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The Renaissance ( , ) , from , with the same meanings. is a
period Period may refer to: Common uses * Era, a length or span of time * Full stop (or period), a punctuation mark Arts, entertainment, and media * Period (music), a concept in musical composition * Periodic sentence (or rhetorical period), a concept ...
in
European history The history of Europe is traditionally divided into four time periods: prehistoric Europe (prior to about 800 BC), classical antiquity (800 BC to AD 500), the Middle Ages (AD 500 to AD 1500), and the modern era (since AD 1500). The first early ...
marking the transition from the
Middle Ages In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages or medieval period lasted approximately from the late 5th to the late 15th centuries, similar to the Post-classical, post-classical period of World history (field), global history. It began with t ...
to
modernity Modernity, a topic in the humanities and social sciences, is both a historical period (the modern era) and the ensemble of particular socio-cultural norms, attitudes and practices that arose in the wake of the Renaissancein the " Age of ...

modernity
and covering the 15th and 16th centuries, characterized by an effort to revive and surpass ideas and achievements of
classical antiquity Classical antiquity (also the classical era, classical period or classical age) is the period of cultural history between the 8th century BC and the 5th century AD centred on the Mediterranean Sea, comprising the interlocking civilizations of ...
. It occurred after the
Crisis of the Late Middle Ages The Crisis of the Late Middle Ages was a series of events in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries that ended centuries of European stability during the Late Middle Ages. Three major crises led to radical changes in all areas of society: demogr ...
and was associated with great
social change Social change is the alteration of the social order of a society which may include changes in social institutions, social behaviours or social relations. Definition Social change may not refer to the notion of social progress or sociocult ...
. In addition to the standard
periodization In historiography, periodization is the process or study of categorizing the past into discrete, quantified, and named blocks of time for the purpose of study or analysis.Adam Rabinowitz. It's about time: historical periodization and Linked Ancie ...
, proponents of a "long Renaissance" may put its beginning in the 14th century and its end in the 17th century. The traditional view focuses more on the early modern aspects of the Renaissance and argues that it was a break from the past, but many historians today focus more on its medieval aspects and argue that it was an extension of the Middle Ages. However, the beginnings of the period – the early Renaissance of the 15th century and the Italian
Proto-Renaissance Italian Renaissance painting is the painting of the period beginning in the late 13th century and flourishing from the early 15th to late 16th centuries, occurring in the Italian Peninsula, which was at that time divided into many political state ...
from around 1250 or 1300 – overlap considerably with the
Late Middle Ages The Late Middle Ages or Late Medieval Period was the Periodization, period of European history lasting from AD 1300 to 1500. The Late Middle Ages followed the High Middle Ages and preceded the onset of the early modern period (and in much of Eur ...
, conventionally dated to , and the Middle Ages themselves were a long period filled with gradual changes, like the modern age; and as a transitional period between both, the Renaissance has close similarities to both, especially the late and early sub-periods of either. The intellectual basis of the Renaissance was its version of
humanism Humanism is a philosophy, philosophical stance that emphasizes the individual and social potential and Agency (philosophy), agency of Human, human beings. It considers human beings the starting point for serious moral and philosophical in ...
, derived from the concept of Roman ''
humanitas ''Humanitas'' is a Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally a dialect spoken in the lower Tiber area (then known as Latium) around pr ...

humanitas
'' and the rediscovery of
classical Greek philosophy Ancient Greek philosophy arose in the 6th century BC, marking the end of the Greek Dark Ages. Greek philosophy continued throughout the Hellenistic period and Ancient Roman philosophy, the period in which Greece and most Greek-inhabited lands were ...
, such as that of
Protagoras Protagoras (; el, Πρωταγόρας; )Guthrie, p. 262–263. was a pre-Socratic Greek philosopher A philosopher is a person who practices or investigates philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the systematized study of general and ...
, who said that "man is the measure of all things". This new thinking became manifest in
art Art is a diverse range of human activity, and resulting product, that involves creative or imaginative talent expressive of technical proficiency, beauty, emotional power, or conceptual ideas. There is no generally agreed definition of wha ...
,
architecture Architecture is the art and technique of designing and building, as distinguished from the skills associated with construction. It is both the process and the product of sketching, conceiving, planning, designing, and construction, constructin ...
,
politics Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with Decision-making, making decisions in Social group, groups, or other forms of Power (social and political), power relations among individuals, such as the distribution of res ...
,
science Science is a systematic endeavor that Scientific method, builds and organizes knowledge in the form of Testability, testable explanations and predictions about the universe. Science may be as old as the human species, and some of the earli ...
and
literature Literature is any collection of Writing, written work, but it is also used more narrowly for writings specifically considered to be an art form, especially prose fiction, drama, and poetry. In recent centuries, the definition has expanded to ...
. Early examples were the development of perspective in
oil painting Oil painting is the process of painting with pigments with a medium of drying oil as the Binder (material), binder. It has been the most common technique for artistic painting on wood panel or canvas for several centuries, spreading from Eur ...
and the revived knowledge of how to make
concrete Concrete is a composite material composed of fine and coarse construction aggregate, aggregate bonded together with a fluid cement (cement paste) that hardens (cures) over time. Concrete is the second-most-used substance in the world after wa ...

concrete
. Although the invention of
metal movable type Movable type (US English; moveable type in British English) is the system and technology of printing and typography that uses movable Sort (typesetting), components to reproduce the elements of a document (usually individual alphanumeric charact ...
sped the dissemination of ideas from the later 15th century, the changes of the Renaissance were not uniform across Europe: the first traces appear in Italy as early as the late 13th century, in particular with the writings of
Dante Dante Alighieri (; – 14 September 1321), probably baptized Durante di Alighiero degli Alighieri and often referred to as Dante (, ), was an Italian people, Italian Italian poetry, poet, writer and philosopher. His ''Divine Comedy'', origin ...

Dante
and the paintings of
Giotto Giotto di Bondone (; – January 8, 1337), known mononymously as Giotto ( , ) and latinisation of names, Latinised as Giottus, was an List of Italian painters, Italian painter and architect from Florence during the Late Middle Ages. He worked ...

Giotto
. As a cultural movement, the Renaissance encompassed innovative flowering of
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally a dialect spoken in the lower Tiber area (then known as Latium) around present-day Rome, but through ...
and
vernacular literature Vernacular literature is literature written in the vernacular—the speech of the "common people". In the European tradition, this effectively means literature not written in Latin nor Koine Greek. In this context, vernacular literature appeared ...
s, beginning with the 14th-century resurgence of learning based on classical sources, which contemporaries credited to
Petrarch Francesco Petrarca (; 20 July 1304 – 18/19 July 1374), commonly anglicized as Petrarch (), was a scholar and poet of early Italian Renaissance, Renaissance Italy, and one of the earliest Renaissance humanism, humanists. Petrarch's rediscov ...

Petrarch
; the development of linear perspective and other techniques of rendering a more natural reality in
painting Painting is the practice of applying paint, pigment, color or other medium to a solid surface (called the "matrix" or "support"). The medium is commonly applied to the base with a brush, but other implements, such as knives, sponges, and ai ...

painting
; and gradual but widespread
educational reform Education reform is the name given to the goal of changing public education. The meaning and education methods have changed through debates over what content or experiences result in an educated individual or an educated society. Historically, th ...
. In politics, the Renaissance contributed to the development of the customs and conventions of
diplomacy Diplomacy comprises spoken or written communication by representatives of states (such as leaders and diplomats) intended to influence events in the international system.Ronald Peter Barston, ''Modern diplomacy'', Pearson Education, 2006, p. 1 ...

diplomacy
, and in science to an increased reliance on observation and
inductive reasoning Inductive reasoning is a method of reasoning in which a general principle is derived from a body of observations. It consists of making broad generalizations based on specific observations. Inductive reasoning is distinct from Deductive reasonin ...
. Although the Renaissance saw revolutions in many intellectual and social scientific pursuits, as well as the introduction of modern
banking A bank is a financial institution that accepts deposits from the public and creates a demand deposit while simultaneously making loans. Lending activities can be directly performed by the bank or indirectly through capital markets. Beca ...

banking
and the field of
accounting Accounting, also known as accountancy, is the measurement, processing, and communication of financial and non financial information about economic entity, economic entities such as businesses and corporations. Accounting, which has been calle ...
, it is perhaps best known for its artistic developments and the contributions of such
polymath A polymath ( el, πολυμαθής, , "having learned much"; la, homo universalis, "universal human") is an individual whose knowledge spans a substantial number of subjects, known to draw on complex bodies of knowledge to solve specific pro ...

polymath
s as
Leonardo da Vinci Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci (15 April 14522 May 1519) was an Italian polymath of the High Renaissance who was active as a painter, Drawing, draughtsman, engineer, scientist, theorist, sculptor, and architect. While his fame initially res ...

Leonardo da Vinci
and
Michelangelo Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni (; 6 March 1475 – 18 February 1564), known as Michelangelo (), was an Italian sculptor, painter, architect, and poet of the High Renaissance. Born in the Republic of Florence, his work was insp ...

Michelangelo
, who inspired the term "Renaissance man". The Renaissance began in the
Republic of Florence The Republic of Florence, officially the Florentine Republic ( it, Repubblica Fiorentina, , or ), was a History of Italy#Middle Ages, medieval and history of Italy#Modernity, early modern state that was centered on the list of cities in Italy, I ...
, one of the many states of
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic, ) or the Republic of Italy, is a country in Southern Europe. It is located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, and its territory largely coincides with the Italy (geographical region) ...

Italy
. Various theories have been proposed to account for its origins and characteristics, focusing on a variety of factors including the social and civic peculiarities of Florence at the time: its political structure, the patronage of its dominant family, the
Medici The House of Medici ( , ) was an Italian banking family and political dynasty that first began to gather prominence under Cosimo de' Medici, in the Republic of Florence during the first half of the 15th century. The family originated in the Muge ...
,Strathern, Paul ''The Medici: Godfathers of the Renaissance'' (2003) and the migration of Greek scholars and their texts to Italy following the
Fall of Constantinople The Fall of Constantinople, also known as the Conquest of Constantinople, was the capture of Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine Empire by the Ottoman Empire. The city fell on 29 May 1453 as part of the culmination of a 53-day siege w ...
to the
Ottoman Turks The Ottoman Turks ( tr, Osmanlı Türkleri), were the Turkic peoples, Turkic founding and sociopolitically the most dominant ethnic group of the Ottoman Empire ( 1299/1302–1922). Reliable information about the early history of Ottoman Turks ...
.''Encyclopædia Britannica'', "Renaissance", 2008, O.Ed.Norwich, John Julius, ''A Short History of Byzantium'', 1997, Knopf, Other major centers were northern
Italian city-states The Italian city-states were numerous political and independent territorial entities that existed in the Italian Peninsula from the beginning of the Middle Ages until the proclamation of the Kingdom of Italy, which took place in 1861. After the ...
such as
Venice Venice ( ; it, Venezia ; vec, Venesia or ) is a city in northeastern Italy and the capital of the Veneto Regions of Italy, region. It is built on a group of 118 small islands that are separated by canals and linked by over 400  ...
,
Genoa Genoa ( ; it, Genova ; lij, Zêna ). is the capital of the Regions of Italy, Italian region of Liguria and the List of cities in Italy, sixth-largest city in Italy. In 2015, 594,733 people lived within the city's administrative limits. As of t ...
,
Milan Milan ( , , Lombard language, Lombard: ; it, Milano ) is a city in northern Italy, capital of Lombardy, and the List of cities in Italy, second-most populous city proper in Italy after Rome. The city proper has a population of about 1.4  ...
,
Bologna Bologna (, , ; egl, label= Emilian, Bulåggna ; lat, Bononia) is the capital and largest city of the Emilia-Romagna egl, Emigliàn (man) egl, Emiglièna (woman) rgn, Rumagnòl (man) rgn, Rumagnòla (woman) it, Emiliano (man) it, Emiliana ...

Bologna
,
Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus (Romulus and Remus, legendary) , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Lazio, Italy).svg ...

Rome
during the
Renaissance Papacy The Renaissance Papacy was a period of papal history between the Western Schism and the Reformation. From the election of Pope Martin V of the Council of Constance in 1417 to the Reformation in the 16th century, Western Christianity was large ...
and
Naples Naples (; it, Napoli ; nap, Napule ), from grc, Νεάπολις, Neápolis, lit=new city. is the regional capital of Campania and the third-largest city of Italy, after Rome and Milan, with a population of 909,048 within the city's adminis ...
. From Italy, the Renaissance spread throughout Europe in
Flanders Flanders (, ; Dutch language, Dutch: ''Vlaanderen'' ) is the Dutch language, Flemish-speaking northern portion of Belgium and one of the communities, regions and language areas of Belgium. However, there are several overlapping definitions, in ...
, France, Britain, Ireland, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Poland, Hungary (with
Beatrice of Naples Beatrice of Naples (16 November 1457 – 23 September 1508), also known as Beatrice of Aragon ( hu, Aragóniai Beatrix; it, Beatrice d'Aragona), was twice Queen of Hungary and of Bohemia by marriage to Matthias Corvinus and Vladislaus II of ...
) and elsewhere. The Renaissance has a long and complex
historiography Historiography is the study of the methods of historians in developing history as an academic discipline, and by extension is any body of historical work on a particular subject. The historiography of a specific topic covers how historians ha ...
, and, in line with general scepticism of discrete periodizations, there has been much debate among historians reacting to the 19th-century glorification of the "Renaissance" and individual cultural heroes as "Renaissance men", questioning the usefulness of ''Renaissance'' as a term and as a historical delineation. Some observers have called into question whether the Renaissance was a cultural "advance" from the Middle Ages, instead seeing it as a period of pessimism and
nostalgia Nostalgia is a sentimentality for the past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations. The word ''nostalgia'' is a learned formation of a Greek language, Greek compound, consisting of (''nóstos''), meaning "homecoming", ...
for
classical antiquity Classical antiquity (also the classical era, classical period or classical age) is the period of cultural history between the 8th century BC and the 5th century AD centred on the Mediterranean Sea, comprising the interlocking civilizations of ...
, Huizanga, Johan, '' The Waning of the Middle Ages'' (1919, trans. 1924) while social and economic historians, especially of the '' longue durée'', have instead focused on the continuity between the two eras, which are linked, as Panofsky observed, "by a thousand ties". The term ''rinascita'' ('rebirth') first appeared in
Giorgio Vasari Giorgio Vasari (, also , ; 30 July 1511 – 27 June 1574) was an Italian Renaissance Master, who worked as a painter, architect, engineer, writer, and historian, who is best known for his work ''The Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculpt ...
's ''
Lives of the Artists ''The Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects'' ( it, Le vite de' più eccellenti pittori, scultori, e architettori), often simply known as ''The Lives'' ( it, Le Vite), is a series of artist biographies written by 16th-ce ...
'' (c. 1550), anglicized as the ''Renaissance'' in the 1830s. The word has also been extended to other historical and cultural movements, such as the
Carolingian Renaissance The Carolingian Renaissance was the first of three medieval renaissances, a period of cultural activity in the Carolingian Empire. It occurred from the late 8th century to the 9th century, taking inspiration from the State church of the Roman Emp ...
(8th and 9th centuries),
Ottonian Renaissance The Ottonian Renaissance was a renaissance of Byzantine art, Byzantine and Late Antiquity, Late Antique art in Central Europe, Central and Southern Europe that accompanied the reigns of the first three Holy Roman Emperors of the Ottonian Dynasty, ...
(10th and 11th century), and the
Renaissance of the 12th century The Renaissance ( , ) , from , with the same meanings. is a Periodization, period in History of Europe, European history marking the transition from the Middle Ages to modernity and covering the 15th and 16th centuries, characterized by an e ...
.


Overview

The Renaissance was a cultural movement that profoundly affected European intellectual life in the early modern period. Beginning in Italy, and spreading to the rest of Europe by the 16th century, its influence was felt in
art Art is a diverse range of human activity, and resulting product, that involves creative or imaginative talent expressive of technical proficiency, beauty, emotional power, or conceptual ideas. There is no generally agreed definition of wha ...
,
architecture Architecture is the art and technique of designing and building, as distinguished from the skills associated with construction. It is both the process and the product of sketching, conceiving, planning, designing, and construction, constructin ...
,
philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the systematized study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about existence, reason, knowledge, values, mind, and language. Such questions are often posed as problems to be studied or resolved. Some ...
,
literature Literature is any collection of Writing, written work, but it is also used more narrowly for writings specifically considered to be an art form, especially prose fiction, drama, and poetry. In recent centuries, the definition has expanded to ...
,
music Music is generally defined as the The arts, art of arranging sound to create some combination of Musical form, form, harmony, melody, rhythm or otherwise Musical expression, expressive content. Exact definition of music, definitions of mu ...
,
science Science is a systematic endeavor that Scientific method, builds and organizes knowledge in the form of Testability, testable explanations and predictions about the universe. Science may be as old as the human species, and some of the earli ...
,
technology Technology is the application of knowledge to reach practical goals in a specifiable and Reproducibility, reproducible way. The word ''technology'' may also mean the product of such an endeavor. The use of technology is widely prevalent in me ...
, politics, religion, and other aspects of intellectual inquiry. Renaissance scholars employed the humanist method in study, and searched for realism and human emotion in art.Perry, M
Humanities in the Western Tradition
Ch. 13
Renaissance humanist Renaissance humanism was a revival in the study of classical antiquity, at first Italian Renaissance, in Italy and then spreading across Western Europe in the 14th, 15th, and 16th centuries. During the period, the term ''humanist'' ( it, umanista ...
s such as
Poggio Bracciolini Gian Francesco Poggio Bracciolini (11 February 1380 – 30 October 1459), usually referred to simply as Poggio Bracciolini, was an Italians, Italian scholar and an early Renaissance humanism, Renaissance humanist. He was responsible for rediscove ...
sought out in Europe's monastic libraries the Latin literary, historical, and oratorical texts of
antiquity Antiquity or Antiquities may refer to: Historical objects or periods Artifacts *Antiquities Antiquities are objects from Ancient history, antiquity, especially the civilizations of the Mediterranean: the Classical antiquity of Greece and Ro ...
, while the
Fall of Constantinople The Fall of Constantinople, also known as the Conquest of Constantinople, was the capture of Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine Empire by the Ottoman Empire. The city fell on 29 May 1453 as part of the culmination of a 53-day siege w ...
(1453) generated a wave of émigré Greek scholars bringing precious manuscripts in
ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the classical antiquity, ancient world from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is often roughly divided into the following periods: Mycenaean Greek (), Greek Dark ...
, many of which had fallen into obscurity in the West. It is in their new focus on literary and historical texts that Renaissance scholars differed so markedly from the medieval scholars of the
Renaissance of the 12th century The Renaissance ( , ) , from , with the same meanings. is a Periodization, period in History of Europe, European history marking the transition from the Middle Ages to modernity and covering the 15th and 16th centuries, characterized by an e ...
, who had focused on studying
Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece, a country in Southern Europe: *Greeks, an ethnic group. *Greek language, a branch of the Indo-European language family. **Proto-Greek language, the assumed last common ancestor ...
and
Arabic Arabic (, ' ; , ' or ) is a Semitic languages, Semitic language spoken primarily across the Arab world.Semitic languages: an international handbook / edited by Stefan Weninger; in collaboration with Geoffrey Khan, Michael P. Streck, Janet C ...
works of natural sciences, philosophy, and mathematics, rather than on such cultural texts. In the revival of
neoplatonism Neoplatonism is a strand of Platonism, Platonic philosophy that emerged in the 3rd century AD against the background of Hellenistic philosophy and Hellenistic religion, religion. The term does not encapsulate a set of ideas as much as a chain of ...
Renaissance humanists did not reject
Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teachings of Jesus, teachings of Jesus, Jesus of Nazareth. It is the Major religious groups, world's ...
; quite the contrary, many of the greatest works of the Renaissance were devoted to it, and the Church patronized many works of Renaissance art. However, a subtle shift took place in the way that intellectuals approached religion that was reflected in many other areas of cultural life.Open University,
Looking at the Renaissance: Religious Context in the Renaissance
' (Retrieved May 10, 2007)
In addition, many Greek Christian works, including the Greek New Testament, were brought back from
Byzantium Byzantium () or Byzantion ( grc, Βυζάντιον) was an Ancient Greece, ancient Greek Polis, city in classical antiquity that became known as Constantinople in late antiquity and Istanbul today. The Greek name ''Byzantion'' and its Romanizat ...
to Western Europe and engaged Western scholars for the first time since late antiquity. This new engagement with Greek Christian works, and particularly the return to the original Greek of the New Testament promoted by humanists
Lorenzo Valla Lorenzo Valla (; also Latinized as Laurentius; 14071 August 1457) was an Italians, Italian Renaissance humanism, Renaissance humanist, rhetorician, Education, educator, scholar, and Priesthood in the Catholic Church, Catholic priest. He is best ...
and
Erasmus Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus (; ; English: Erasmus of Rotterdam or Erasmus;''Erasmus'' was his baptismal name, given after St. Erasmus, St. Erasmus of Formiae. ''Desiderius'' was an adopted additional name, which he used from 1496. The ''Rote ...
, would help pave the way for the
Reformation The Reformation (alternatively named the Protestant Reformation or the European Reformation) was a major movement within Western Christianity in 16th-century Europe that posed a religious and political challenge to the Catholic Church and in ...
. Well after the first artistic return to
classicism Classicism, in the arts, refers generally to a high regard for a classical period, classical antiquity in the Western tradition, as setting standards for taste which the classicists seek to emulate. In its purest form, classicism is an aestheti ...
had been exemplified in the sculpture of
Nicola Pisano Nicola Pisano (also called ''Niccolò Pisano'', ''Nicola de Apulia'' or ''Nicola Pisanus''; c. 1220/1225 – c. 1284) was an Italian sculptor Sculpture is the branch of the visual arts that operates in three dimensions. Sculpture is the ...
, Florentine painters led by
Masaccio Masaccio (, , ; December 21, 1401 – summer 1428), born Tommaso di Ser Giovanni di Simone, was a Florentine artist who is regarded as the first great List of Italian painters, Italian painter of the Quattrocento period of the Italian Renaiss ...
strove to portray the human form realistically, developing techniques to render perspective and light more naturally.
Political philosophers This is a list of notable political philosophers, including some who may be better known for their work in other areas of philosophy. The entries are in order by year of birth to show rough direction of influences and of development of political ...
, most famously
Niccolò Machiavelli Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli ( , , ; 3 May 1469 – 21 June 1527), occasionally rendered in English as Nicholas Machiavel ( , ; #Machiavel, see below), was an Italian diplomat, author, philosopher and historian who lived during the Re ...
, sought to describe political life as it really was, that is to understand it rationally. A critical contribution to Italian Renaissance humanism,
Giovanni Pico della Mirandola Giovanni Pico della Mirandola (24 February 1463 – 17 November 1494) was an Italian Renaissance nobleman and philosopher A philosopher is a person who practices or investigates philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the systemati ...
wrote the famous text '' De hominis dignitate'' (''Oration on the Dignity of Man'', 1486), which consists of a series of theses on philosophy, natural thought, faith, and magic defended against any opponent on the grounds of reason. In addition to studying classical Latin and Greek, Renaissance authors also began increasingly to use
vernacular A vernacular or vernacular language is in contrast with a "standard language". It refers to the language or dialect that is spoken by people that are inhabiting a particular country or region. The vernacular is typically the native language, n ...
languages; combined with the introduction of the
printing press A printing press is a mechanical device for applying pressure to an inked surface resting upon a printing, print medium (such as paper or cloth), thereby transferring the ink. It marked a dramatic improvement on earlier printing methods in wh ...
, this would allow many more people access to books, especially the Bible. In all, the Renaissance could be viewed as an attempt by intellectuals to study and improve the
secular Secularity, also the secular or secularness (from Latin ''saeculum'', "worldly" or "of a generation"), is the state of being unrelated or neutral in regards to religion. Anything that does not have an explicit reference to religion, either negativ ...
and worldly, both through the revival of ideas from antiquity, and through novel approaches to thought. Some scholars, such as Rodney Stark, play down the Renaissance in favor of the earlier innovations of the
Italian city-states The Italian city-states were numerous political and independent territorial entities that existed in the Italian Peninsula from the beginning of the Middle Ages until the proclamation of the Kingdom of Italy, which took place in 1861. After the ...
in the
High Middle Ages The High Middle Ages, or High Medieval Period, was the periodization, period of European history that lasted from AD 1000 to 1300. The High Middle Ages were preceded by the Early Middle Ages and were followed by the Late Middle Ages, which ended ...
, which married responsive government, Christianity and the birth of
capitalism Capitalism is an economic system based on the private ownership of the means of production and their operation for profit. Central characteristics of capitalism include capital accumulation, competitive markets, price system, pr ...
. This analysis argues that, whereas the great European states (France and Spain) were
absolute monarchies Absolute monarchy (or Absolutism (European history), Absolutism as a doctrine) is a form of monarchy in which the monarch rules in their own right or power. In an absolute monarchy, the king or queen is by no means limited and has absolute pow ...
, and others were under direct Church control, the independent city-republics of Italy took over the principles of capitalism invented on monastic estates and set off a vast unprecedented
Commercial Revolution The Commercial Revolution consisted of the creation of a European economy based on trade, which began in the 11th century and lasted until it was succeeded by the Industrial Revolution The Industrial Revolution was the transition to new m ...
that preceded and financed the Renaissance.


