ruins of ancient Rome. 2. Scholars studied ancient Latin manuscripts. 3. Greek manuscripts were also in Rome after being relocated from Constantinople.

9 Renaissance Values Humanism: an intellectual movement that focused on human potential and achievements. Represented a move away from the exclusively Christian values of the Medieval era.

10 Renaissance Values (contd) Secularism: a focus on the worldly rather than the spiritual and concerned with the here and now. Led to an emphasis on worldly pleasure, such as material luxuries, music and food.

11 Renaissance Values (contd) The Renaissance Man: All educated people were expected to master almost every area of study, such as dancing, music, art, poetry, horseback riding, wrestling, the classics, etc.

12 Renaissance Values (contd) The Renaissance Woman: Well-educated but non- political. Expected to inspire rather than create art.

13 Renaissance Art Renaissance art involved stylistic change. 1. Emphasized realism. 2. More of a secular focus, utilizing Greek and Roman rather than spiritual subjects. 3. Used perspective, or 3-D painting.

14 Michelangelo Painter, sculptor, architect and poet. Most famous for the way he portrayed the human body as influenced by classical art.

15 David

16 The Pieta, St. Peters Cathedral

17 The Sistine Chapel



20 Leonardo da Vinci Painter, sculptor, inventor and scientist. Ergo, often considered the quintessential Renaissance man.

21 Mona Lisa

22 The Last Supper

23 Adoration of the Magi da Vinci

24 Raphael

25 The School of Athens


27 Renaissance Literature Writers produced works that were secular as well as religious. Writers began to use vernacular languages to express their ideas. This refers to their native language, rather than Latin. Writers focused on the individuality of their subjects.

28 Dante Wrote The Divine Comedy. Widely considered the central epic poem of Italian literature, the first great work of the Renaissance and one of the greatest works of world literature. Tells the story of visiting hell from the first person.

29 Dante as depicted by Michelangelo

30 Petrarch One of the earliest and most influential humanists. Great poet known for writing sonnets (or 14 line poems) to an unknown woman named Laura.

31 Machiavelli Most famous for writing The Prince. This book gives advice on how a ruler can gain and maintain power. Argues that most people are selfish and corrupt. Focuses on what was effective rather than moral; advocated lying if effective.

32 Printing Spreads Ideas The Chinese first used block printing and the Europeans would expand on this This process worked, but too slow to keep up with the demand for ideas About 1440 Johann Gutenberg invented a printing press with movable type Books could now be made fast and cheap The fist book printed was the Gutenberg Bible

33 Before the press 5 months to copy a book by hand After the press 5 months to print 500 books

34 Review: Humanism What are the main characteristics of humanism? Affirmed the worth of the human. Emphasized the self and individuality. Valued the secular rather than the spiritual. Optimistic about the potential for social improvement.

35 The Northern Renaissance Merchants, artists, scholars came to Italy from northern Europe and were impressed with what they saw from the Italian Renaissance As a result, the northern Renaissance developed its own character, mainly realism

36 Albrecht Dürer German Known for woodcarvings and engravings

37 Pieter Bruegel and Jan van Eyck Flemish painters (from Netherlands) Van Eyck used oil-based paints to show layers and subtlety (i.e. jewels) Bruegel showed scenes from everyday peasant life (Peasant Wedding)


39 Northern Writers: Christian Humanists Critical of the Church and wanted to reform society Erasmus (Netherlands) and Thomas More (England) are two best examples Erasmus The Praise of Folly Mores Utopia

40 Legacy of the Renaissance Marked a break in religious focus of Middle Ages Belief that the individual played a role in the rise of democratic beliefs Arts: writers (vernacular) and painters (realism and secularism) Society: learning and rise in literacy Churchs power declines and monarchs rises Paved the way for nation states

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