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Italy: Birthplace of the Renaissance

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1 Italy: Birthplace of the Renaissance

2 Italy’s Advantages The Renaissance began in Italy From 1300 – 1600
Spread through Europe From 1300 – 1600 Means rebirth The revival of art and learning Hoped to bring back the culture of classical Greece and Rome Led to new styles of art and literature Importance of the individual

3 Three Advantages of Italy
Thriving cities Northern Italy had large cities Vs rest of Europe which was rural Wealthy from overseas trade After the plague, fewer laborers and less business Merchants pursued other interests, such as art

4 Merchants and the Medici
Wealthy merchant class developed Dominated politics Did not inherit social rank City of Florence controlled by powerful banking family, the Medici Ruled as dictators

5 Lorenzo de Medici (aka Lorenzo the Magnificent)

6 Looking to Greece and Rome
Renaissance scholars wanted to return to the learning of Greeks and Romans Inspired by the Roman ruins in Italy Western scholars studied ancient Latin manuscripts that were preserved in monasteries Christian scholars fled to Rome with Greek manuscripts after Turks conquered Constantinople

7 Renaissance scholar

8 Classical and Worldly Values
A new outlook on life and art Led to humanism, an intellectual movement that focused on human potential and achievements Vs. Medieval scholars, who focused on Christian teaching Influenced artists and writers to focus on classical traditions Subjects of classical learning – history, literature and philosophy (the “humanities”)

9 Worldly Pleasures Humanists believed a person could enjoy life without offending God Although most people were devout Catholics, Renaissance life was secular – concerned with life here and now rather than the spiritual (religious) world Wealthy people lived lavishly


11 Patrons of the Arts Church leaders and wealthy merchants spent huge amounts of money for art Became patrons 0f the arts – someone who financially support artists Donated art to cities to show how important they were

12 The Renaissance Man The ideal individual strove to master every area of study, including creating art A man who excelled in many fields is a “Renaissance man” Should be educated in classics, dance, sing, play music and write poetry

13 The Renaissance Woman Upper-class woman should also know the classics
Were expected to inspire art, but not create it Little political influence


15 The Renaissance Revolutionizes Art
Artistic styles changed More realistic style copied from Greeks and Romans Used new technique of perspective – showing three dimensions on a flat surface (objects that are further away are smaller)

16 Use of perspective in Renaissance painting

17 Medieval painting lacks perspective

18 Realistic painting and sculpture
Emphasis on individuals led to paintings of prominent citizens (rather than only religious subjects) More realistic depiction of human body Michelangelo – painter Sculpture showed people in natural positions and expressions that reveal personality Donatello – sculptor (“David”)

19 Painting by Michelangelo

20 Leonardo da Vinci A Renaissance man: painter, sculptor, inventor, and scientist Painted the “Mona Lisa” Painted “The Last Supper”


22 Raphael Advances Realism
Favorite subjects was Madonna and child Greatest achievement was “The School of Athens”, showing some Renaissance figures as classical philosophers and their students

23 “The School of Athens”

24 A Few Italian Women Painters
Anguissola – known for her portraits of her sisters and of famous people Gentileschi – painted strong, heroic women

25 Painting by Artemisia Gentileschi

26 Renaissance Writers Change Literature
Wrote in vernacular (native language), rather than Latin Wrote for self-expression or to portray the individuality of their subjects Petrarch – writer considered father of humanism; wrote poetry Boccaccio – wrote the Decameron - series of realistic stories – humorous with tragedy and comedy Vittoria Colonna – woman writer Machiavelli – wrote The Prince, explaining how a ruler should gain and keep power, by sometimes lying or tricking the people for the good of the state

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