Origins

Many argue that the ideas characterizing the Renaissance had their origin in
Florence Florence ( ; it, Firenze ) is a city in Central Italy and the capital city of the Tuscany region. It is the most populated city in Tuscany, with 383,083 inhabitants in 2016, and over 1,520,000 in its metropolitan area.Bilancio demografico ...
at the turn of the 13th and 14th centuries, in particular with the writings of
Dante Alighieri Dante Alighieri (; – 14 September 1321), probably baptized Durante di Alighiero degli Alighieri and often referred to as Dante (, ), was an Italian people, Italian Italian poetry, poet, writer and philosopher. His ''Divine Comedy'', origin ...
(1265–1321) and
Petrarch Francesco Petrarca (; 20 July 1304 – 18/19 July 1374), commonly anglicized as Petrarch (), was a scholar and poet of early Italian Renaissance, Renaissance Italy, and one of the earliest Renaissance humanism, humanists. Petrarch's rediscov ...

Petrarch
(1304–1374), as well as the paintings of
Giotto di Bondone Giotto di Bondone (; – January 8, 1337), known mononymously as Giotto ( , ) and latinisation of names, Latinised as Giottus, was an List of Italian painters, Italian painter and architect from Florence during the Late Middle Ages. He worked ...
(1267–1337). Some writers date the Renaissance quite precisely; one proposed starting point is 1401, when the rival geniuses
Lorenzo Ghiberti Lorenzo Ghiberti (, , ; 1378 – 1 December 1455), born Lorenzo di Bartolo, was an Italian Renaissance sculptor from Florence, a key figure in the Early Renaissance, best known as the creator of two sets of bronze doors of the Florence Baptistery ...
and
Filippo Brunelleschi Filippo Brunelleschi ( , , also known as Pippo; 1377 – 15 April 1446), considered to be a founding father of Renaissance architecture, was an Italian architect, designer, and sculptor, and is now recognized to be the first modern engineer, p ...
competed for the contract to build the bronze doors for the
Baptistery In Church architecture, Christian architecture the baptistery or baptistry (Old French ''baptisterie''; Latin ''baptisterium''; Greek language, Greek , 'bathing-place, baptistery', from , baptízein, 'to baptize') is the separate centrally planned ...
of the
Florence Cathedral Florence Cathedral, formally the (; in English Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Flower), is the cathedral of Florence, Italy ( it, Duomo di Firenze). It was begun in 1296 in the Gothic architecture, Gothic style to a design of Arnolfo di Cambio an ...
(Ghiberti then won). Others see more general competition between artists and polymaths such as Brunelleschi, Ghiberti,
Donatello Donato di Niccolò di Betto Bardi ( – 13 December 1466), better known as Donatello ( ), was a Florentine sculptor of the Renaissance The Renaissance ( , ) , from , with the same meanings. is a Periodization, period in History of Eur ...
, and
Masaccio Masaccio (, , ; December 21, 1401 – summer 1428), born Tommaso di Ser Giovanni di Simone, was a Florentine artist who is regarded as the first great List of Italian painters, Italian painter of the Quattrocento period of the Italian Renaiss ...
for artistic commissions as sparking the creativity of the Renaissance. Yet it remains much debated why the Renaissance began in Italy, and why it began when it did. Accordingly, several theories have been put forward to explain its origins. During the Renaissance, money and art went hand in hand. Artists depended entirely on patrons while the patrons needed money to foster artistic talent. Wealth was brought to Italy in the 14th, 15th, and 16th centuries by expanding trade into Asia and Europe. Silver mining in
Tyrol Tyrol (; historically the Tyrole; de-AT, Tirol ; it, Tirolo) is a historical region in the Alps - in Northern Italy and western Austria. The area was historically the core of the County of Tyrol, part of the Holy Roman Empire, Austrian Emp ...
increased the flow of money. Luxuries from the
Muslim world The terms Muslim world and Islamic world commonly refer to the Islamic community, which is also known as the Ummah. This consists of all those who adhere to the religious beliefs and laws of Islam or to societies in which Islam is practiced. In ...
, brought home during the
Crusades The Crusades were a series of religious wars initiated, supported, and sometimes directed by the Latin Church in the medieval period. The best known of these Crusades are those to the Holy Land in the period between 1095 and 1291 that were in ...
, increased the prosperity of Genoa and Venice.
Jules Michelet Jules Michelet (; 21 August 1798 – 9 February 1874) was a France, French historian and an author on other topics whose major work was a history of France and its culture. His Aphorism, aphoristic style emphasized his Anti-clericalism, anti-cle ...
defined the 16th-century Renaissance in France as a period in Europe's cultural history that represented a break from the Middle Ages, creating a modern understanding of humanity and its place in the world.


Latin and Greek phases of Renaissance humanism

In stark contrast to the
High Middle Ages The High Middle Ages, or High Medieval Period, was the periodization, period of European history that lasted from AD 1000 to 1300. The High Middle Ages were preceded by the Early Middle Ages and were followed by the Late Middle Ages, which ended ...
, when Latin scholars focused almost entirely on studying Greek and Arabic works of natural science, philosophy and mathematics, Renaissance scholars were most interested in recovering and studying Latin and Greek literary, historical, and oratorical texts. Broadly speaking, this began in the 14th century with a Latin phase, when Renaissance scholars such as
Petrarch Francesco Petrarca (; 20 July 1304 – 18/19 July 1374), commonly anglicized as Petrarch (), was a scholar and poet of early Italian Renaissance, Renaissance Italy, and one of the earliest Renaissance humanism, humanists. Petrarch's rediscov ...

Petrarch
,
Coluccio Salutati Coluccio Salutati (16 February 1331 – 4 May 1406) was an Italian humanist and notary, and one of the most important political and cultural leaders of Renaissance The Renaissance ( , ) , from , with the same meanings. is a Periodizatio ...
(1331–1406), Niccolò de' Niccoli (1364–1437), and
Poggio Bracciolini Gian Francesco Poggio Bracciolini (11 February 1380 – 30 October 1459), usually referred to simply as Poggio Bracciolini, was an Italians, Italian scholar and an early Renaissance humanism, Renaissance humanist. He was responsible for rediscove ...
(1380–1459) scoured the libraries of Europe in search of works by such Latin authors as
Cicero Marcus Tullius Cicero ( ; ; 3 January 106 BC – 7 December 43 BC) was a Ancient Rome, Roman statesman, lawyer, scholar, philosopher, and Academic skepticism, academic skeptic, who tried to uphold optimate principles during crisis of ...
,
Lucretius Titus Lucretius Carus ( , ;  – ) was a Ancient Rome, Roman Roman literature, poet and Ancient Roman philosophy, philosopher. His only known work is the philosophical poem ''De rerum natura'', a didactic work about the tenets and philosoph ...
,
Livy Titus Livius (; 59 BC – AD 17), known in English as Livy ( ), was a Ancient Rome, Roman historian. He wrote a monumental history of Rome and the Roman people, titled , covering the period from the earliest legends of Rome before the traditiona ...
, and Seneca. By the early 15th century, the bulk of the surviving such Latin literature had been recovered; the Greek phase of Renaissance humanism was under way, as Western European scholars turned to recovering ancient Greek literary, historical, oratorical and theological texts. Unlike with Latin texts, which had been preserved and studied in Western Europe since late antiquity, the study of ancient Greek texts was very limited in medieval Western Europe. Ancient Greek works on science, mathematics, and philosophy had been studied since the
High Middle Ages The High Middle Ages, or High Medieval Period, was the periodization, period of European history that lasted from AD 1000 to 1300. The High Middle Ages were preceded by the Early Middle Ages and were followed by the Late Middle Ages, which ended ...
in Western Europe and in the
Islamic Golden Age The Islamic Golden Age was a period of cultural, economic, and scientific flourishing in the history of Islam, traditionally dated from the 8th century to the 14th century. This period is traditionally understood to have begun during the reign ...
(normally in translation), but Greek literary, oratorical and historical works (such as
Homer Homer (; grc, Ὅμηρος , ''Hómēros'') (born ) was a Greek poet who is credited as the author of the ''Iliad'' and the ''Odyssey'', two epic poems that are foundational works of ancient Greek literature. Homer is considered one of the ...
, the Greek dramatists,
Demosthenes Demosthenes (; el, Δημοσθένης, translit=Dēmosthénēs; ; 384 – 12 October 322 BC) was a Greeks, Greek statesman and orator in History of Athens, ancient Athens. His Public speaking, orations constitute a significant expression ...
and
Thucydides Thucydides (; grc, , }; BC) was an Classical Athens, Athenian historian and general. His ''History of the Peloponnesian War'' recounts Peloponnesian War, the fifth-century BC war between Sparta and Athens until the year 411 BC. Thucydides has ...
) were not studied in either the Latin or medieval
Islamic world The terms Muslim world and Islamic world commonly refer to the Islamic community, which is also known as the Ummah. This consists of all those who adhere to the religious beliefs and laws of Islam or to societies in which Islam is practiced. In ...
s; in the Middle Ages these sorts of texts were only studied by Byzantine scholars. Some argue that the
Timurid Renaissance The Timurid Renaissance was a historical period in Asian history, Asian and Islamic history spanning the late 14th, the 15th, and the early 16th centuries. Following the gradual downturn of the Islamic Golden Age, the Timurid Empire, based in Cen ...
in
Samarkand fa, سمرقند , native_name_lang = , settlement_type = City , image_skyline = , image_caption = Clockwise from the top:Registan square, Shah-i-Zinda necropolis, Bibi-Khanym Mosque, view inside Shah-i-Zinda, ...
and
Herat Herāt (; Persian language, Persian: ) is an oasis city and the List of cities in Afghanistan, third-largest city of Afghanistan. In 2020, it had an estimated population of 574,276, and serves as the capital of Herat Province, situated south of ...
, whose magnificence toned with Florence as the center of a cultural rebirth, were linked to the
Ottoman Empire The Ottoman Empire, * ; is an archaic version. The definite article forms and were synonymous * and el, Оθωμανική Αυτοκρατορία, Othōmanikē Avtokratoria, label=none * info page on book at Martin Luther University) ...
, whose conquests led to the migration of Greek scholars to Italian cities. One of the greatest achievements of Renaissance scholars was to bring this entire class of Greek cultural works back into Western Europe for the first time since late antiquity.
Muslim Muslims ( ar, المسلمون, , ) are people who adhere to Islam Islam (; ar, ۘالِإسلَام, , ) is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion centred primarily around the Quran, a religious text considered by Muslims to be the ...
logicians, most notably
Avicenna Ibn Sina ( fa, ابن سینا; 980 – June 1037 CE), commonly known in the West as Avicenna (), was a Persians, Persian polymath who is regarded as one of the most significant physicians, astronomers, philosophers, and writers of the ...
and
Averroes Ibn Rushd ( ar, ; Arabic name, full name in ; 14 April 112611 December 1198), often Latinization of names, Latinized as Averroes ( ), was an Al-Andalus, Andalusian polymath and Faqīh, jurist who wrote about many subjects, including philosoph ...
, had inherited Greek ideas after they had invaded and conquered
Egypt Egypt ( ar, مصر , ), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a List of transcontinental countries, transcontinental country spanning the North Africa, northeast corner of Africa and Western Asia, southwest corner of Asia via a land bridg ...
and the
Levant The Levant () is an approximation, approximate historical geography, historical geographical term referring to a large area in the Eastern Mediterranean region of Western Asia. In its narrowest sense, which is in use today in archaeology an ...
. Their translations and commentaries on these ideas worked their way through the Arab West into
Iberia The Iberian Peninsula (), ** * Aragonese language, Aragonese and Occitan language, Occitan: ''Peninsula Iberica'' ** ** * french: Péninsule Ibérique * mwl, Península Eibérica * eu, Iberiar penintsula also known as Iberia, is a pe ...
and
Sicily (man) it, Siciliana (woman) , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 = , demographics_type1 = Ethnicity , demographics1_footnotes = , demographi ...
, which became important centers for this transmission of ideas. From the 11th to the 13th century, many schools dedicated to the translation of philosophical and scientific works from
Classical Arabic Classical Arabic ( ar, links=no, ٱلْعَرَبِيَّةُ ٱلْفُصْحَىٰ, al-ʿarabīyah al-fuṣḥā) or Quranic Arabic is the standardized literary form of Arabic used from the 7th century and throughout the Middle Ages, most notab ...
to
Medieval Latin Medieval Latin was the form of Literary Latin used in Roman Catholic Church, Roman Catholic Western Europe during the Middle Ages. In this region it served as the primary written language, though local languages were also written to varying deg ...
were established in Iberia, most notably the
Toledo School of Translators The Toledo School of Translators ( es, Escuela de Traductores de Toledo) is the group of scholars who worked together in the city of Toledo during the 12th and 13th centuries, to translate many of the Judeo-Islamic philosophies and scientific w ...
. This work of translation from Islamic culture, though largely unplanned and disorganized, constituted one of the greatest transmissions of ideas in history.''Western Civilization: Ideas, Politics, and Society''
Marvin Perry, Myrna Chase, Margaret C. Jacob, James R. Jacob, 2008, pp. 261–262.
The movement to reintegrate the regular study of Greek literary, historical, oratorical and theological texts back into the Western European curriculum is usually dated to the 1396 invitation from Coluccio Salutati to the Byzantine diplomat and scholar
Manuel Chrysoloras Manuel (or Emmanuel) Chrysoloras ( el, Μανουὴλ Χρυσολωρᾶς; c. 1350 – 15 April 1415) was a Byzantine Greeks, Byzantine Greek classical scholar, Renaissance humanist, humanist, philosopher, professor, and translator of ancien ...
(c. 1355–1415) to teach Greek in Florence. This legacy was continued by a number of expatriate Greek scholars, from
Basilios Bessarion Bessarion ( el, Βησσαρίων; 2 January 1403 – 18 November 1472) was a Byzantine Greek Medieval Greek (also known as Middle Greek, Byzantine Greek, or Romaic) is the stage of the Greek language between the end of classical ant ...
to
Leo Allatius Leo Allatius (Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece, a country in Southern Europe: *Greeks, an ethnic group. *Greek language, a branch of the Indo-European language family. **Proto-Greek language, the assumed ...
.


Social and political structures in Italy

The unique political structures of
Late Middle Ages The Late Middle Ages or Late Medieval Period was the Periodization, period of European history lasting from AD 1300 to 1500. The Late Middle Ages followed the High Middle Ages and preceded the onset of the early modern period (and in much of Eur ...
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic, ) or the Republic of Italy, is a country in Southern Europe. It is located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, and its territory largely coincides with the Italy (geographical region) ...

Italy
have led some to theorize that its unusual social climate allowed the emergence of a rare cultural efflorescence. Italy did not exist as a
political entity A polity is an identifiable political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions in groups, or other forms of power relations among individuals, such as the distribution of resources or stat ...
in the early modern period. Instead, it was divided into smaller
city-states A city-state is an independent sovereignty, sovereign city which serves as the center of political, economic, and cultural life over its contiguous territory. They have existed in many parts of the world since the dawn of history, including ci ...
and territories: the
Kingdom of Naples The Kingdom of Naples ( la, Regnum Neapolitanum; it, Regno di Napoli; nap, Regno 'e Napule), also known as the Kingdom of Sicily, was a state that ruled the part of the Italian Peninsula south of the Papal States between 1282 and 1816. It was e ...
controlled the south, the
Republic of Florence The Republic of Florence, officially the Florentine Republic ( it, Repubblica Fiorentina, , or ), was a History of Italy#Middle Ages, medieval and history of Italy#Modernity, early modern state that was centered on the list of cities in Italy, I ...
and the
Papal States The Papal States ( ; it, Stato Pontificio, ), officially the State of the Church ( it, Stato della Chiesa, ; la, Status Ecclesiasticus;), were a series of territories in the Italian Peninsula under the direct sovereign rule of the pope fro ...
at the center, the
Milanese Milanese (endonym in traditional orthography , ') is the central variety of the Western dialect of the Lombard language Lombard (native name: ,Classical Milanese orthography, and . ,Ticino, Ticinese orthography. Modern Western orthography ...
and the Genoese to the north and west respectively, and the Venetians to the east. Fifteenth-century Italy was one of the most urbanized areas in Europe. Many of its cities stood among the ruins of ancient Roman buildings; it seems likely that the classical nature of the Renaissance was linked to its origin in the Roman Empire's heartland. Historian and political philosopher
Quentin Skinner Quentin Robert Duthie Skinner (born 26 November 1940) is a British intellectual history, intellectual historian. He is regarded as one of the founders of the Cambridge School (intellectual history), Cambridge School of the history of political ...
points out that
Otto of Freising Otto of Freising ( la, Otto Frisingensis; c. 1114 – 22 September 1158) was a German churchman of the Cistercian The Cistercians, () officially the Order of Cistercians ( la, (Sacer) Ordo Cisterciensis, abbreviated as OCist or SOCist), a ...
(c. 1114–1158), a German bishop visiting north Italy during the 12th century, noticed a widespread new form of political and social organization, observing that Italy appeared to have exited from
feudalism Feudalism, also known as the feudal system, was the combination of the legal, economic, military, cultural and political customs that flourished in medieval Europe between the 9th and 15th centuries. Broadly defined, it was a way of structu ...
so that its society was based on merchants and commerce. Linked to this was anti-monarchical thinking, represented in the famous early Renaissance
fresco Fresco (plural ''frescos'' or ''frescoes'') is a technique of Mural, mural painting executed upon freshly laid ("wet") lime plaster. Water is used as the vehicle for the dry-powder pigment to merge with the plaster, and with the setting of the ...
cycle ''
The Allegory of Good and Bad Government ''The Allegory of Good and Bad Government'' is a series of three fresco Fresco (plural ''frescos'' or ''frescoes'') is a technique of Mural, mural painting executed upon freshly laid ("wet") lime plaster. Water is used as the vehicle for th ...
'' by
Ambrogio Lorenzetti Ambrogio Lorenzetti (; – 9 June 1348) or Ambruogio Laurati was an Italian painter of the Sienese school. He was active from approximately 1317 to 1348. He painted ''The Allegory of Good and Bad Government'' in the Sala dei Nove (Salon of Nine ...
(painted 1338–1340), whose strong message is about the virtues of fairness, justice, republicanism and good administration. Holding both Church and Empire at bay, these city republics were devoted to notions of liberty. Skinner reports that there were many defences of liberty such as the Matteo Palmieri (1406–1475) celebration of Florentine genius not only in art, sculpture and architecture, but "the remarkable efflorescence of moral, social and political philosophy that occurred in Florence at the same time".Skinner, Quentin, ''The Foundations of Modern Political Thought'', vol I: ''The Renaissance''; vol II: ''The Age of Reformation'', Cambridge University Press, p. 69 Even cities and states beyond central Italy, such as the
Republic of Florence The Republic of Florence, officially the Florentine Republic ( it, Repubblica Fiorentina, , or ), was a History of Italy#Middle Ages, medieval and history of Italy#Modernity, early modern state that was centered on the list of cities in Italy, I ...
at this time, were also notable for their merchant republics, especially the
Republic of Venice The Republic of Venice ( vec, Repùblega de Venèsia) or Venetian Republic ( vec, Repùblega Vèneta, links=no), traditionally known as La Serenissima ( en, Most Serene Republic of Venice, italics=yes; vec, Serenìsima Repùblega de Venèsia, ...
. Although in practice these were oligarchical, and bore little resemblance to a modern
democracy Democracy (From grc, δημοκρατία, dēmokratía, ''dēmos'' 'people' and ''kratos'' 'rule') is a form of government in which people, the people have the authority to deliberate and decide legislation ("direct democracy"), or to choo ...
, they did have democratic features and were responsive states, with forms of participation in governance and belief in liberty. The relative political freedom they afforded was conducive to academic and artistic advancement.Burckhardt, Jacob, ''The Republics: Venice and Florence'',
The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy
'', translated by S.G.C. Middlemore, 1878.
Likewise, the position of Italian cities such as Venice as great trading centres made them intellectual crossroads.
Merchant A merchant is a person who trades in Commodity, commodities produced by other people, especially one who trades with foreign countries. Historically, a merchant is anyone who is involved in commerce, business or trade. Merchants have operated fo ...
s brought with them ideas from far corners of the globe, particularly the
Levant The Levant () is an approximation, approximate historical geography, historical geographical term referring to a large area in the Eastern Mediterranean region of Western Asia. In its narrowest sense, which is in use today in archaeology an ...
. Venice was Europe's gateway to trade with the East, and a producer of fine glass, while Florence was a capital of textiles. The wealth such business brought to Italy meant large public and private artistic projects could be commissioned and individuals had more leisure time for study.


Black Death

One theory that has been advanced is that the devastation in
Florence Florence ( ; it, Firenze ) is a city in Central Italy and the capital city of the Tuscany region. It is the most populated city in Tuscany, with 383,083 inhabitants in 2016, and over 1,520,000 in its metropolitan area.Bilancio demografico ...
caused by the
Black Death The Black Death (also known as the Pestilence, the Great Mortality or the Plague) was a bubonic plague pandemic occurring in Western Eurasia and North Africa North Africa, or Northern Africa is a region encompassing the northern portio ...
, which hit Europe between 1348 and 1350, resulted in a shift in the world view of people in 14th century Italy.
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic, ) or the Republic of Italy, is a country in Southern Europe. It is located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, and its territory largely coincides with the Italy (geographical region) ...
was particularly badly hit by the plague, and it has been speculated that the resulting familiarity with death caused thinkers to dwell more on their lives on Earth, rather than on
spirituality The meaning of ''spirituality'' has developed and expanded over time, and various meanings can be found alongside each other. Traditionally, spirituality referred to a Religion, religious process of re-formation which "aims to recover the origin ...
and the
afterlife The afterlife (also referred to as life after death) is a purported existence in which the essence, essential part of an Individual, individual's Personal identity, identity or their Stream of consciousness (psychology), stream of consciousness ...
. It has also been argued that the Black Death prompted a new wave of piety, manifested in the
sponsorship Sponsoring something (or someone) is the act of supporting an event, activity, person, or organization financially or through the provision of products or services. The individual or group that provides the support, similar to a Benefactor (law), ...
of religious works of art. However, this does not fully explain why the Renaissance occurred specifically in Italy in the 14th century. The Black Death was a
pandemic A pandemic () is an epidemic of an infectious disease that has spread across a large region, for instance multiple continents or worldwide, affecting a substantial number of individuals. A widespread endemic (epidemiology), endemic disease wi ...
that affected all of Europe in the ways described, not only Italy. The Renaissance's emergence in Italy was most likely the result of the complex interaction of the above factors.Brotton, J., ''The Renaissance: A Very Short Introduction'', OUP, 2006 . The plague was carried by fleas on sailing vessels returning from the ports of Asia, spreading quickly due to lack of proper sanitation: the population of England, then about 4.2 million, lost 1.4 million people to the
bubonic plague Bubonic plague is one of three types of Plague (disease), plague caused by the plague Bacteria, bacterium (''Yersinia pestis''). One to seven days after exposure to the bacteria, flu-like symptoms develop. These symptoms include fever, headac ...
. Florence's population was nearly halved in the year 1347. As a result of the decimation in the populace the value of the working class increased, and commoners came to enjoy more freedom. To answer the increased need for labor, workers traveled in search of the most favorable position economically. The demographic decline due to the plague had economic consequences: the prices of food dropped and land values declined by 30–40% in most parts of Europe between 1350 and 1400. Landholders faced a great loss, but for ordinary men and women it was a windfall. The survivors of the plague found not only that the prices of food were cheaper but also that lands were more abundant, and many of them inherited property from their dead relatives. The spread of disease was significantly more rampant in areas of poverty.
Epidemic An epidemic (from Ancient Greek, Greek ἐπί ''epi'' "upon or above" and δῆμος ''demos'' "people") is the rapid spread of disease to a large number of patients among a given population within an area in a short period of time. Epidemics ...
s ravaged cities, particularly children. Plagues were easily spread by lice, unsanitary drinking water, armies, or by poor sanitation. Children were hit the hardest because many diseases, such as
typhus Typhus, also known as typhus fever, is a group of infectious diseases that include epidemic typhus, scrub typhus, and murine typhus. Common symptoms include fever, headache, and a rash. Typically these begin one to two weeks after exposure. ...
and
congenital syphilis Congenital syphilis is syphilis present ''in utero'' and at birth, and occurs when a child is born to a mother with syphilis. Untreated early syphilis infections results in a high risk of poor pregnancy outcomes, including saddle nose, lower extre ...
, target the immune system, leaving young children without a fighting chance. Children in city dwellings were more affected by the spread of disease than the children of the wealthy. The Black Death caused greater upheaval to Florence's social and political structure than later epidemics. Despite a significant number of deaths among members of the ruling classes, the government of Florence continued to function during this period. Formal meetings of elected representatives were suspended during the height of the epidemic due to the chaotic conditions in the city, but a small group of officials was appointed to conduct the affairs of the city, which ensured continuity of government.


Cultural conditions in Florence

It has long been a matter of debate why the Renaissance began in
Florence Florence ( ; it, Firenze ) is a city in Central Italy and the capital city of the Tuscany region. It is the most populated city in Tuscany, with 383,083 inhabitants in 2016, and over 1,520,000 in its metropolitan area.Bilancio demografico ...
, and not elsewhere in Italy. Scholars have noted several features unique to Florentine cultural life that may have caused such a cultural movement. Many have emphasized the role played by the
Medici The House of Medici ( , ) was an Italian banking family and political dynasty that first began to gather prominence under Cosimo de' Medici, in the Republic of Florence during the first half of the 15th century. The family originated in the Muge ...
, a banking family and later ducal ruling house, in patronizing and stimulating the arts.
Lorenzo de' Medici Lorenzo di Piero de' Medici (; 1 January 1449 – 8 April 1492) was an Italian statesman, banker, ''de facto'' ruler of the Florentine Republic and the most powerful and enthusiastic patron of Renaissance culture in Italy. Also known as Lorenzo ...
(1449–1492) was the catalyst for an enormous amount of arts patronage, encouraging his countrymen to commission works from the leading artists of Florence, including
Leonardo da Vinci Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci (15 April 14522 May 1519) was an Italian polymath of the High Renaissance who was active as a painter, Drawing, draughtsman, engineer, scientist, theorist, sculptor, and architect. While his fame initially res ...

Leonardo da Vinci
,
Sandro Botticelli Alessandro di Mariano di Vanni Filipepi ( – May 17, 1510), known as Sandro Botticelli (, ), was an Italian painter of the Early Renaissance. Botticelli's posthumous reputation suffered until the late 19th century, when he was rediscovered ...
, and Michelangelo Buonarroti. Works by
Neri di Bicci Neri di Bicci (1419–1491) was an Italian painter active in his native Florence. A prolific painter of mainly religious themes, he studied under his father, Bicci di Lorenzo, who had in turn studied under his father, Lorenzo di Bicci. The thre ...
, Botticelli, da Vinci, and
Filippino Lippi Filippino Lippi (April 1457 – 18 April 1504) was an Italian painter working in Florence Florence ( ; it, Firenze ) is a city in Central Italy and the capital city of the Tuscany region. It is the most populated city in Tuscany, w ...
had been commissioned additionally by the Convent of San Donato in Scopeto in Florence. The Renaissance was certainly underway before Lorenzo de' Medici came to power – indeed, before the Medici family itself achieved hegemony in Florentine society. Some historians have postulated that Florence was the birthplace of the Renaissance as a result of luck, i.e., because " Great Men" were born there by chance:Burckhardt, Jacob, ''The Development of the Individual'',
The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy
'', translated by S.G.C. Middlemore, 1878.
Leonardo da Vinci, Botticelli and Michelangelo were all born in
Tuscany Tuscany ( ; it, Toscana ) is a Regions of Italy, region in central Italy with an area of about and a population of about 3.8 million inhabitants. The regional capital is Florence (''Firenze''). Tuscany is known for its landscapes, history, art ...
. Arguing that such chance seems improbable, other historians have contended that these "Great Men" were only able to rise to prominence because of the prevailing cultural conditions at the time.


Characteristics


Humanism

In some ways,
Renaissance humanism Renaissance humanism was a revival in the study of classical antiquity, at first Italian Renaissance, in Italy and then spreading across Western Europe in the 14th, 15th, and 16th centuries. During the period, the term ''humanist'' ( it, umanista ...
was not a philosophy but a method of learning. In contrast to the medieval scholastic mode, which focused on resolving contradictions between authors, Renaissance humanists would study ancient texts in the original and appraise them through a combination of reasoning and
empirical evidence Empirical evidence for a proposition is evidence, i.e. what supports or counters this proposition, that is constituted by or accessible to sense experience or experimental procedure. Empirical evidence is of central importance to the sciences and ...
. Humanist education was based on the programme of ''Studia Humanitatis'', the study of five humanities:
poetry Poetry (derived from the Greek '' poiesis'', "making"), also called verse, is a form of literature that uses aesthetic and often rhythmic qualities of language − such as phonaesthetics, sound symbolism, and metre The metre (Brit ...
,
grammar In linguistics, the grammar of a natural language is its set of structure, structural constraints on speakers' or writers' composition of clause (linguistics), clauses, phrases, and words. The term can also refer to the study of such constraint ...
,
history History (derived ) is the systematic study and the documentation of the human activity. The time period of event before the invention of writing systems is considered prehistory. "History" is an umbrella term comprising past events as we ...
,
moral philosophy Ethics or moral philosophy is a branch of philosophy that "involves systematizing, defending, and recommending concepts of morality, right and wrong action (philosophy), behavior".''Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy'' The field of ethics, alo ...
, and
rhetoric Rhetoric () is the Art (skill), art of persuasion, which along with grammar and logic (or dialectic), is one of the Trivium, three ancient arts of discourse. Rhetoric aims to study the techniques writers or speakers utilize to inform, persuad ...
. Although historians have sometimes struggled to define humanism precisely, most have settled on "a middle of the road definition... the movement to recover, interpret, and assimilate the language, literature, learning and values of ancient Greece and Rome". Above all, humanists asserted "the genius of man ... the unique and extraordinary ability of the human mind". Humanist scholars shaped the intellectual landscape throughout the early modern period. Political philosophers such as
Niccolò Machiavelli Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli ( , , ; 3 May 1469 – 21 June 1527), occasionally rendered in English as Nicholas Machiavel ( , ; #Machiavel, see below), was an Italian diplomat, author, philosopher and historian who lived during the Re ...
and
Thomas More Sir Thomas More (7 February 1478 – 6 July 1535), veneration, venerated in the Catholic Church as Saint Thomas More, was an English lawyer, judge, social philosopher, author, statesman, and noted Renaissance humanist. He also served Henry VII ...
revived the ideas of Greek and Roman thinkers and applied them in critiques of contemporary government, following the Islamic steps of
Ibn Khaldun Ibn Khaldun (; ar, أبو زيد عبد الرحمن بن محمد بن خلدون الحضرمي, ; 27 May 1332 – 17 March 1406, 732-808 Hijri year, AH) was an Arabs, Arab The Historical Muhammad', Irving M. Zeitlin, (Polity Press, 2007), ...
.
Pico della Mirandola Giovanni Pico della Mirandola (24 February 1463 – 17 November 1494) was an Italian Renaissance nobleman and philosopher. He is famed for the events of 1486, when, at the age of 23, he proposed to defend 900 theses on religion, philosophy, ...
wrote the "manifesto" of the Renaissance, the '' Oration on the Dignity of Man'', a vibrant defence of thinking. Matteo Palmieri (1406–1475), another humanist, is most known for his work ''Della vita civile'' ("On Civic Life"; printed 1528), which advocated civic humanism, and for his influence in refining the Tuscan vernacular to the same level as Latin. Palmieri drew on Roman philosophers and theorists, especially
Cicero Marcus Tullius Cicero ( ; ; 3 January 106 BC – 7 December 43 BC) was a Ancient Rome, Roman statesman, lawyer, scholar, philosopher, and Academic skepticism, academic skeptic, who tried to uphold optimate principles during crisis of ...
, who, like Palmieri, lived an active public life as a citizen and official, as well as a theorist and philosopher and also
Quintilian Marcus Fabius Quintilianus (; 35 – 100 AD) was a Roman Empire, Roman educator and rhetorician from Hispania, widely referred to in Middle ages, medieval schools of rhetoric and in Renaissance writing. In English translation, he is usuall ...
. Perhaps the most succinct expression of his perspective on humanism is in a 1465 poetic work ''La città di vita'', but an earlier work, ''Della vita civile'', is more wide-ranging. Composed as a series of dialogues set in a country house in the Mugello countryside outside Florence during the plague of 1430, Palmieri expounds on the qualities of the ideal citizen. The dialogues include ideas about how children develop mentally and physically, how citizens can conduct themselves morally, how citizens and states can ensure probity in public life, and an important debate on the difference between that which is pragmatically useful and that which is honest. The humanists believed that it is important to transcend to the afterlife with a perfect mind and body, which could be attained with education. The purpose of humanism was to create a universal man whose person combined intellectual and physical excellence and who was capable of functioning honorably in virtually any situation. This ideology was referred to as the '' uomo universale'', an ancient Greco-Roman ideal. Education during the Renaissance was mainly composed of ancient literature and history as it was thought that the classics provided moral instruction and an intensive understanding of human behavior.


Humanism and libraries

A unique characteristic of some Renaissance libraries is that they were open to the public. These libraries were places where ideas were exchanged and where scholarship and reading were considered both pleasurable and beneficial to the mind and soul. As freethinking was a hallmark of the age, many libraries contained a wide range of writers. Classical texts could be found alongside humanist writings. These informal associations of intellectuals profoundly influenced Renaissance culture. Some of the richest "bibliophiles" built libraries as temples to books and knowledge. A number of libraries appeared as manifestations of immense wealth joined with a love of books. In some cases, cultivated library builders were also committed to offering others the opportunity to use their collections. Prominent aristocrats and princes of the Church created great libraries for the use of their courts, called "court libraries", and were housed in lavishly designed monumental buildings decorated with ornate woodwork, and the walls adorned with frescoes (Murray, Stuart A.P.).


Art

Renaissance art marks a cultural rebirth at the close of the Middle Ages and rise of the Modern world. One of the distinguishing features of Renaissance art was its development of highly realistic linear perspective.
Giotto di Bondone Giotto di Bondone (; – January 8, 1337), known mononymously as Giotto ( , ) and latinisation of names, Latinised as Giottus, was an List of Italian painters, Italian painter and architect from Florence during the Late Middle Ages. He worked ...
(1267–1337) is credited with first treating a painting as a window into space, but it was not until the demonstrations of architect
Filippo Brunelleschi Filippo Brunelleschi ( , , also known as Pippo; 1377 – 15 April 1446), considered to be a founding father of Renaissance architecture, was an Italian architect, designer, and sculptor, and is now recognized to be the first modern engineer, p ...
(1377–1446) and the subsequent writings of
Leon Battista Alberti Leon Battista Alberti (; 14 February 1404 – 25 April 1472) was an Italian Renaissance humanist author, artist, architect, poet, Catholic priest, priest, linguistics, linguist, philosopher, and cryptography, cryptographer; he epitomised the natu ...
(1404–1472) that perspective was formalized as an artistic technique. The development of perspective was part of a wider trend towards realism in the arts. Painters developed other techniques, studying light, shadow, and, famously in the case of
Leonardo da Vinci Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci (15 April 14522 May 1519) was an Italian polymath of the High Renaissance who was active as a painter, Drawing, draughtsman, engineer, scientist, theorist, sculptor, and architect. While his fame initially res ...

Leonardo da Vinci
,
human anatomy The human body is the structure of a Human, human being. It is composed of many different types of Cell (biology), cells that together create Tissue (biology), tissues and subsequently organ systems. They ensure homeostasis and the life, viabi ...
. Underlying these changes in artistic method was a renewed desire to depict the beauty of nature and to unravel the axioms of
aesthetics Aesthetics, or esthetics, is a branch of philosophy that deals with the nature of beauty and taste (sociology), taste, as well as the philosophy of art (its own area of philosophy that comes out of aesthetics). It examines aesthetic values, ...
, with the works of Leonardo,
Michelangelo Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni (; 6 March 1475 – 18 February 1564), known as Michelangelo (), was an Italian sculptor, painter, architect, and poet of the High Renaissance. Born in the Republic of Florence, his work was insp ...

Michelangelo
and
Raphael Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino, better known as Raphael (; or ; March 28 or April 6, 1483April 6, 1520), was an Italian painter and architect of the High Renaissance. List of works by Raphael, His work is admired for its clarity of form, ease of ...
representing artistic pinnacles that were much imitated by other artists. Other notable artists include
Sandro Botticelli Alessandro di Mariano di Vanni Filipepi ( – May 17, 1510), known as Sandro Botticelli (, ), was an Italian painter of the Early Renaissance. Botticelli's posthumous reputation suffered until the late 19th century, when he was rediscovered ...
, working for the Medici in Florence,
Donatello Donato di Niccolò di Betto Bardi ( – 13 December 1466), better known as Donatello ( ), was a Florentine sculptor of the Renaissance The Renaissance ( , ) , from , with the same meanings. is a Periodization, period in History of Eur ...
, another Florentine, and
Titian Tiziano Vecelli or Vecellio (; 27 August 1576), known in English as Titian ( ), was an Italians, Italian (Republic of Venice, Venetian) painter of the Renaissance, considered the most important member of the 16th-century Venetian school (art), ...
in Venice, among others. In the
Netherlands ) , anthem = ( en, "William of Nassau") , image_map = , map_caption = , subdivision_type = Sovereign state , subdivision_name = Kingdom of the Netherlands , established_title = Before independence , established_date = Spanish Neth ...
, a particularly vibrant artistic culture developed. The work of
Hugo van der Goes Hugo van der Goes (c. 1430/1440 – 1482) was one of the most significant and original Early Netherlandish painting, Flemish painters of the late 15th century. Van der Goes was an important painter of altarpieces as well as portraits. He introduce ...
and
Jan van Eyck Jan van Eyck ( , ; – July 9, 1441) was a painter active in Bruges who was one of the early innovators of what became known as Early Netherlandish painting, and one of the most significant representatives of Early Northern Renaissance art. Ac ...
was particularly influential on the development of painting in Italy, both technically with the introduction of
oil paint Oil paint is a type of slow-drying paint that consists of particles of pigment suspended in a drying oil, commonly linseed oil. The viscosity of the paint may be modified by the addition of a solvent such as turpentine or white spirit, and varnis ...
and canvas, and stylistically in terms of naturalism in representation. Later, the work of
Pieter Brueghel the Elder Pieter Bruegel (also Brueghel or Breughel) the Elder (, ; ; – 9 September 1569) was the most significant artist of Dutch and Flemish Renaissance painting, a painter and printmaking, printmaker, known for his landscape art, landscapes and peas ...
would inspire artists to depict themes of everyday life. In architecture, Filippo Brunelleschi was foremost in studying the remains of ancient classical buildings. With rediscovered knowledge from the 1st-century writer
Vitruvius Vitruvius (; c. 80–70 BC – after c. 15 BC) was a Roman architect and engineer during the 1st century BC, known for his multi-volume work entitled ''De architectura''. He originated the idea that all buildings should have three attribute ...
and the flourishing discipline of mathematics, Brunelleschi formulated the Renaissance style that emulated and improved on classical forms. His major feat of engineering was building the dome of the
Florence Cathedral Florence Cathedral, formally the (; in English Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Flower), is the cathedral of Florence, Italy ( it, Duomo di Firenze). It was begun in 1296 in the Gothic architecture, Gothic style to a design of Arnolfo di Cambio an ...
. Another building demonstrating this style is the church of St. Andrew in
Mantua Mantua ( ; it, Mantova ; Lombard language, Lombard and la, Mantua) is a city and ''comune'' in Lombardy, Italy, and capital of the Province of Mantua, province of the same name. In 2016, Mantua was designated as the Italian Capital of Culture ...
, built by Alberti. The outstanding architectural work of the
High Renaissance In art history, the High Renaissance was a short period of the most exceptional artistic production in the Italian states, particularly Rome, capital of the Papal States, and in Florence, during the Italian Renaissance. Most art historians stat ...
was the rebuilding of St. Peter's Basilica, combining the skills of
Bramante Donato Bramante ( , , ; 1444 – 11 April 1514), born as Donato di Pascuccio d'Antonio and also known as Bramante Lazzari, was an Italian architect and painter. He introduced Renaissance architecture to Milan and the High Renaissance style ...
,
Michelangelo Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni (; 6 March 1475 – 18 February 1564), known as Michelangelo (), was an Italian sculptor, painter, architect, and poet of the High Renaissance. Born in the Republic of Florence, his work was insp ...

Michelangelo
,
Raphael Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino, better known as Raphael (; or ; March 28 or April 6, 1483April 6, 1520), was an Italian painter and architect of the High Renaissance. List of works by Raphael, His work is admired for its clarity of form, ease of ...
, Sangallo and Maderno. During the Renaissance, architects aimed to use columns,
pilaster In classical architecture, a pilaster is an :Architectural elements, architectural element used to give the appearance of a supporting column and to articulate an extent of wall, with only an ornamental function. It consists of a flat surface r ...
s, and entablatures as an integrated system. The Roman orders types of columns are used: Tuscan and Composite. These can either be structural, supporting an arcade or architrave, or purely decorative, set against a wall in the form of pilasters. One of the first buildings to use pilasters as an integrated system was in the Old Sacristy (1421–1440) by Brunelleschi. Arches, semi-circular or (in the
Mannerist Mannerism, which may also be known as Late Renaissance, is a Style (visual arts), style in European art that emerged in the later years of the Italian High Renaissance around 1520, spreading by about 1530 and lasting until about the end of the 1 ...
style) segmental, are often used in arcades, supported on piers or columns with capitals. There may be a section of entablature between the capital and the springing of the arch. Alberti was one of the first to use the arch on a monumental. Renaissance vaults do not have ribs; they are semi-circular or segmental and on a square plan, unlike the Gothic vault, which is frequently rectangular. Renaissance artists were not pagans, although they admired antiquity and kept some ideas and symbols of the medieval past.
Nicola Pisano Nicola Pisano (also called ''Niccolò Pisano'', ''Nicola de Apulia'' or ''Nicola Pisanus''; c. 1220/1225 – c. 1284) was an Italian sculptor Sculpture is the branch of the visual arts that operates in three dimensions. Sculpture is the ...
(c. 1220 – c. 1278) imitated classical forms by portraying scenes from the Bible. His ''Annunciation'', from the Baptistry at Pisa, demonstrates that classical models influenced Italian art before the Renaissance took root as a literary movement.


Science

Applied innovation extended to commerce. At the end of the 15th century,
Luca Pacioli Fra Luca Bartolomeo de Pacioli (sometimes ''Paccioli'' or ''Paciolo''; 1447 – 19 June 1517) was an Italian mathematician, Franciscan friar, collaborator with Leonardo da Vinci, and an early contributor to the field now known as accounting ...
published the first work on
bookkeeping Bookkeeping is the recording of financial transactions, and is part of the process of accounting in business and other organizations. It involves preparing source documents for all transactions, operations, and other events of a business. Tr ...
, making him the founder of
accounting Accounting, also known as accountancy, is the measurement, processing, and communication of financial and non financial information about economic entity, economic entities such as businesses and corporations. Accounting, which has been calle ...
. The rediscovery of ancient texts and the invention of the
printing press A printing press is a mechanical device for applying pressure to an inked surface resting upon a printing, print medium (such as paper or cloth), thereby transferring the ink. It marked a dramatic improvement on earlier printing methods in wh ...
in about 1440 democratized learning and allowed a faster propagation of more widely distributed ideas. In the first period of the
Italian Renaissance The Italian Renaissance ( it, Rinascimento ) was a period in History of Italy, Italian history covering the 15th and 16th centuries. The period is known for the initial development of the broader Renaissance culture that spread across Europe an ...
, humanists favored the study of
humanities Humanities are List of academic disciplines, academic disciplines that study aspects of human society and culture. In the Renaissance, the term contrasted with Divinity (academic discipline), divinity and referred to what is now called classi ...
over
natural philosophy Natural philosophy or philosophy of nature (from Latin ''philosophia naturalis'') is the philosophy, philosophical study of Physics (Aristotle), physics, that is, nature and the physical universe. It was dominant before the development of mode ...
or
applied mathematics Applied mathematics is the application of mathematics, mathematical methods by different fields such as physics, engineering, medicine, biology, finance, business, computer science, and Industrial sector, industry. Thus, applied mathematics is ...
, and their reverence for classical sources further enshrined the Aristotelian and Ptolemaic views of the universe. Writing around 1450, Nicholas Cusanus anticipated the
heliocentric Heliocentrism (also known as the Heliocentric model) is the astronomical model in which the Earth and planets revolve around the Sun at the center of the universe. Historically, heliocentrism was opposed to Geocentric model, geocentrism, which p ...
worldview of
Copernicus Nicolaus Copernicus (; pl, Mikołaj Kopernik; gml, Niklas Koppernigk, german: Nikolaus Kopernikus; 19 February 1473 – 24 May 1543) was a Renaissance The Renaissance ( , ) , from , with the same meanings. is a Periodization, ...
, but in a philosophical fashion. Science and art were intermingled in the early Renaissance, with polymath artists such as Leonardo da Vinci making observational drawings of anatomy and nature. Da Vinci set up controlled experiments in water flow, medical dissection, and systematic study of movement and aerodynamics, and he devised principles of research method that led
Fritjof Capra Fritjof Capra (born February 1, 1939) is an Austrian-born American physicist A physicist is a scientist who specializes in the field of physics, which encompasses the interactions of matter and energy at all length and time scales in the phy ...
to classify him as the "father of modern science". Other examples of Da Vinci's contribution during this period include machines designed to saw marbles and lift monoliths, and new discoveries in acoustics, botany, geology, anatomy, and mechanics. A suitable environment had developed to question classical scientific doctrine. The
discovery Discovery may refer to: * Discovery (observation), observing or finding something unknown * Discovery (fiction), a character's learning something unknown * Discovery (law), a process in courts of law relating to evidence Discovery, The Discovery ...
in 1492 of the
New World The term ''New World'' is often used to mean the majority of Earth's Western Hemisphere, specifically the Americas."America." ''The Oxford Companion to the English Language'' (). McArthur, Tom, ed., 1992. New York: Oxford University Press, p. 3 ...
by
Christopher Columbus Christopher Columbus * lij, Cristoffa C(or)ombo * es, link=no, Cristóbal Colón * pt, Cristóvão Colombo * ca, Cristòfor (or ) * la, Christophorus Columbus. (; born between 25 August and 31 October 1451, died 20 May 1506) was a ...
challenged the classical worldview. The works of
Ptolemy Claudius Ptolemy (; grc-gre, wikt:Πτολεμαῖος, Πτολεμαῖος, ; la, Claudius Ptolemaeus; AD) was a mathematician, astronomer, astrologer, geographer, and music theorist, who wrote about a dozen scientific Treatise, treatis ...
(in geography) and
Galen Aelius Galenus or Claudius Galenus ( el, Κλαύδιος Γαληνός; September 129 – c. AD 216), often Anglicization, Anglicized as Galen () or Galen of Pergamon, was a Ancient Greeks, Greek physician, surgeon and Philosophy, philosopher i ...
(in medicine) were found to not always match everyday observations. As the
Reformation The Reformation (alternatively named the Protestant Reformation or the European Reformation) was a major movement within Western Christianity in 16th-century Europe that posed a religious and political challenge to the Catholic Church and in ...
and
Counter-Reformation The Counter-Reformation (), also called the Catholic Reformation () or the Catholic Revival, was the period of Catholic resurgence that was initiated in response to the Protestant Reformation. It began with the Council of Trent (1545–1563) a ...
clashed, the
Northern Renaissance The Northern Renaissance was the Renaissance that occurred in Europe north of the Alps. From the last years of the 15th century, its Renaissance spread around Europe. Called the Northern Renaissance because it occurred north of the Italian Renais ...
showed a decisive shift in focus from Aristotelean natural philosophy to chemistry and the biological sciences (botany, anatomy, and medicine). The willingness to question previously held truths and search for new answers resulted in a period of major scientific advancements. Some view this as a "
scientific revolution The Scientific Revolution was a series of events that marked the emergence of modern science during the early modern period, when developments in mathematics Mathematics is an area of knowledge that includes the topics of numbers, fo ...
", heralding the beginning of the modern age, others as an acceleration of a continuous process stretching from the ancient world to the present day. Significant scientific advances were made during this time by
Galileo Galilei Galileo di Vincenzo Bonaiuti de' Galilei (15 February 1564 – 8 January 1642) was an Italian astronomer, physicist and engineer, sometimes described as a polymath. Commonly referred to as Galileo, his name was pronounced (, ). He was ...
,
Tycho Brahe Tycho Brahe ( ; born Tyge Ottesen Brahe; generally called Tycho (14 December 154624 October 1601) was a Danish astronomer, known for his comprehensive astronomical observations, generally considered to be the most accurate of his time. He was k ...
, and
Johannes Kepler Johannes Kepler (; ; 27 December 1571 – 15 November 1630) was a German astronomer, German mathematician, mathematician, astrologer, Natural philosophy, natural philosopher and writer on music. He is a key figure in the 17th-century Scienti ...
. Copernicus, in ''
De revolutionibus orbium coelestium ''De revolutionibus orbium coelestium'' (English translation: ''On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres'') is the seminal work on the heliocentric theory of the astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus Nicolaus Copernicus (; pl, Mikołaj Koper ...
'' (''On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres''), posited that the Earth moved around the Sun. ''
De humani corporis fabrica ''De Humani Corporis Fabrica Libri Septem'' (Latin, lit. "On the fabric of the human body in seven books") is a set of books on human anatomy written by Andreas Vesalius (1514–1564) and published in 1543. It was a major advance in the history ...
'' (''On the Workings of the Human Body'') by
Andreas Vesalius Andreas Vesalius (Latinized from Andries van Wezel) () was a 16th-century anatomist, physician, and author of one of the most influential books on human anatomy, ''De humani corporis fabrica, De Humani Corporis Fabrica Libri Septem'' (''On the f ...
, gave a new confidence to the role of
dissection Dissection (from Latin ' "to cut to pieces"; also called anatomization) is the dismembering of the body of a deceased animal or plant to study its anatomical structure. Autopsy is used in pathology and forensic medicine to determine the cause of ...
, observation, and the mechanistic view of anatomy.Brotton, J., "Science and Philosophy", ''The Renaissance: A Very Short Introduction''
Oxford University Press Oxford University Press (OUP) is the university press of the University of Oxford. It is the largest university press in the world, and its printing history dates back to the 1480s. Having been officially granted the legal right to print books ...
, 2006 .
Another important development was in the ''process'' for discovery, the
scientific method The scientific method is an Empirical evidence, empirical method for acquiring knowledge that has characterized the development of science since at least the 17th century (with notable practitioners in previous centuries; see the article hist ...
, focusing on
empirical evidence Empirical evidence for a proposition is evidence, i.e. what supports or counters this proposition, that is constituted by or accessible to sense experience or experimental procedure. Empirical evidence is of central importance to the sciences and ...
and the importance of
mathematics Mathematics is an area of knowledge that includes the topics of numbers, formulas and related structures, shapes and the spaces in which they are contained, and quantities and their changes. These topics are represented in modern mathematics ...
, while discarding much of Aristotelian science. Early and influential proponents of these ideas included Copernicus, Galileo, and
Francis Bacon Francis Bacon, 1st Viscount St Alban (; 22 January 1561 – 9 April 1626), also known as Lord Verulam, was an English philosopher and statesman who served as Attorney General and Lord Chancellor of England England is a Countries of ...
. The new scientific method led to great contributions in the fields of astronomy, physics, biology, and anatomy.


Navigation and geography

During the Renaissance, extending from 1450 to 1650, every continent was visited and mostly mapped by Europeans, except the south polar continent now known as
Antarctica Antarctica () is Earth's southernmost and least-populated continent. Situated almost entirely south of the Antarctic Circle and surrounded by the Southern Ocean, it contains the geographic South Pole. Antarctica is the fifth-largest contine ...
. This development is depicted in the large world map ''Nova Totius Terrarum Orbis Tabula'' made by the Dutch cartographer
Joan Blaeu Joan Blaeu (; 23 September 1596 – 21 December 1673) was a Dutch cartographer born in Alkmaar, the son of cartographer Willem Blaeu. Life In 1620, Blaeu became a doctor of law but he joined the work of his father. In 1635, they published ...
in 1648 to commemorate the
Peace of Westphalia The Peace of Westphalia (german: Westfälischer Friede, ) is the collective name for two peace treaties signed in October 1648 in the Westphalian cities of Osnabrück and Münster. They ended the Thirty Years' War (1618–1648) and brought ...
. In 1492,
Christopher Columbus Christopher Columbus * lij, Cristoffa C(or)ombo * es, link=no, Cristóbal Colón * pt, Cristóvão Colombo * ca, Cristòfor (or ) * la, Christophorus Columbus. (; born between 25 August and 31 October 1451, died 20 May 1506) was a ...
sailed across the Atlantic Ocean from Spain seeking a direct route to India of the
Delhi Sultanate The Delhi Sultanate was an Islamic empire based in Delhi that stretched over large parts of the Indian subcontinent for 320 years (1206–1526).
. He accidentally stumbled upon the Americas, but believed he had reached the East Indies. In 1606, the Dutch navigator
Willem Janszoon Willem Janszoon (; ), sometimes abbreviated to Willem Jansz., was a Dutch navigator and colonial governor. Janszoon served in the Dutch East Indies in the periods 16031611 and 16121616, including as governor of Fort Henricus on the island of ...
sailed from the East Indies in the VOC ship
Duyfken ''Duyfken'' (; Little Dove), also in the form ''Duifje'' or spelled ''Duifken'' or ''Duijfken'', was a small ship built in the Dutch Republic. She was a fast, lightly armed ship probably intended for shallow water, small valuable cargoes, bri ...
and landed in
Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands. With an area of , Australia is the largest country by ...
. He charted about 300 km of the west coast of
Cape York Peninsula Cape York Peninsula is a large peninsula A peninsula (; ) is a landform that extends from a mainland and is surrounded by water on most, but not all of its borders. A peninsula is also sometimes defined as a piece of land bordered by water ...
in Queensland. More than thirty Dutch expeditions followed, mapping sections of the north, west, and south coasts. In 1642–1643,
Abel Tasman Abel Janszoon Tasman (; 160310 October 1659) was a Dutch sea explorer, seafarer, exploration, explorer, and merchant, best known for his voyages of 1642 and 1644 in the service of the Dutch East India Company (VOC). He was the first known Europ ...
circumnavigated the continent, proving that it was not joined to the imagined south polar continent. By 1650, Dutch cartographers had mapped most of the coastline of the continent, which they named New Holland, except the east coast which was charted in 1770 by
James Cook James Cook (7 November 1728Old Style and New Style dates, Old Style date: 27 October – 14 February 1779) was a British explorer, navigator, cartography, cartographer, and captain (Royal Navy), captain in the British Royal Navy, famous for ...
. The long-imagined south polar continent was eventually sighted in 1820. Throughout the Renaissance it had been known as
Terra Australis (Latin language, Latin: '"Southern Land'") was a hypothetical continent first posited in Classical antiquity, antiquity and which appeared on maps between the 15th and 18th centuries. Its existence was not based on any survey or direct obse ...
, or 'Australia' for short. However, after that name was transferred to New Holland in the nineteenth century, the new name of 'Antarctica' was bestowed on the south polar continent.


Music

From this changing society emerged a common, unifying musical language, in particular the
polyphonic Polyphony ( ) is a type of musical texture (music), texture consisting of two or more simultaneous lines of independent melody, as opposed to a musical texture with just one voice, monophony, or a texture with one dominant melodic voice accompan ...
style of the
Franco-Flemish The designation Franco-Flemish School, also called Netherlandish School, Burgundian School, Low Countries School, Flemish School, Dutch School, or Northern School, refers, somewhat imprecisely, to the style of polyphony, polyphonic vocal music com ...
school. The development of
printing Printing is a process for mass reproducing text and Printmaking, images using a master form or template. The earliest non-paper products involving printing include cylinder seals and objects such as the Cyrus Cylinder and the Cylinders of Nabo ...
made distribution of music possible on a wide scale. Demand for music as entertainment and as an activity for educated amateurs increased with the emergence of a bourgeois class. Dissemination of
chanson A (, , french: chanson française, link=no, ; ) is generally any Lyrics, lyric-driven French song, though it most often refers to the secular polyphonic French songs of late medieval music, medieval and Renaissance music, Renaissance music. ...
s,
motet In Western classical music, a motet is mainly a vocal musical composition, of highly diverse form and style, from high medieval music to the present. The motet was one of the pre-eminent polyphonic forms of Renaissance music. According to Margare ...
s, and masses throughout Europe coincided with the unification of polyphonic practice into the fluid style that culminated in the second half of the sixteenth century in the work of composers such as
Palestrina Palestrina (ancient ''Praeneste''; grc, Πραίνεστος, ''Prainestos'') is a modern Italian city and ''comune'' (municipality) with a population of about 22,000, in Lazio, about east of Rome. It is connected to the latter by the Via Pren ...
,
Lassus Orlande de Lassus (#Name, various other names; probably – 14 June 1594) was a composer of the late Renaissance music, Renaissance. The chief representative of the mature polyphony, polyphonic style in the Franco-Flemish school, Lassus stan ...
, Victoria, and
William Byrd William Byrd (; 4 July 1623) was an English composer of late Renaissance music. Considered among the greatest composers of the Renaissance, he had a profound influence on composers both from his native England and those on the continent. He i ...
.


Religion

The new ideals of humanism, although more secular in some aspects, developed against a Christian backdrop, especially in the
Northern Renaissance The Northern Renaissance was the Renaissance that occurred in Europe north of the Alps. From the last years of the 15th century, its Renaissance spread around Europe. Called the Northern Renaissance because it occurred north of the Italian Renais ...
. Much, if not most, of the new art was commissioned by or in dedication to the
Church Church may refer to: Religion * Church (building), a building for Christian religious activities * Church (congregation), a local congregation of a Christian denomination * Church service, a formalized period of Christian communal worship * Chris ...
. However, the Renaissance had a profound effect on contemporary
theology Theology is the systematic study of the nature of the Divinity, divine and, more broadly, of religious belief. It is taught as an Discipline (academia), academic discipline, typically in universities and seminaries. It occupies itself with the ...
, particularly in the way people perceived the relationship between man and God. Many of the period's foremost theologians were followers of the humanist method, including
Erasmus Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus (; ; English: Erasmus of Rotterdam or Erasmus;''Erasmus'' was his baptismal name, given after St. Erasmus, St. Erasmus of Formiae. ''Desiderius'' was an adopted additional name, which he used from 1496. The ''Rote ...
,
Zwingli Huldrych or Ulrich Zwingli (1 January 1484 – 11 October 1531) was a leader of the Reformation in Switzerland, born during a time of emerging Swiss patriotism and increasing criticism of the Swiss mercenaries, Swiss mercenary system. He ...
,
Thomas More Sir Thomas More (7 February 1478 – 6 July 1535), veneration, venerated in the Catholic Church as Saint Thomas More, was an English lawyer, judge, social philosopher, author, statesman, and noted Renaissance humanist. He also served Henry VII ...
,
Martin Luther Martin Luther (; ; 10 November 1483 – 18 February 1546) was a German priest, theologian, author, hymnwriter, and professor, and Order of Saint Augustine, Augustinian friar. He is the seminal figure of the Reformation, Protestant Refo ...
, and
John Calvin John Calvin (; frm, Jehan Cauvin; french: link=no, Jean Calvin ; 10 July 150927 May 1564) was a French Christian theology, theologian, pastor and Protestant Reformers, reformer in Geneva during the Protestant Reformation. He was a principal ...
. The Renaissance began in times of religious turmoil. The late
Middle Ages In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages or medieval period lasted approximately from the late 5th to the late 15th centuries, similar to the Post-classical, post-classical period of World history (field), global history. It began with t ...
was a period of political intrigue surrounding the
Papacy The pope ( la, papa, from el, πάππας, translit=pappas, 'father'), also known as supreme pontiff ( or ), Roman pontiff () or sovereign pontiff, is the bishop of Rome (or historically the patriarch of Rome), head of the worldwide Cathol ...
, culminating in the
Western Schism The Western Schism, also known as the Papal Schism, the Vatican Standoff, the Great Occidental Schism, or the Schism of 1378 (), was a split within the Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, i ...
, in which three men simultaneously claimed to be true
Bishop A bishop is an ordained clergy member who is entrusted with a position of Episcopal polity, authority and oversight in a religious institution. In Christianity, bishops are normally responsible for the governance of dioceses. The role or offic ...
of
Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus (Romulus and Remus, legendary) , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Lazio, Italy).svg ...
. While the schism was resolved by the
Council of Constance The Council of Constance was a 15th-century ecumenical council recognized by the Catholic Church, held from 1414 to 1418 in the Bishopric of Constance in present-day Germany. The council ended the Western Schism by deposing or accepting the res ...
(1414), a resulting reform movement known as
Conciliarism Conciliarism was a reform movement in the 14th-, 15th- and 16th-century Catholic Church which held that supreme authority in the Church resided with an ecumenical council, apart from, or even against, the pope. The movement emerged in response to ...
sought to limit the power of the pope. Although the papacy eventually emerged supreme in ecclesiastical matters by the
Fifth Council of the Lateran The Fifth Council of the Lateran, held between 1512 and 1517, was the eighteenth ecumenical council of the Catholic Church and was the last council before the Protestant Reformation and the Council of Trent. It was convoked by Pope Julius II to ...
(1511), it was dogged by continued accusations of corruption, most famously in the person of
Pope Alexander VI Pope Alexander VI ( it, Alessandro VI, va, Alexandre VI, es, Alejandro VI; born Rodrigo de Borja; ca-valencia, Roderic Llançol i de Borja ; es, Rodrigo Lanzol y de Borja, lang ; 1431 – 18 August 1503) was head of the Catholic Churc ...
, who was accused variously of
simony Simony () is the act of selling church offices and roles or sacred things. It is named after Simon Magus, who is described in the Acts of the Apostles as having offered two disciples of Jesus payment in exchange for their empowering him to imp ...
,
nepotism Nepotism is an In-group favoritism, advantage, privilege, or position that is granted to Kinship, relatives and friends in an occupation or field. These fields may include but are not limited to, business, politics, academia, entertainment, s ...
, and fathering children (most of whom were married off, presumably for the consolidation of power) while a cardinal. Churchmen such as Erasmus and Luther proposed reform to the Church, often based on humanist
textual criticism Textual criticism is a branch of textual scholarship, philology Philology () is the study of language in oral and writing, written historical sources; it is the intersection of textual criticism, literary criticism, history, and linguistics ...
of the
New Testament The New Testament grc, Ἡ Καινὴ Διαθήκη, Transliteration, transl. ; la, Novum Testamentum. (NT) is the second division of the Christian biblical canon. It discusses the teachings and person of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus, as ...
. In October 1517 Luther published the ''
Ninety-five Theses The ''Ninety-five Theses'' or ''Disputation on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences''-The title comes from the 1517 Basel pamphlet printing. The first printings of the ''Theses'' use an incipit rather than a title which summarizes the content ...
'', challenging papal authority and criticizing its perceived corruption, particularly with regard to instances of sold
indulgence In the teaching of the Catholic Church, an indulgence (, from , 'permit') is "a way to reduce the amount of punishment one has to undergo for sins". The ''Catechism of the Catholic Church'' describes an indulgence as "a remission before God of ...
s. The 95 Theses led to the
Reformation The Reformation (alternatively named the Protestant Reformation or the European Reformation) was a major movement within Western Christianity in 16th-century Europe that posed a religious and political challenge to the Catholic Church and in ...
, a break with the Roman Catholic Church that previously claimed hegemony in
Western Europe Western Europe is the western region of Europe. The region's countries and territories vary depending on context. The concept of "the West" appeared in Europe in juxtaposition to "the East" and originally applied to the ancient Mediterranean ...
. Humanism and the Renaissance therefore played a direct role in sparking the Reformation, as well as in many other contemporaneous religious debates and conflicts.
Pope Paul III Pope Paul III ( la, Paulus III; it, Paolo III; 29 February 1468 – 10 November 1549), born Alessandro Farnese, was head of the Catholic Church and ruler of the Papal States from 13 October 1534 to his death in November 1549. He came to ...
came to the papal throne (1534–1549) after the
sack of Rome in 1527 The Sack of Rome, then part of the Papal States The Papal States ( ; it, Stato Pontificio, ), officially the State of the Church ( it, Stato della Chiesa, ; la, Status Ecclesiasticus;), were a series of territories in the Italian Pen ...
, with uncertainties prevalent in the Catholic Church following the Protestant Reformation. Nicolaus Copernicus dedicated ''
De revolutionibus orbium coelestium ''De revolutionibus orbium coelestium'' (English translation: ''On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres'') is the seminal work on the heliocentric theory of the astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus Nicolaus Copernicus (; pl, Mikołaj Koper ...
'' (On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres) to Paul III, who became the grandfather of Alessandro Farnese, who had paintings by
Titian Tiziano Vecelli or Vecellio (; 27 August 1576), known in English as Titian ( ), was an Italians, Italian (Republic of Venice, Venetian) painter of the Renaissance, considered the most important member of the 16th-century Venetian school (art), ...
,
Michelangelo Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni (; 6 March 1475 – 18 February 1564), known as Michelangelo (), was an Italian sculptor, painter, architect, and poet of the High Renaissance. Born in the Republic of Florence, his work was insp ...

Michelangelo
, and
Raphael Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino, better known as Raphael (; or ; March 28 or April 6, 1483April 6, 1520), was an Italian painter and architect of the High Renaissance. List of works by Raphael, His work is admired for its clarity of form, ease of ...
, as well as an important collection of drawings, and who commissioned the masterpiece of
Giulio Clovio Giorgio Giulio Clovio or Juraj Julije Klović (1498 – 5 January 1578) was an Limner, illuminator, miniaturist, and painter born in the Croatia in the union with Hungary, Kingdom of Croatia, who was mostly active in Italian Renaissance, Renaissa ...
, arguably the last major
illuminated manuscript An illuminated manuscript is a formally prepared manuscript, document where the text is often supplemented with flourishes such as marginalia, borders and Miniature (illuminated manuscript), miniature illustrations. Often used in the Roman Catho ...
, the ''
Farnese Hours The Farnese Hours is an illuminated manuscript An illuminated manuscript is a formally prepared manuscript, document where the text is often supplemented with flourishes such as marginalia, borders and Miniature (illuminated manuscript), mini ...
''.


Self-awareness

By the 15th century, writers, artists, and architects in Italy were well aware of the transformations that were taking place and were using phrases such as ''modi antichi'' (in the antique manner) or ''alle romana et alla antica'' (in the manner of the Romans and the ancients) to describe their work. In the 1330s
Petrarch Francesco Petrarca (; 20 July 1304 – 18/19 July 1374), commonly anglicized as Petrarch (), was a scholar and poet of early Italian Renaissance, Renaissance Italy, and one of the earliest Renaissance humanism, humanists. Petrarch's rediscov ...

Petrarch
referred to pre-Christian times as ''antiqua'' (ancient) and to the Christian period as ''nova'' (new). From Petrarch's Italian perspective, this new period (which included his own time) was an age of national eclipse.
Leonardo Bruni Leonardo Bruni (or Leonardo Aretino; c. 1370 – March 9, 1444) was an Italians, Italian humanism, humanist, historian and statesman, often recognized as the most important humanist historian of the early Renaissance. He has been called the first ...
was the first to use tripartite
periodization In historiography, periodization is the process or study of categorizing the past into discrete, quantified, and named blocks of time for the purpose of study or analysis.Adam Rabinowitz. It's about time: historical periodization and Linked Ancie ...
in his ''History of the Florentine People'' (1442).Leonardo Bruni, James Hankins, ''History of the Florentine people'', Volume 1, Books 1–4 (2001), p. xvii. Bruni's first two periods were based on those of Petrarch, but he added a third period because he believed that Italy was no longer in a state of decline.
Flavio Biondo Flavio Biondo (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally a dialect spoken in the lower Tiber area (then known as Latium) around presen ...
used a similar framework in ''Decades of History from the Deterioration of the Roman Empire'' (1439–1453). Humanist historians argued that contemporary scholarship restored direct links to the classical period, thus bypassing the Medieval period, which they then named for the first time the "Middle Ages". The term first appears in Latin in 1469 as ''media tempestas'' (middle times).Albrow, Martin, ''The Global Age: state and society beyond modernity'' (1997), Stanford University Press
p. 205
.
The term ''rinascita'' (rebirth) first appeared, however, in its broad sense in
Giorgio Vasari Giorgio Vasari (, also , ; 30 July 1511 – 27 June 1574) was an Italian Renaissance Master, who worked as a painter, architect, engineer, writer, and historian, who is best known for his work ''The Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculpt ...
's ''
Lives of the Artists ''The Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects'' ( it, Le vite de' più eccellenti pittori, scultori, e architettori), often simply known as ''The Lives'' ( it, Le Vite), is a series of artist biographies written by 16th-ce ...
'', 1550, revised 1568. Panofsky, Erwin. ''Renaissance and Renascences in Western Art'', New York: Harper and Row, 1960. Vasari divides the age into three phases: the first phase contains
Cimabue Cimabue (; ; – 1302), Translated with an introduction and notes by J.C. and P Bondanella. Oxford: Oxford University Press Oxford University Press (OUP) is the university press of the University of Oxford. It is the largest university pr ...
,
Giotto Giotto di Bondone (; – January 8, 1337), known mononymously as Giotto ( , ) and latinisation of names, Latinised as Giottus, was an List of Italian painters, Italian painter and architect from Florence during the Late Middle Ages. He worked ...

Giotto
, and
Arnolfo di Cambio Arnolfo di Cambio (c. 1240 – 1300/1310) was an Italian architect and sculptor. He designed Florence Cathedral and the sixth city wall around Florence (1284–1333), while his most important surviving work as a sculptor is the tomb of Cardina ...
; the second phase contains
Masaccio Masaccio (, , ; December 21, 1401 – summer 1428), born Tommaso di Ser Giovanni di Simone, was a Florentine artist who is regarded as the first great List of Italian painters, Italian painter of the Quattrocento period of the Italian Renaiss ...
,
Brunelleschi Filippo Brunelleschi ( , , also known as Pippo; 1377 – 15 April 1446), considered to be a founding father of Renaissance architecture, was an Italian architect, designer, and sculptor, and is now recognized to be the first modern engineer, p ...
, and
Donatello Donato di Niccolò di Betto Bardi ( – 13 December 1466), better known as Donatello ( ), was a Florentine sculptor of the Renaissance The Renaissance ( , ) , from , with the same meanings. is a Periodization, period in History of Eur ...
; the third centers on
Leonardo da Vinci Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci (15 April 14522 May 1519) was an Italian polymath of the High Renaissance who was active as a painter, Drawing, draughtsman, engineer, scientist, theorist, sculptor, and architect. While his fame initially res ...

Leonardo da Vinci
and culminates with
Michelangelo Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni (; 6 March 1475 – 18 February 1564), known as Michelangelo (), was an Italian sculptor, painter, architect, and poet of the High Renaissance. Born in the Republic of Florence, his work was insp ...

Michelangelo
. It was not just the growing awareness of classical antiquity that drove this development, according to Vasari, but also the growing desire to study and imitate nature.


Spread

In the 15th century, the Renaissance spread rapidly from its birthplace in Florence to the rest of Italy and soon to the rest of Europe. The invention of the
printing press A printing press is a mechanical device for applying pressure to an inked surface resting upon a printing, print medium (such as paper or cloth), thereby transferring the ink. It marked a dramatic improvement on earlier printing methods in wh ...
by German printer
Johannes Gutenberg Johannes Gensfleisch zur Laden zum Gutenberg (; – 3 February 1468) was a German inventor and Artisan, craftsman who introduced letterpress printing to Europe with his movable type, movable-type printing press. Though not the first of its ki ...
allowed the rapid transmission of these new ideas. As it spread, its ideas diversified and changed, being adapted to local culture. In the 20th century, scholars began to break the Renaissance into regional and national movements.


England

In England, the sixteenth century marked the beginning of the
English Renaissance The English Renaissance was a Cultural movement, cultural and Art movement, artistic movement in England from the early 16th century to the early 17th century. It is associated with the pan-European Renaissance that is usually regarded as beginni ...
with the work of writers
William Shakespeare William Shakespeare ( 26 April 1564 – 23 April 1616) was an English playwright, poet and actor. He is widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's nation ...
(1564 –1616),
Christopher Marlowe Christopher Marlowe, also known as Kit Marlowe (; Baptism, baptised 26 February 156430 May 1593), was an English playwright, poet and Translation, translator of the Elizabethan era. Marlowe is among the most famous of the English Renaissance ...
(1564 – 1593),
Edmund Spenser Edmund Spenser (; 1552/1553 – 13 January 1599) was an English poet best known for '' The Faerie Queene'', an epic poem and fantastical allegory celebrating the Tudor dynasty and Elizabeth I. He is recognized as one of the premier craftsmen ...
(1552/1553 – 1599),
Sir Thomas More Sir Thomas More (7 February 1478 – 6 July 1535), veneration, venerated in the Catholic Church as Saint Thomas More, was an English lawyer, judge, social philosopher, author, statesman, and noted Renaissance humanist. He also served Henry VII ...
(1478 – 1535),
Francis Bacon Francis Bacon, 1st Viscount St Alban (; 22 January 1561 – 9 April 1626), also known as Lord Verulam, was an English philosopher and statesman who served as Attorney General and Lord Chancellor of England England is a Countries of ...
(1561 – 1626),
Sir Philip Sidney ''Sir'' is a formal honorific address in English language, English for men, derived from Sire in the High Middle Ages. Both are derived from the old French "Sieur" (Lord), brought to England by the French-speaking Normans, and which now exist i ...
(1554 – 1586), architects (such as
Inigo Jones Inigo Jones (; 15 July 1573 – 21 June 1652) was the first significant architect in England and Wales in the early modern period, and the first to employ Vitruvian rules of proportion and symmetry in his buildings. As the most notable archit ...
(1573 – 1652), who introduced Italianate architecture to England), and composers such as
Thomas Tallis Thomas Tallis (23 November 1585; also Tallys or Talles) was an English composer of High Renaissance music. His compositions are primarily vocal, and he occupies a primary place in anthologies of English Choir, choral music. Tallis is considere ...
(1505 – 1585), John Taverner (c. 1490 – 1545), and
William Byrd William Byrd (; 4 July 1623) was an English composer of late Renaissance music. Considered among the greatest composers of the Renaissance, he had a profound influence on composers both from his native England and those on the continent. He i ...
(c.1539/40 or 1543 – 1623).


France

The word "Renaissance" is borrowed from the French language, where it means "re-birth". It was first used in the eighteenth century and was later popularized by French
historian A historian is a person who studies and writes about the past and is regarded as an authority on it. Historians are concerned with the continuous, methodical narrative and research of past events as relating to the human race; as well as the st ...
Jules Michelet Jules Michelet (; 21 August 1798 – 9 February 1874) was a France, French historian and an author on other topics whose major work was a history of France and its culture. His Aphorism, aphoristic style emphasized his Anti-clericalism, anti-cle ...
(1798–1874) in his 1855 work, ''Histoire de France'' (History of France).Michelet, Jules. ''History of France'', trans. G.H. Smith (New York: D. Appleton, 1847) In 1495 the
Italian Renaissance The Italian Renaissance ( it, Rinascimento ) was a period in History of Italy, Italian history covering the 15th and 16th centuries. The period is known for the initial development of the broader Renaissance culture that spread across Europe an ...
arrived in France, imported by King Charles VIII after his invasion of Italy. A factor that promoted the spread of secularism was the inability of the Church to offer assistance against the
Black Death The Black Death (also known as the Pestilence, the Great Mortality or the Plague) was a bubonic plague pandemic occurring in Western Eurasia and North Africa North Africa, or Northern Africa is a region encompassing the northern portio ...
. Francis I imported Italian art and artists, including
Leonardo da Vinci Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci (15 April 14522 May 1519) was an Italian polymath of the High Renaissance who was active as a painter, Drawing, draughtsman, engineer, scientist, theorist, sculptor, and architect. While his fame initially res ...

Leonardo da Vinci
, and built ornate palaces at great expense. Writers such as
François Rabelais François Rabelais ( , , ; born between 1483 and 1494; died 1553) was a French Renaissance writer, physician, Renaissance humanism, Renaissance humanist, monk and Greek scholars in the Renaissance, Greek scholar. He is primarily known as a wr ...
,
Pierre de Ronsard Pierre de Ronsard (; 11 September 1524 – 27 December 1585) was a French poet or, as his own generation in France called him, a "Prince des poètes, prince of poets". Early life Pierre de Ronsard was born at the Manoir de la Possonnière, ...
,
Joachim du Bellay Joachim du Bellay (; – 1 January 1560) was a French poet, critic, and a founder of the Pléiade. He notably wrote the manifesto of the group: '' Défense et illustration de la langue française'', which aimed at promoting French as an ...
, and
Michel de Montaigne Michel Eyquem, Sieur de Montaigne ( ; ; 28 February 1533 – 13 September 1592), also known as the Lord of Montaigne, was one of the most significant philosophers of the French Renaissance. He is known for popularizing the essay as a liter ...
, painters such as
Jean Clouet Jean (or Janet) Clouet (1480–1541) was a miniaturist and Painting, painter who worked in France during the High Renaissance. He was the father of François Clouet. Biography The authentic presence of this artist at the French court is first ...
, and musicians such as
Jean Mouton Jean Mouton (c. 1459 – 30 October 1522) was a French composer of the Renaissance The Renaissance ( , ) , from , with the same meanings. is a Periodization, period in History of Europe, European history marking the transition from th ...
also borrowed from the spirit of the Renaissance. In 1533, a fourteen-year-old
Caterina de' Medici Catherine de' Medici ( it, Caterina de' Medici, ; french: Catherine de Médicis, ; 13 April 1519 – 5 January 1589) was an Republic of Florence, Florentine noblewoman born into the House of Medici, Medici family. She was Queen of France fr ...
(1519–1589), born in Florence to
Lorenzo de' Medici, Duke of Urbino Lorenzo di Piero de' Medici (; 12 September 1492 – 4 May 1519) was the ruler of Florence Florence ( ; it, Firenze ) is a city in Central Italy and the capital city of the Tuscany region. It is the most populated city in Tuscany, ...
and Madeleine de la Tour d'Auvergne, married
Henry II of France Henry II (french: Henri II; 31 March 1519 – 10 July 1559) was List of French monarchs#House of Valois-Angoulême (1515–1589), King of France from 31 March 1547 until his death in 1559. The second son of Francis I of France, Francis I and Cla ...
, second son of King Francis I and Queen Claude. Though she became famous and infamous for her role in France's religious wars, she made a direct contribution in bringing arts, sciences, and music (including the origins of
ballet Ballet () is a type of performance dance that originated during the Italian Renaissance in the fifteenth century and later developed into a concert dance form in France and Russia. It has since become a widespread and highly technical form of ...
) to the French court from her native Florence.


Germany

In the second half of the 15th century, the Renaissance spirit spread to
Germany Germany,, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central Europe. It is the second most populous country in Europe after Russia, and the most populous member state of the European Union. Germany is situated between ...
and the
Low Countries The term Low Countries, also known as the Low Lands ( nl, de Lage Landen, french: les Pays-Bas, lb, déi Niddereg Lännereien) and historically called the Netherlands ( nl, de Nederlanden), Flanders, or Belgica, is a coastal lowland region in N ...
, where the development of the printing press (ca. 1450) and Renaissance artists such as
Albrecht Dürer Albrecht Dürer (; ; hu, Ajtósi Adalbert; 21 May 1471 – 6 April 1528),Müller, Peter O. (1993) ''Substantiv-Derivation in Den Schriften Albrecht Dürers'', Walter de Gruyter. . sometimes spelled in English as Durer (without an Umlaut (linguis ...
(1471–1528) predated the influence from Italy. In the early Protestant areas of the country
humanism Humanism is a philosophy, philosophical stance that emphasizes the individual and social potential and Agency (philosophy), agency of Human, human beings. It considers human beings the starting point for serious moral and philosophical in ...
became closely linked to the turmoil of the Protestant Reformation, and the art and writing of the
German Renaissance The German Renaissance, part of the Northern Renaissance, was a cultural and artistic movement that spread among Germany, German thinkers in the 15th and 16th centuries, which developed from the Italian Renaissance. Many areas of the arts and ...
frequently reflected this dispute. However, the
Gothic style Gothic or Gothics may refer to: People and languages * Goths or Gothic people, the ethnonym of a group of East Germanic tribes ** Gothic language, an extinct East Germanic language spoken by the Goths ** Crimean Gothic, the Gothic language spoke ...
and medieval scholastic philosophy remained exclusively until the turn of the 16th century. Emperor Maximilian I of
Habsburg The House of Habsburg (), alternatively spelled Hapsburg in Englishgerman: Haus Habsburg, ; es, Casa de Habsburgo; hu, Habsburg család, it, Casa di Asburgo, nl, Huis van Habsburg, pl, dom Habsburgów, pt, Casa de Habsburgo, la, Domus Hab ...
(ruling 1493–1519) was the first truly Renaissance monarch of the
Holy Roman Empire The Holy Roman Empire was a Polity, political entity in Western Europe, Western, Central Europe, Central, and Southern Europe that developed during the Early Middle Ages and continued until its Dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire, dissolution i ...
.


Hungary

After Italy, Hungary was the first European country where the Renaissance appeared. The Renaissance style came directly from Italy during the
Quattrocento The cultural and artistic events of Italy during the period 1400 to 1499 are collectively referred to as the Quattrocento (, , ) from the Italian word for the number 400, in turn from , which is Italian for the year 1400. The Quattrocento encom ...
to Hungary first in the Central European region, thanks to the development of early Hungarian-Italian relationships—not only in dynastic connections, but also in cultural, humanistic and commercial relations—growing in strength from the 14th century. The relationship between Hungarian and Italian Gothic styles was a second reason—exaggerated breakthrough of walls is avoided, preferring clean and light structures. Large-scale building schemes provided ample and long term work for the artists, for example, the building of the Friss (New) Castle in Buda, the castles of Visegrád, Tata, and Várpalota. In Sigismund's court there were patrons such as Pipo Spano, a descendant of the Scolari family of Florence, who invited Manetto Ammanatini and Masolino da Pannicale to Hungary. The new Italian trend combined with existing national traditions to create a particular local Renaissance art. Acceptance of Renaissance art was furthered by the continuous arrival of humanist thought in the country. Many young Hungarians studying at Italian universities came closer to the Florentine humanist center, so a direct connection with Florence evolved. The growing number of Italian traders moving to Hungary, specially to
Buda Buda (; german: Ofen, sh-Latn-Cyrl, separator=" / ", Budim, Будим, Czech language, Czech and sk, Budín, tr, Budin) was the historic capital of the Kingdom of Hungary and since 1873 has been the western part of the Hungary, Hungarian c ...
, helped this process. New thoughts were carried by the humanist prelates, among them Vitéz János, archbishop of
Esztergom Esztergom ( ; german: Gran; la, Solva or ; sk, Ostrihom, known by Names of European cities in different languages: E–H#E, alternative names) is a city with county rights in northern Hungary, northwest of the capital Budapest. It lies in Kom ...
, one of the founders of Hungarian humanism. During the long reign of emperor Sigismund of Luxemburg the Royal Castle of Buda became probably the largest Gothic palace of the late
Middle Ages In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages or medieval period lasted approximately from the late 5th to the late 15th centuries, similar to the Post-classical, post-classical period of World history (field), global history. It began with t ...
. King
Matthias Corvinus Matthias Corvinus, also called Matthias I ( hu, Hunyadi Mátyás, ro, Matia/Matei Corvin, hr, Matija/Matijaš Korvin, sk, Matej Korvín, cz, Matyáš Korvín; ), was King of Hungary and King of Croatia, Croatia from 1458 to 1490. After cond ...
(r. 1458–1490) rebuilt the palace in early Renaissance style and further expanded it. After the marriage in 1476 of King Matthias to
Beatrice of Naples Beatrice of Naples (16 November 1457 – 23 September 1508), also known as Beatrice of Aragon ( hu, Aragóniai Beatrix; it, Beatrice d'Aragona), was twice Queen of Hungary and of Bohemia by marriage to Matthias Corvinus and Vladislaus II of ...
,
Buda Buda (; german: Ofen, sh-Latn-Cyrl, separator=" / ", Budim, Будим, Czech language, Czech and sk, Budín, tr, Budin) was the historic capital of the Kingdom of Hungary and since 1873 has been the western part of the Hungary, Hungarian c ...
became one of the most important artistic centers of the Renaissance north of the
Alps The Alps () ; german: Alpen ; it, Alpi ; rm, Alps ; sl, Alpe . are the highest and most extensive mountain range system that lies entirely in Europe, stretching approximately across seven Alpine countries (from west to east): France, Swi ...
.Czigány, Lóránt, ''A History of Hungarian Literature'',
The Renaissance in Hungary
(Retrieved May 10, 2007)
The most important humanists living in Matthias' court were
Antonio Bonfini Antonio Bonfini (Latin variant: ''Antonius Bonfinius'') (1427‒1502) was an Italians, Italian Renaissance humanism, humanist and poet who spent the last years of his career as a court historian in Hungary with King Matthias Corvinus. Bonfini was ...
and the famous Hungarian poet Janus Pannonius. András Hess set up a printing press in Buda in 1472. Matthias Corvinus's library, the Bibliotheca Corviniana, was Europe's greatest collections of secular books: historical chronicles, philosophic and scientific works in the 15th century. His library was second only in size to the
Vatican Library The Vatican Apostolic Library ( la, Bibliotheca Apostolica Vaticana, it, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana), more commonly known as the Vatican Library or informally as the Vat, is the library of the Holy See, located in Vatican City. Formally es ...
. (However, the Vatican Library mainly contained Bibles and religious materials.) In 1489, Bartolomeo della Fonte of Florence wrote that Lorenzo de' Medici founded his own Greek-Latin library encouraged by the example of the Hungarian king. Corvinus's library is part of UNESCO World Heritage. Matthias started at least two major building projects. The works in Buda and Visegrád began in about 1479. Two new wings and a hanging garden were built at the royal castle of Buda, and the palace at Visegrád was rebuilt in Renaissance style. Matthias appointed the Italian Chimenti Camicia and the Dalmatian Giovanni Dalmata to direct these projects. Matthias commissioned the leading Italian artists of his age to embellish his palaces: for instance, the sculptor Benedetto da Majano and the painters
Filippino Lippi Filippino Lippi (April 1457 – 18 April 1504) was an Italian painter working in Florence Florence ( ; it, Firenze ) is a city in Central Italy and the capital city of the Tuscany region. It is the most populated city in Tuscany, w ...
and
Andrea Mantegna Andrea Mantegna (, , ; September 13, 1506) was an Italian painter, a student of Roman archeology, and son-in-law of Jacopo Bellini. Like other artists of the time, Mantegna experimented with perspective, e.g. by lowering the horizon in ord ...
worked for him. A copy of Mantegna's portrait of Matthias survived. Matthias also hired the Italian military engineer Aristotele Fioravanti to direct the rebuilding of the forts along the southern frontier. He had new monasteries built in Late Gothic style for the
Franciscans , image = FrancescoCoA PioM.svg , image_size = 200px , caption = A cross, Christ's arm and Saint Francis's arm, a universal symbol of the Franciscans , abbreviation = OFM , predecessor = , ...
in Kolozsvár,
Szeged Szeged ( , ; see also #Etymology, other alternative names) is List of cities and towns of Hungary#Largest cities in Hungary, the third largest city of Hungary, the largest city and regional centre of the Southern Great Plain and the county seat ...
and Hunyad, and for the Paulines in Fejéregyháza. In the spring of 1485,
Leonardo da Vinci Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci (15 April 14522 May 1519) was an Italian polymath of the High Renaissance who was active as a painter, Drawing, draughtsman, engineer, scientist, theorist, sculptor, and architect. While his fame initially res ...

Leonardo da Vinci
travelled to
Hungary Hungary ( hu, Magyarország ) is a landlocked country in Central Europe. Spanning of the Pannonian Basin, Carpathian Basin, it is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine to the northeast, Romania to the east and southeast, Serbia to the ...
on behalf of Sforza to meet king Matthias Corvinus, and was commissioned by him to paint a
Madonna Madonna Louise Ciccone (; ; born August 16, 1958) is an American singer-songwriter and actress. Widely dubbed the "Honorific nicknames in popular music, Queen of Pop", Madonna has been noted for her continual reinvention and versatilit ...
. Matthias enjoyed the company of Humanists and had lively discussions on various topics with them. The fame of his magnanimity encouraged many scholarsmostly Italianto settle in Buda. Antonio Bonfini, Pietro Ranzano, Bartolomeo Fonzio, and Francesco Bandini spent many years in Matthias's court. This circle of educated men introduced the ideas of
Neoplatonism Neoplatonism is a strand of Platonism, Platonic philosophy that emerged in the 3rd century AD against the background of Hellenistic philosophy and Hellenistic religion, religion. The term does not encapsulate a set of ideas as much as a chain of ...
to Hungary. Like all intellectuals of his age, Matthias was convinced that the movements and combinations of the stars and planets exercised influence on individuals' life and on the history of nations. Galeotto Marzio described him as "king and astrologer", and Antonio Bonfini said Matthias "never did anything without consulting the stars". Upon his request, the famous astronomers of the age,
Johannes Regiomontanus Johannes Müller von Königsberg (6 June 1436 – 6 July 1476), better known as Regiomontanus (), was a mathematician, astrologer and astronomer of the German Renaissance, active in Vienna, Buda and Nuremberg. His contributions were instrumental ...
and Marcin Bylica, set up an observatory in Buda and installed it with
astrolabe An astrolabe ( grc, ἀστρολάβος ; ar, ٱلأَسْطُرلاب ; persian, ستاره‌یاب ) is an ancient astronomical instrument that was a handheld model of the universe. Its various functions also make it an elaborate inclin ...
s and
celestial globe Celestial globes show the apparent place, apparent positions of the stars in the sky. They omit the Sun, Moon, and planets because the positions of these bodies vary relative to those of the stars, but the ecliptic, along which the Sun moves, is ...
s. Regiomontanus dedicated his book on navigation that was used by
Christopher Columbus Christopher Columbus * lij, Cristoffa C(or)ombo * es, link=no, Cristóbal Colón * pt, Cristóvão Colombo * ca, Cristòfor (or ) * la, Christophorus Columbus. (; born between 25 August and 31 October 1451, died 20 May 1506) was a ...
to Matthias. Other important figures of Hungarian Renaissance include Bálint Balassi (poet), Sebestyén Tinódi Lantos (poet), Bálint Bakfark (composer and lutenist), and Master MS (fresco painter).


Renaissance in the Low Countries

Culture in the Netherlands at the end of the 15th century was influenced by the Italian Renaissance through trade via
Bruges Bruges ( , nl, Brugge ) is the capital and largest city A city is a human settlement of notable size.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Scienc ...
, which made Flanders wealthy. Its nobles commissioned artists who became known across Europe. In science, the
anatomist Anatomy () is the branch of biology concerned with the study of the structure of organisms and their parts. Anatomy is a branch of natural science that deals with the structural organization of living things. It is an old science, having its ...
Andreas Vesalius Andreas Vesalius (Latinized from Andries van Wezel) () was a 16th-century anatomist, physician, and author of one of the most influential books on human anatomy, ''De humani corporis fabrica, De Humani Corporis Fabrica Libri Septem'' (''On the f ...
led the way; in
cartography Cartography (; from grc, χάρτης , "papyrus, sheet of paper, map"; and , "write") is the study and practice of making and using maps. Combining science, aesthetics and technique, cartography builds on the premise that reality (or an im ...
,
Gerardus Mercator Gerardus Mercator (; 5 March 1512 – 2 December 1594) was a 16th-century geographer, cosmographer and Cartography, cartographer from the County of Flanders. He is most renowned for creating the Mercator 1569 world map, 1569 world map based on ...
's map assisted explorers and navigators. In art,
Dutch and Flemish Renaissance painting Dutch and Flemish Renaissance painting represents the 16th-century response to Italian Renaissance art Italian Renaissance painting is the painting of the period beginning in the late 13th century and flourishing from the early 15th to late 16 ...
ranged from the strange work of
Hieronymus Bosch Hieronymus Bosch (, ; born Jheronimus van Aken ;  – 9 August 1516) was a Dutch people, Dutch/Netherlandish painter from Duchy of Brabant, Brabant. He is one of the most notable representatives of the Early Netherlandish painting school. ...
to the everyday life depictions of
Pieter Brueghel the Elder Pieter Bruegel (also Brueghel or Breughel) the Elder (, ; ; – 9 September 1569) was the most significant artist of Dutch and Flemish Renaissance painting, a painter and printmaking, printmaker, known for his landscape art, landscapes and peas ...
.


Northern Europe

The Renaissance in Northern Europe has been termed the "Northern Renaissance". While Renaissance ideas were moving north from Italy, there was a simultaneous southward spread of some areas of innovation, particularly in
music Music is generally defined as the The arts, art of arranging sound to create some combination of Musical form, form, harmony, melody, rhythm or otherwise Musical expression, expressive content. Exact definition of music, definitions of mu ...
. The music of the 15th-century
Burgundian School The Burgundian School was a group of composers active in the 15th century in what is now northern and eastern France, Belgium, and the Netherlands, centered on the court of the Duchy of Burgundy, Dukes of Burgundy. The school inaugurated the music ...
defined the beginning of the Renaissance in music, and the
polyphony Polyphony ( ) is a type of musical texture (music), texture consisting of two or more simultaneous lines of independent melody, as opposed to a musical texture with just one voice, monophony, or a texture with one dominant melodic voice accompan ...
of the Netherlanders, as it moved with the musicians themselves into Italy, formed the core of the first true international style in
music Music is generally defined as the The arts, art of arranging sound to create some combination of Musical form, form, harmony, melody, rhythm or otherwise Musical expression, expressive content. Exact definition of music, definitions of mu ...
since the standardization of
Gregorian Chant Gregorian chant is the central tradition of Western plainsong, plainchant, a form of monophony, monophonic, unaccompanied sacred song in Latin (and occasionally Greek (language), Greek) of the Roman Catholic Church. Gregorian chant developed ma ...
in the 9th century. The culmination of the Netherlandish school was in the music of the Italian
composer A composer is a person who writes music. The term is especially used to indicate composers of Classical music, Western classical music, or those who are composers by occupation. Many composers are, or were, also skilled performers of music. E ...
Palestrina Palestrina (ancient ''Praeneste''; grc, Πραίνεστος, ''Prainestos'') is a modern Italian city and ''comune'' (municipality) with a population of about 22,000, in Lazio, about east of Rome. It is connected to the latter by the Via Pren ...
. At the end of the 16th century Italy again became a center of musical innovation, with the development of the polychoral style of the Venetian School, which spread northward into Germany around 1600. The paintings of the Italian Renaissance differed from those of the Northern Renaissance. Italian Renaissance artists were among the first to paint secular scenes, breaking away from the purely religious art of medieval painters. Northern Renaissance artists initially remained focused on religious subjects, such as the contemporary religious upheaval portrayed by
Albrecht Dürer Albrecht Dürer (; ; hu, Ajtósi Adalbert; 21 May 1471 – 6 April 1528),Müller, Peter O. (1993) ''Substantiv-Derivation in Den Schriften Albrecht Dürers'', Walter de Gruyter. . sometimes spelled in English as Durer (without an Umlaut (linguis ...
. Later, the works of Pieter Bruegel influenced artists to paint scenes of daily life rather than religious or classical themes. It was also during the Northern Renaissance that
Flemish Flemish (''Vlaams'') is a Low Franconian dialect cluster of the Dutch language. It is sometimes referred to as Flemish Dutch (), Belgian Dutch ( ), or Southern Dutch (). Flemish is native to Flanders, a historical region in northern Belgium; i ...
brothers Hubert and
Jan van Eyck Jan van Eyck ( , ; – July 9, 1441) was a painter active in Bruges who was one of the early innovators of what became known as Early Netherlandish painting, and one of the most significant representatives of Early Northern Renaissance art. Ac ...
perfected the
oil painting Oil painting is the process of painting with pigments with a medium of drying oil as the Binder (material), binder. It has been the most common technique for artistic painting on wood panel or canvas for several centuries, spreading from Eur ...
technique, which enabled artists to produce strong colors on a hard surface that could survive for centuries. A feature of the Northern Renaissance was its use of the vernacular in place of Latin or Greek, which allowed greater freedom of expression. This movement had started in Italy with the decisive influence of
Dante Alighieri Dante Alighieri (; – 14 September 1321), probably baptized Durante di Alighiero degli Alighieri and often referred to as Dante (, ), was an Italian people, Italian Italian poetry, poet, writer and philosopher. His ''Divine Comedy'', origin ...
on the development of vernacular languages; in fact the focus on writing in Italian has neglected a major source of Florentine ideas expressed in Latin. The spread of the printing press technology boosted the Renaissance in Northern Europe as elsewhere, with Venice becoming a world center of printing.


Poland

An early Italian humanist who came to
Poland Poland, officially the Republic of Poland, is a country in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 administrative provinces called Voivodeships of Poland, voivodeships, covering an area of . Poland has a population of over 38 million and is ...
in the mid-15th century was Filippo Buonaccorsi. Many Italian artists came to Poland with
Bona Sforza Bona Sforza d'Aragona (2 February 1494 – 19 November 1557) was Queen consort, Queen of Kingdom of Poland (1385–1569), Poland and List of Lithuanian consorts, Grand Duchess of Lithuania as the second wife of Sigismund I the Old, and D ...
of Milan, when she married King Sigismund I in 1518. This was supported by temporarily strengthened monarchies in both areas, as well as by newly established universities. The Polish Renaissance lasted from the late 15th to the late 16th century and was the
Golden Age The term Golden Age comes from Greek mythology, particularly the ''Works and Days'' of Hesiod, and is part of the description of temporal decline of the state of peoples through five Ages of Man, Ages, Gold being the first and the one during ...
of
Polish culture The culture of Poland ( pl, Kultura Polski ) is the product of its Geography of Poland, geography and distinct historical evolution, which is closely connected to History of Poland, an intricate thousand-year history. Polish culture forms an impo ...
. Ruled by the
Jagiellonian dynasty The Jagiellonian dynasty (, pl, dynastia jagiellońska), otherwise the Jagiellon dynasty ( pl, dynastia Jagiellonów), the House of Jagiellon ( pl, Dom Jagiellonów), or simply the Jagiellons ( pl, Jagiellonowie), was the name assumed by a cad ...
, the
Kingdom of Poland The Kingdom of Poland ( pl, Królestwo Polskie; Latin: ''Regnum Poloniae'') was a state in Central Europe. It may refer to: Historical political entities *History of Poland during the Piast dynasty#The reign of Bolesław I and establishment of a ...
(from 1569 known as the
Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth The Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, formally known as the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, and, after 1791, as the Commonwealth of Poland, was a bi-confederal state, sometimes called a federation, of Crown of the Kingdom of ...
) actively participated in the broad European Renaissance. The multi-national Polish state experienced a substantial period of cultural growth thanks in part to a century without major wars – aside from conflicts in the sparsely populated eastern and southern borderlands. The
Reformation The Reformation (alternatively named the Protestant Reformation or the European Reformation) was a major movement within Western Christianity in 16th-century Europe that posed a religious and political challenge to the Catholic Church and in ...
spread peacefully throughout the country (giving rise to the
Polish Brethren The Polish Brethren (Polish: ''Bracia Polscy'') were members of the Minor Reformed Church of Poland, a Nontrinitarianism, Nontrinitarian Protestant church that existed in Poland from 1565 to 1658. By those on the outside, they were called "Arianism ...
), while living conditions improved, cities grew, and exports of agricultural products enriched the population, especially the nobility (''
szlachta The ''szlachta'' (Polish: endonym, Lithuanian language, Lithuanian: šlėkta) were the nobility, noble Estates of the realm, estate of the realm in the Kingdom of Poland (1025–1385), Kingdom of Poland, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, and the ...
'') who gained dominance in the new political system of
Golden Liberty Golden Liberty ( la, Aurea Libertas; pl, Złota Wolność, lt, Auksinė laisvė), sometimes referred to as Golden Freedoms, Nobles' Democracy or Nobles' Commonwealth ( pl, Rzeczpospolita szlachta, Szlachecka or ''Złota wolność szlachecka'') w ...
. The Polish Renaissance architecture has three periods of development. The greatest monument of this style in the territory of the former
Duchy of Pomerania The Duchy of Pomerania (german: Herzogtum Pommern; pl, Księstwo Pomorskie; Latin: ''Ducatus Pomeraniae'') was a duchy in Pomerania on the southern coast of the Baltic Sea, ruled by dukes of the House of Pomerania (''Griffins''). The country ha ...
is the Ducal Castle in
Szczecin Szczecin (, , german: Stettin ; sv, Stettin ; Latin language, Latin: ''Sedinum'' or ''Stetinum'') is the capital city, capital and largest city of the West Pomeranian Voivodeship in northwestern Poland. Located near the Baltic Sea and the Po ...
.


Portugal

Although Italian Renaissance had a modest impact in Portuguese arts, Portugal was influential in broadening the European worldview, stimulating humanist inquiry. Renaissance arrived through the influence of wealthy Italian and Flemish merchants who invested in the profitable commerce overseas. As the pioneer headquarters of European exploration,
Lisbon Lisbon (; pt, Lisboa ) is the capital and largest city of Portugal, with an estimated population of 544,851 within its administrative limits in an area of 100.05 km2. Grande Lisboa, Lisbon's urban area extends beyond the city's administr ...
flourished in the late 15th century, attracting experts who made several breakthroughs in mathematics, astronomy and naval technology, including
Pedro Nunes Pedro Nunes (; Latin: ''Petrus Nonius''; 1502 – 11 August 1578) was a Portugal, Portuguese mathematician, cosmographer, and professor, from a New Christian (of Jewish origin) family. Considered one of the greatest mathematicians of his ti ...
, João de Castro,
Abraham Zacuto Abraham Zacuto ( he, , translit=Avraham ben Shmuel Zacut, pt, Abraão ben Samuel Zacuto; 12 August 1452 – ) was a Castilian astronomer, astrologer, mathematician, rabbi and historian who served as Royal Astronomer to King John II of Portugal. ...
and
Martin Behaim Martin Behaim (6 October 1459 – 29 July 1507), also known as and by various forms of , was a German textile merchant and cartographer Cartography (; from grc, χάρτης , "papyrus, sheet of paper, map"; and , "write") is the s ...
. Cartographers Pedro Reinel,
Lopo Homem Lopo Homem (c. 1497 - c. 1572) was a 16th-century Portuguese cartographer and cosmographer based in Lisbon and best known for his work on the Miller Atlas. Biography Homem is estimated to have been born c. 1497, possibly into a noble family. ...
, Estêvão Gomes and
Diogo Ribeiro Diogo Ribeiro (d. 16 August 1533) was a Portuguese cartographer and explorer who worked most of his life in Spain where he was known as Diego Ribero. He worked on the official maps of the ''Padrón Real'' (or ''Padrón General'') from 1518 to 1 ...
made crucial advances in mapping the world. Apothecary
Tomé Pires Tomé Pires (1465?–1524 or 1540)Madureira, 150–151. was a Portuguese apothecary from Lisbon who spent 1512 to 1515 in Malacca immediately after the Portuguese conquest, at a time when Europeans were only first arriving in Southeas ...
and physicians
Garcia de Orta Garcia de Orta (or Garcia d'Orta) (1501 – 1568) was a Sephardic Jewish Sephardic (or Sephardi) Jews (, ; lad, Djudíos Sefardíes), also ''Sepharadim'' , Modern Hebrew: ''Sfaradim'', Tiberian Hebrew, Tiberian: Səp̄āraddîm, also , ''Ye ...
and Cristóvão da Costa collected and published works on plants and medicines, soon translated by Flemish pioneer botanist
Carolus Clusius Charles de l'Écluse, L'Escluse, or Carolus Clusius (19 February 1526 – 4 April 1609), seigneur de Watènes, was an County of Artois, Artois doctor and pioneering botanist, perhaps the most influential of all 16th-century scientific horticult ...
. In architecture, the huge profits of the spice trade financed a sumptuous composite style in the first decades of the 16th century, the Manueline, incorporating maritime elements. The primary painters were Nuno Gonçalves, Gregório Lopes and Vasco Fernandes. In music, Pedro de Escobar and Duarte Lobo produced four songbooks, including the Cancioneiro de Elvas. In literature, Sá de Miranda introduced Italian forms of verse. Bernardim Ribeiro developed pastoral romance, plays by
Gil Vicente Gil Vicente (; c. 1465c. 1536), called the Trobadour, was a Portuguese people, Portuguese playwright and poet who acted in and Theatre director, directed his own plays. Considered the chief dramatist of Portugal he is sometimes called ...
fused it with popular culture, reporting the changing times, and Luís de Camões inscribed the Portuguese feats overseas in the epic poem ''
Os Lusíadas ''Os Lusíadas'' (), usually translated as ''The Lusiads'', is a Portuguese epic poem An epic poem, or simply an epic, is a lengthy narrative poem typically about the extraordinary deeds of extraordinary characters who, in dealings with ...
''.
Travel literature The genre of travel literature encompasses outdoor literature, guide books, nature writing, and travel memoirs. One early travel memoirist in Western literature was Pausanias (geographer), Pausanias, a Greek geographer of the 2nd century CE. In ...
especially flourished: João de Barros, Castanheda,
António Galvão António Galvão (c. 1490–1557), also known as Antonio Galvano, was a Portuguese soldier, chronicler and administrator in the Maluku islands, and a Renaissance historian who was the first person to present a comprehensive report of the leading v ...
,
Gaspar Correia Gaspar Correia (1492 – c. 1563 in Goa) was a Portuguese people, Portuguese historian considered a Portuguese Polybius. He authored ''Lendas da Índia'' (Legends of India), one of the earliest and most important works about Portuguese rule in ...
,
Duarte Barbosa Duarte Barbosa (c. 14801 May 1521) was a Portuguese people, Portuguese writer and officer from Portuguese India (between 1500 and 1516). He was a Christian pastor and scrivener in a ''feitoria'' in Kochi, and an interpreter of the local language, ...
, and Fernão Mendes Pinto, among others, described new lands and were translated and spread with the new printing press. After joining the Portuguese exploration of Brazil in 1500, Amerigo Vespucci coined the term
New World The term ''New World'' is often used to mean the majority of Earth's Western Hemisphere, specifically the Americas."America." ''The Oxford Companion to the English Language'' (). McArthur, Tom, ed., 1992. New York: Oxford University Press, p. 3 ...
, in his letters to
Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco de' Medici Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco de' Medici (4 August 1463 – 20 May 1503), nicknamed ''the Popolano'', was an Italian banker and politician, the brother of Giovanni il Popolano. He belonged to the junior (or "Popolani") branch of the House of Medi ...
. The intense international exchange produced several cosmopolitan humanist scholars, including
Francisco de Holanda Francisco de Holanda (originally ''Francisco d'Olanda;'' 6 September 1517 – 19 June 1585) was a Portuguese court painter and sculptor for King John III of Portugal, and later for Sebastian of Portugal. He wrote what is regarded as the first treat ...
, André de Resende and Damião de Góis, a friend of Erasmus who wrote with rare independence on the reign of King Manuel I. Diogo and André de Gouveia made relevant teaching reforms via France. Foreign news and products in the Portuguese
factory A factory, manufacturing plant or a production plant is an Industry (manufacturing), industrial facility, often a complex consisting of several buildings filled with Outline of industrial machinery, machinery, where workers manufacturing, manuf ...
in
Antwerp Antwerp (; nl, Antwerpen ; french: Anvers ; es, Amberes) is the largest city in Belgium by area at and the capital of Antwerp Province in the Flemish Region. With a population of 530,504,
attracted the interest of Thomas More and Albrecht Dürer to the wider world. There, profits and know-how helped nurture the Dutch Renaissance and
Golden Age The term Golden Age comes from Greek mythology, particularly the ''Works and Days'' of Hesiod, and is part of the description of temporal decline of the state of peoples through five Ages of Man, Ages, Gold being the first and the one during ...
, especially after the arrival of the wealthy cultured Jewish community expelled from Portugal.


Russia

There was no Renaissance in Russia in the original sense of the term. Renaissance trends from Italy and Central Europe influenced Russia in many ways. Their influence was rather limited, however, due to the large distances between Russia and the main European cultural centers and the strong adherence of Russians to their Orthodox traditions and Byzantine legacy. Prince Ivan III introduced
Renaissance architecture Renaissance architecture is the European architecture of the period between the early 15th and early 16th centuries in different regions, demonstrating a conscious revival and development of certain elements of Ancient Greece, ancient Greek and ...
to
Russia Russia (, , ), or the Russian Federation, is a List of transcontinental countries, transcontinental country spanning Eastern Europe and North Asia, Northern Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, largest country in the ...
by inviting a number of architects from
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic, ) or the Republic of Italy, is a country in Southern Europe. It is located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, and its territory largely coincides with the Italy (geographical region) ...

Italy
, who brought new construction techniques and some Renaissance style elements with them, while in general following the traditional designs of
Russian architecture The architecture of Russia refers to the architecture of modern Russia as well as the architecture of both the original Kievan Rus', Kievan Rus’ state, the Grand Duchy of Moscow, Russian principalities, and Russian Empire, Imperial Russia. D ...
. In 1475 the Bolognese architect Aristotele Fioravanti came to rebuild the
Cathedral of the Dormition The Cathedral of the Dormition (russian: Успенский собор , translit = Uspensky sobor), also known as the Assumption Cathedral or Cathedral of the Assumption, is a Russian Orthodox church (building), church dedicated to the Dormitio ...
in the
Moscow Kremlin The Kremlin ( rus, Московский Кремль, r=Moskovskiy Kreml', p=ˈmɐˈskofskʲɪj krʲemlʲ, t=Moscow Kremlin) is a fortified complex in the center of Moscow founded by the Rurik dynasty, Rurik dynasty. It is the best known of th ...
, which had been damaged in an earthquake. Fioravanti was given the 12th-century Vladimir Cathedral as a model, and he produced a design combining traditional Russian style with a Renaissance sense of spaciousness, proportion and symmetry. In 1485 Ivan III commissioned the building of the royal residence,
Terem Palace Terem Palace or Teremnoy Palace (russian: Теремной дворец) is a historical building in the Moscow Kremlin The Kremlin ( rus, Московский Кремль, r=Moskovskiy Kreml', p=ˈmɐˈskofskʲɪj krʲemlʲ, t=Moscow Kreml ...
, within the Kremlin, with
Aloisio da Milano Aloisio da Milano, also known as Aloisio da Carezano, Aleviz Milanets and Aleviz Fryazin (''Алевиз Миланец'', ''Алевиз Фрязин'', ''Алевиз Фрязин Миланец'' in Russian) was an Italian architect An ar ...
as the architect of the first three floors. He and other Italian architects also contributed to the construction of the Kremlin walls and
towers A tower is a tall Nonbuilding structure, structure, taller than it is wide, often by a significant factor. Towers are distinguished from guyed mast, masts by their lack of guy-wires and are therefore, along with tall buildings, self-supporting ...
. The small banquet hall of the Russian Tsars, called the
Palace of Facets The Palace of the Facets (russian: Грановитая Палата, ''Granovitaya Palata'') is a building in the Moscow Kremlin, Russia, which contains what used to be the main banquet reception hall of the Tsardom of Russia, Muscovite Tsars. I ...
because of its facetted upper story, is the work of two Italians, Marco Ruffo and Pietro Solario, and shows a more Italian style. In 1505, an Italian known in Russia as Aleviz Novyi or Aleviz Fryazin arrived in Moscow. He may have been the Venetian sculptor, Alevisio Lamberti da Montagne. He built twelve churches for Ivan III, including the
Cathedral of the Archangel The Cathedral of the Archangel (russian: Архангельский собор, Arkhangel'skiy sobor) is a Russian Orthodox church dedicated to the Archangel Michael. It is located in Cathedral Square of the Moscow Kremlin in Russia R ...
, a building remarkable for the successful blending of Russian tradition, Orthodox requirements and Renaissance style. It is believed that the Cathedral of the
Metropolitan Peter Peter, Metropolitan of Kiev and all Rus (russian: Пётр; c. 1260 – 20 December 1326) was the Russian metropolitan who moved his see from Vladimir to Moscow Moscow ( , US chiefly ; rus, links=no, Москва, r=Moskva, p=mɐsk ...
in
Vysokopetrovsky Monastery Vysokopetrovsky Monastery (Russian: Высокопетровский монастырь, English: ''High Monastery of St Peter'') is a Russian Orthodox monastery in the Bely Gorod area of Moscow, commanding a hill whence Petrovka Street desce ...
, another work of Aleviz Novyi, later served as an inspiration for the so-called ''octagon-on-tetragon'' architectural form in the Moscow Baroque of the late 17th century. Between the early 16th and the late 17th centuries, an original tradition of stone
tented roof A tented roof (also known as a pavilion roof) is a type of polygonal hip roof, hipped roof with steeply pitched slopes rising to a peak.W. Dean EastmanHometown Handbook: Architecture./ref> Tented roofs, a hallmark of medieval religious architec ...
architecture developed in Russia. It was quite unique and different from the contemporary Renaissance architecture elsewhere in Europe, though some research terms the style 'Russian Gothic' and compares it with the European
Gothic architecture Gothic architecture (or pointed architecture) is an architectural style that was prevalent in Europe from the late 12th to the 16th century, during the High and Late Middle Ages, surviving into the 17th and 18th centuries in some areas. I ...
of the earlier period. The Italians, with their advanced technology, may have influenced the invention of the stone tented roof (the wooden tents were known in Russia and Europe long before). According to one hypothesis, an Italian architect called Petrok Maly may have been an author of the Ascension Church in
Kolomenskoye Kolomenskoye (russian: Коло́менское) is a former royal estate situated several kilometers to the southeast of the city center of Moscow, Russia, on the ancient road leading to the town of Kolomna (hence the name). The 390 hectare ...
, one of the earliest and most prominent tented roof churches. By the 17th century the influence of
Renaissance painting Renaissance art (1350 – 1620 AD) is the painting, sculpture, and decorative arts of the period of European history known as the Renaissance The Renaissance ( , ) , from , with the same meanings. is a Periodization, period in History ...
resulted in Russian icons becoming slightly more realistic, while still following most of the old icon painting canons, as seen in the works of Bogdan Saltanov, Simon Ushakov, Gury Nikitin, Karp Zolotaryov, and other Russian artists of the era. Gradually the new type of secular portrait painting appeared, called ''parsúna'' (from "persona" – person), which was transitional style between abstract iconographics and real paintings. In the mid 16th-century Russians adopted
printing Printing is a process for mass reproducing text and Printmaking, images using a master form or template. The earliest non-paper products involving printing include cylinder seals and objects such as the Cyrus Cylinder and the Cylinders of Nabo ...
from Central Europe, with Ivan Fyodorov being the first known Russian printer. In the 17th century printing became widespread, and
woodcut Woodcut is a relief printing technique in printmaking. An artist carves an image into the surface of a block of wood—typically with Chisel#Gouge, gouges—leaving the printing parts level with the surface while removing the non-printing parts ...
s became especially popular. That led to the development of a special form of
folk art Folk art covers all forms of visual art made in the context of folk culture. Definitions vary, but generally the objects have practical utility of some kind, rather than being exclusively decorative art, decorative. The makers of folk art a ...
known as
lubok A ''lubok'' (plural ''lubki'', Cyrillic: russian: лубо́к, лубо́чная картинка) is a Russian popular print, characterized by simple graphics and narratives derived from literature, religious stories, and popular tales. Lubki ...
printing, which persisted in Russia well into the 19th century. A number of technologies from the European Renaissance period were adopted by Russia rather early and subsequently perfected to become a part of a strong domestic tradition. Mostly these were military technologies, such as
cannon A cannon is a large-caliber gun classified as a type of artillery, which usually launches a projectile using explosive chemical propellant. Gunpowder ("black powder") was the primary propellant before the invention of smokeless powder during ...
casting Casting is a manufacturing process in which a liquid material is usually poured into a Mold (manufacturing), mold, which contains a hollow cavity of the desired shape, and then allowed to solidify. The solidified part is also known as a ''castin ...
adopted by at least the 15th century. The
Tsar Cannon The Tsar Cannon (russian: Царь-пушка, ''Tsar'-pushka'') is a large early modern period artillery piece Artillery is a class of heavy military ranged weapons that launch Ammunition, munitions far beyond the range and power of inf ...
, which is the world's largest bombard by caliber, is a masterpiece of Russian cannon making. It was cast in 1586 by Andrey Chokhov and is notable for its rich, decorative
relief Relief is a sculptural method in which the sculpted pieces are bonded to a solid background of the same material. The term ''wikt:relief, relief'' is from the Latin verb ''relevo'', to raise. To create a sculpture in relief is to give the impres ...
. Another technology, that according to one hypothesis originally was brought from Europe by the
Italians , flag = , flag_caption = Flag of Italy, The national flag of Italy , population = , regions = Italy 55,551,000 , region1 = Brazil , pop1 = 25–33 million , ref1 = , ...
, resulted in the development of
vodka Vodka ( pl, wódka , russian: водка , sv, vodka ) is a clear distilled beverage, distilled alcoholic beverage. Different varieties originated in Poland, Russia, and Sweden. Vodka is composed mainly of water and ethanol but sometimes with ...
, the national beverage of Russia. As early as 1386 Genoese ambassadors brought the first
aqua vitae ''Aqua vitae'' (Latin for "water of life") or aqua vita is an archaic name for a concentrated aqueous solution of ethanol. These terms could also be applied to weak ethanol without Rectified spirit, rectification. Usage was widespread during t ...
("water of life") to
Moscow Moscow ( , US chiefly ; rus, links=no, Москва, r=Moskva, p=mɐskˈva, a=Москва.ogg) is the capital and largest city of Russia Russia (, , ), or the Russian Federation, is a List of transcontinental countries, transco ...
and presented it to
Grand Duke Grand duke (feminine: grand duchess) is a European hereditary title, used either by certain monarchs or by members of certain monarchs' families. In status, a grand duke traditionally ranks in order of precedence below an emperor, as an approxi ...
Dmitry Donskoy Saint Dmitry Ivanovich Donskoy ( rus, Дми́трий Ива́нович Донско́й, Dmítriy Ivanovich Donskóy, also known as Dimitrii or Demetrius), or Dmitry of the Don, sometimes referred to simply as Dmitry (12 October 1350 – 1 ...
. The Genoese likely developed this beverage with the help of the
alchemist Alchemy (from Arabic: ''al-kīmiyā''; from Ancient Greek: χυμεία, ''khumeía'') is an ancient branch of natural philosophy, a philosophical and protoscience, protoscientific tradition that was historically practiced in Chinese alchemy, C ...
s of
Provence Provence (, , , , ; oc, Provença or ''Prouvènço'' , ) is a geographical region and historical province of southeastern France, which extends from the left bank of the lower Rhône to the west to the France–Italy border, Italian border ...
, who used an
Arab The Arabs (singular: Arab; singular ar, عَرَبِيٌّ, DIN 31635: , , plural ar, عَرَب, DIN 31635: , Arabic pronunciation: ), also known as the Arab people, are an ethnic group mainly inhabiting the Arab world in Western Asia, ...
-invented distillation apparatus to convert
grape A grape is a fruit, botanically a berry (botany), berry, of the deciduous woody vines of the flowering plant genus ''Vitis''. Grapes are a non-Climacteric (botany), climacteric type of fruit, generally occurring in clusters. The cultivation of ...
must Must (from the Latin ''vinum mustum'', "young wine") is freshly crushed fruit juice (usually grape juice) that contains the skins, seeds, and stems of the fruit. The solid portion of the must is called pomace and typically makes up 7–23% of ...
into
alcohol Alcohol most commonly refers to: * Alcohol (chemistry) In chemistry, an alcohol is a type of organic compound that carries at least one hydroxyl () functional group bound to a Saturated and unsaturated compounds, saturated carbon atom. The ...
. A Moscovite monk called
Isidore Isidore ( ; also spelled Isador, Isadore and Isidor) is an English and French masculine given name. The name is derived from the Greek name ''Isídōros'' (Ἰσίδωρος) and can literally be translated to "gift of Isis Isis (; ''Ēse''; ...
used this technology to produce the first original Russian vodka c. 1430.


Spain

The Renaissance arrived in the Iberian peninsula through the Mediterranean possessions of the
Aragonese Crown The Crown of Aragon ( , ) an, Corona d'Aragón ; ca, Corona d'Aragó, , , ; es, Corona de Aragón ; la, Corona Aragonum . was a composite monarchy ruled by one king, originated by the dynastic union of the Kingdom of Aragon and the County of Ba ...
and the city of
Valencia Valencia ( va, València) is the capital of the Autonomous communities of Spain, autonomous community of Valencian Community, Valencia and the Municipalities of Spain, third-most populated municipality in Spain, with 791,413 inhabitants. It is ...
. Many early Spanish Renaissance writers come from the
Kingdom of Aragon The Kingdom of Aragon ( an, Reino d'Aragón, ca, Regne d'Aragó, la, Regnum Aragoniae, es, Reino de Aragón) was a medieval and early modern Monarchy, kingdom on the Iberian Peninsula, corresponding to the modern-day Autonomous communities ...
, including Ausiàs March and Joanot Martorell. In the
Kingdom of Castile The Kingdom of Castile (; es, Reino de Castilla, la, Regnum Castellae) was a large and powerful state on the Iberian Peninsula during the Middle Ages. Its name comes from the host of castles constructed in the region. It began in the 9th centu ...
, the early Renaissance was heavily influenced by the Italian humanism, starting with writers and poets such as the Marquis of Santillana, who introduced the new Italian poetry to Spain in the early 15th century. Other writers, such as
Jorge Manrique Jorge Manrique (c. 1440 – 24 April 1479) was a major Castilian poet, whose main work, the ''Coplas por la muerte de su padre (Verses on the death of Don Rodrigo Manrique, his Father)'', is still read today. He was a supporter of the queen I ...
, Fernando de Rojas, Juan del Encina, Juan Boscán Almogáver, and Garcilaso de la Vega, kept a close resemblance to the Italian canon.
Miguel de Cervantes Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (; 29 September 1547 (assumed) – 22 April 1616 Old Style and New Style dates, NS) was an Early Modern Spanish writer widely regarded as the greatest writer in the Spanish language and one of the world's pre-emin ...
's
masterpiece A masterpiece, ''magnum opus'' (), or ''chef-d’œuvre'' (; ; ) in modern use is a creation that has been given much critical praise, especially one that is considered the greatest work of a person's career or a work of outstanding creativity, ...
''
Don Quixote is a Spanish literature, Spanish Epic (genre), epic novel by Miguel de Cervantes. Originally published in two parts, in 1605 and 1615, its full title is ''The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha'' or, in Spanish, (changing in Part 2 ...
'' is credited as the first Western novel. Renaissance humanism flourished in the early 16th century, with influential writers such as philosopher
Juan Luis Vives Juan Luis Vives March ( la, Joannes Lodovicus Vives, lit=Juan Luis Vives; ca, Joan Lluís Vives i March; nl, Jan Ludovicus Vives; 6 March 6 May 1540) was a Spaniards, Spanish (Valencian people, Valencian) scholar ...
, grammarian
Antonio de Nebrija Antonio de Nebrija (14445 July 1522) was the most influential Spanish humanist Humanism is a philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the systematized study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about existence, ...
and natural historian Pedro de Mexía. Later Spanish Renaissance tended towards religious themes and mysticism, with poets such as Luis de León, Teresa of Ávila, and
John of the Cross John of the Cross, Discalced Carmelites, OCD ( es, link=no, Juan de la Cruz; la, Ioannes a Cruce; born Juan de Yepes y Álvarez; 24 June 1542 – 14 December 1591) was a Spanish Catholic priest, Mysticism, mystic, and a Discalced Carmelites, C ...
, and treated issues related to the exploration of the
New World The term ''New World'' is often used to mean the majority of Earth's Western Hemisphere, specifically the Americas."America." ''The Oxford Companion to the English Language'' (). McArthur, Tom, ed., 1992. New York: Oxford University Press, p. 3 ...
, with chroniclers and writers such as
Inca Garcilaso de la Vega Inca Garcilaso de la Vega (12 April 1539 – 23 April 1616), born Gómez Suárez de Figueroa and known as El Inca, was a chronicler and writer born in the Viceroyalty of Peru. Sailing to Spain at 21, he was educated informally there, where he l ...
and Bartolomé de las Casas, giving rise to a body of work, now known as Spanish Renaissance literature. The late Renaissance in Spain produced artists such as
El Greco Domḗnikos Theotokópoulos ( el, Δομήνικος Θεοτοκόπουλος ; 1 October 1541 7 April 1614), most widely known as El Greco ("The Greek"), was a Greek painter, sculptor and architect of the Spanish Renaissance. "El G ...
and composers such as
Tomás Luis de Victoria Tomás Luis de Victoria (sometimes Italianised as ''da Vittoria''; ) was the most famous Spanish composer of the Renaissance music, Renaissance. He stands with Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina and Orlande de Lassus as among the principal compos ...
and Antonio de Cabezón.


Further countries

* Renaissance in Croatia *
Renaissance in Scotland The Renaissance in Scotland was a Cultural movement, cultural, Intellectual history, intellectual and Art movement, artistic movement in Scotland, from the late fifteenth century to the beginning of the seventeenth century. It is associated wit ...


Historiography


Conception

The Italian artist and critic
Giorgio Vasari Giorgio Vasari (, also , ; 30 July 1511 – 27 June 1574) was an Italian Renaissance Master, who worked as a painter, architect, engineer, writer, and historian, who is best known for his work ''The Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculpt ...
(1511–1574) first used the term ''rinascita'' in his book '' The Lives of the Artists'' (published 1550). In the book Vasari attempted to define what he described as a break with the barbarities of
Gothic art Gothic art was a style of medieval art that developed in Northern France out of Romanesque art in the 12th century AD, led by the concurrent development of Gothic architecture. It spread to all of Western Europe, and much of Northern Europe, North ...
: the arts (he held) had fallen into decay with the collapse of the
Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Romanum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn) was the post-Roman Republic, Republican period of ancient Rome. As a polity, it included large territorial holdings aro ...
and only the Tuscan artists, beginning with
Cimabue Cimabue (; ; – 1302), Translated with an introduction and notes by J.C. and P Bondanella. Oxford: Oxford University Press Oxford University Press (OUP) is the university press of the University of Oxford. It is the largest university pr ...
(1240–1301) and
Giotto Giotto di Bondone (; – January 8, 1337), known mononymously as Giotto ( , ) and latinisation of names, Latinised as Giottus, was an List of Italian painters, Italian painter and architect from Florence during the Late Middle Ages. He worked ...

Giotto
(1267–1337) began to reverse this decline in the arts. Vasari saw ancient art as central to the rebirth of Italian art. However, only in the 19th century did the French word ''renaissance'' achieve popularity in describing the self-conscious cultural movement based on revival of Roman models that began in the late 13th century. French
historian A historian is a person who studies and writes about the past and is regarded as an authority on it. Historians are concerned with the continuous, methodical narrative and research of past events as relating to the human race; as well as the st ...
Jules Michelet Jules Michelet (; 21 August 1798 – 9 February 1874) was a France, French historian and an author on other topics whose major work was a history of France and its culture. His Aphorism, aphoristic style emphasized his Anti-clericalism, anti-cle ...
(1798–1874) defined "The Renaissance" in his 1855 work ''Histoire de France'' as an entire historical period, whereas previously it had been used in a more limited sense.Murray, P. and Murray, L. (1963) ''The Art of the Renaissance''. London:
Thames & Hudson Thames & Hudson (sometimes T&H for brevity) is a publisher of illustrated books in all visually creative categories: art, architecture, design, photography, fashion, film, and the performing arts. It also publishes books on archaeology, history, ...
(World of Art), p. 9. . "...in 1855 we find, for the first time, the word 'Renaissance' used – by the French historian Michelet – as an adjective to describe a whole period of history and not confined to the rebirth of Latin letters or a classically inspired style in the arts."
For Michelet, the Renaissance was more a development in science than in art and culture. He asserted that it spanned the period from Columbus to
Copernicus Nicolaus Copernicus (; pl, Mikołaj Kopernik; gml, Niklas Koppernigk, german: Nikolaus Kopernikus; 19 February 1473 – 24 May 1543) was a Renaissance The Renaissance ( , ) , from , with the same meanings. is a Periodization, ...
to
Galileo Galileo di Vincenzo Bonaiuti de' Galilei (15 February 1564 – 8 January 1642) was an Italian astronomer, physicist and engineer, sometimes described as a polymath. Commonly referred to as Galileo, his name was pronounced (, ). He was ...
; that is, from the end of the 15th century to the middle of the 17th century. Moreover, Michelet distinguished between what he called, "the bizarre and monstrous" quality of the Middle Ages and the democratic values that he, as a vocal Republican, chose to see in its character. A French nationalist, Michelet also sought to claim the Renaissance as a French movement. The
Swiss Swiss may refer to: * the adjectival form of Switzerland *Swiss people Places *Swiss, Missouri *Swiss, North Carolina *Swiss, West Virginia *Swiss, Wisconsin Other uses *Swiss-system tournament, in various games and sports *Swiss International A ...
historian
Jacob Burckhardt Carl Jacob Christoph Burckhardt (25 May 1818 – 8 August 1897) was a Swiss historian of art and culture and an influential figure in the historiography of both fields. He is known as one of the major progenitors of cultural history. Sigfri ...
(1818–1897) in his ''
The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy ''The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy'' (german: Die Cultur der Renaissance in Italien) is an 1860 work on the Italian Renaissance by Swiss historian Jacob Burckhardt. Together with his ''History of the Renaissance in Italy'' (''Die Geschi ...
'' (1860), by contrast, defined the Renaissance as the period between
Giotto Giotto di Bondone (; – January 8, 1337), known mononymously as Giotto ( , ) and latinisation of names, Latinised as Giottus, was an List of Italian painters, Italian painter and architect from Florence during the Late Middle Ages. He worked ...

Giotto
and
Michelangelo Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni (; 6 March 1475 – 18 February 1564), known as Michelangelo (), was an Italian sculptor, painter, architect, and poet of the High Renaissance. Born in the Republic of Florence, his work was insp ...

Michelangelo
in Italy, that is, the 14th to mid-16th centuries. He saw in the Renaissance the emergence of the modern spirit of
individuality An individual is that which exists as a distinct entity An entity is something that exists as itself, as a subject or as an object, actually or potentially, concretely or abstractly, physically or not. It need not be of material existence. In ...
, which the Middle Ages had stifled. His book was widely read and became influential in the development of the modern interpretation of the
Italian Renaissance The Italian Renaissance ( it, Rinascimento ) was a period in History of Italy, Italian history covering the 15th and 16th centuries. The period is known for the initial development of the broader Renaissance culture that spread across Europe an ...
. However, Buckhardt has been accused of setting forth a linear Whiggish view of history in seeing the Renaissance as the origin of the modern world. More recently, some historians have been much less keen to define the Renaissance as a historical age, or even as a coherent cultural movement. The historian Randolph Starn, of the
University of California Berkeley The University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley, Berkeley, Cal, or California) is a public In public relations and communication science, publics are groups of individual people, and the public (a.k.a. the general public) is the totali ...
, stated in 1998:


Debates about progress

There is debate about the extent to which the Renaissance improved on the culture of the Middle Ages. Both Michelet and Burckhardt were keen to describe the progress made in the Renaissance towards the
modern age The term modern period or modern era (sometimes also called modern history or modern times) is the period of history that succeeds the Middle Ages (which ended approximately 1500 AD). This terminology is a historical periodization that is applie ...
. Burckhardt likened the change to a veil being removed from man's eyes, allowing him to see clearly. On the other hand, many historians now point out that most of the negative social factors popularly associated with the medieval period—poverty, warfare, religious and political persecution, for example—seem to have worsened in this era, which saw the rise of Machiavellian politics, the
Wars of Religion A religious war or a war of religion, sometimes also known as a holy war ( la, sanctum bellum), is a war which is primarily caused or justified by differences in religion. In the modern period, there are frequent debates over the extent to wh ...
, the corrupt
Borgia The House of Borgia ( , ; Spanish Spanish might refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards are a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language, spoken in Spain and many Latin American countries **Spanish cuisine ...
Popes The pope ( la, papa, from el, πάππας, translit=pappas, 'father'), also known as supreme pontiff ( or ), Roman pontiff () or sovereign pontiff, is the bishop of Rome (or historically the patriarch of Rome), head of the worldwide Cathol ...
, and the intensified
witch hunt A witch-hunt, or a witch purge, is a search for people who have been labeled witches or a search for evidence of witchcraft. The Witch trials in the early modern period, classical period of witch-hunts in Early Modern Europe and European Colon ...
s of the 16th century. Many people who lived during the Renaissance did not view it as the "
golden age The term Golden Age comes from Greek mythology, particularly the ''Works and Days'' of Hesiod, and is part of the description of temporal decline of the state of peoples through five Ages of Man, Ages, Gold being the first and the one during ...
" imagined by certain 19th-century authors, but were concerned by these social maladies. Significantly, though, the artists, writers, and patrons involved in the cultural movements in question believed they were living in a new era that was a clean break from the Middle Ages. Some Marxist historians prefer to describe the Renaissance in material terms, holding the view that the changes in art, literature, and philosophy were part of a general economic trend from
feudalism Feudalism, also known as the feudal system, was the combination of the legal, economic, military, cultural and political customs that flourished in medieval Europe between the 9th and 15th centuries. Broadly defined, it was a way of structu ...
towards
capitalism Capitalism is an economic system based on the private ownership of the means of production and their operation for profit. Central characteristics of capitalism include capital accumulation, competitive markets, price system, pr ...
, resulting in a
bourgeois The bourgeoisie ( , ) is a social class A social class is a grouping of people into a set of hierarchical social categories, the most common being the upper, middle and lower classes. Membership in a social class can for example be ...
class with leisure time to devote to the arts.
Johan Huizinga Johan Huizinga (; 7 December 1872 – 1 February 1945) was a Dutch historian and one of the founders of modern cultural history. Life Born in Groningen (city), Groningen as the son of Dirk Huizinga, a professor of physiology, and Jacoba Tonke ...
(1872–1945) acknowledged the existence of the Renaissance but questioned whether it was a positive change. In his book ''
The Autumn of the Middle Ages ''The Autumn of the Middle Ages'', ''The Waning of the Middle Ages'', or ''Autumntide of the Middle Ages'' (published in 1919 as ''Herfsttij der Middeleeuwen'' and translated into English in 1924, German in 1924, and French in 1932), is the best ...
'', he argued that the Renaissance was a period of decline from the
High Middle Ages The High Middle Ages, or High Medieval Period, was the periodization, period of European history that lasted from AD 1000 to 1300. The High Middle Ages were preceded by the Early Middle Ages and were followed by the Late Middle Ages, which ended ...
, destroying much that was important. The
Latin language Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally a dialect spoken in the lower Tiber area (then known as Latium) around present-day Rome, but through ...
, for instance, had evolved greatly from the classical period and was still a living language used in the church and elsewhere. The Renaissance obsession with classical purity halted its further evolution and saw Latin revert to its classical form. Robert S. Lopez has contended that it was a period of deep
economic recession In economics, a recession is a business cycle contraction when there is a general decline in economic activity. Recessions generally occur when there is a widespread drop in spending (an adverse demand shock). This may be triggered by various ...
. Meanwhile,
George Sarton George Alfred Leon Sarton (; 31 August 1884 – 22 March 1956) was a Belgian-born American chemist and historian. He is considered the founder of the discipline of the history of science as an independent field of study. His most influential works ...
and
Lynn Thorndike Lynn Thorndike (24 July 1882, in Lynn, Massachusetts Lynn is the eighth-largest List of municipalities in Massachusetts, municipality in Massachusetts and the largest city in Essex County, Massachusetts, Essex County. Situated on the Atlan ...
have both argued that
scientific Science is a systematic endeavor that Scientific method, builds and organizes knowledge in the form of Testability, testable explanations and predictions about the universe. Science may be as old as the human species, and some of the earli ...
progress was perhaps less original than has traditionally been supposed. Finally, Joan Kelly argued that the Renaissance led to greater gender dichotomy, lessening the agency women had had during the Middle Ages. Some historians have begun to consider the word ''Renaissance'' to be unnecessarily loaded, implying an unambiguously positive rebirth from the supposedly more primitive " Dark Ages", the Middle Ages. Most historians now prefer to use the term " early modern" for this period, a more neutral designation that highlights the period as a transitional one between the Middle Ages and the modern era. Others such as Roger Osborne have come to consider the Italian Renaissance as a repository of the myths and ideals of western history in general, and instead of rebirth of ancient ideas as a period of great innovation. The
art historian Art history is the study of aesthetic objects and visual expression in History, historical and stylistic context. Traditionally, the discipline of art history emphasized painting, drawing, sculpture, architecture, ceramics and decorative arts; y ...
Erwin Panofsky Erwin Panofsky (March 30, 1892 in Hannover – March 14, 1968 in Princeton, New Jersey) was a German-Jewish Art history, art historian, whose academic career was pursued mostly in the U.S. after the rise of the Nazi, Nazi regime. Panofsky's wor ...
observed of this resistance to the concept of "Renaissance":
It is perhaps no accident that the factuality of the
Italian Renaissance The Italian Renaissance ( it, Rinascimento ) was a period in History of Italy, Italian history covering the 15th and 16th centuries. The period is known for the initial development of the broader Renaissance culture that spread across Europe an ...
has been most vigorously questioned by those who are not obliged to take a professional interest in the aesthetic aspects of civilization – historians of economic and social developments, political and religious situations, and, most particularly, natural science – but only exceptionally by students of literature and hardly ever by historians of Art.


Other Renaissances

The term ''Renaissance'' has also been used to define periods outside of the 15th and 16th centuries. Charles H. Haskins (1870–1937), for example, made a case for a
Renaissance of the 12th century The Renaissance ( , ) , from , with the same meanings. is a Periodization, period in History of Europe, European history marking the transition from the Middle Ages to modernity and covering the 15th and 16th centuries, characterized by an e ...
. Other historians have argued for a
Carolingian Renaissance The Carolingian Renaissance was the first of three medieval renaissances, a period of cultural activity in the Carolingian Empire. It occurred from the late 8th century to the 9th century, taking inspiration from the State church of the Roman Emp ...
in the 8th and 9th centuries,
Ottonian Renaissance The Ottonian Renaissance was a renaissance of Byzantine art, Byzantine and Late Antiquity, Late Antique art in Central Europe, Central and Southern Europe that accompanied the reigns of the first three Holy Roman Emperors of the Ottonian Dynasty, ...
in the 10th century and for the
Timurid Renaissance The Timurid Renaissance was a historical period in Asian history, Asian and Islamic history spanning the late 14th, the 15th, and the early 16th centuries. Following the gradual downturn of the Islamic Golden Age, the Timurid Empire, based in Cen ...
of the 14th century. The
Islamic Golden Age The Islamic Golden Age was a period of cultural, economic, and scientific flourishing in the history of Islam, traditionally dated from the 8th century to the 14th century. This period is traditionally understood to have begun during the reign ...
has been also sometimes termed with the Islamic Renaissance.Hubert, Jean, ''L'Empire carolingien'' (English: ''The Carolingian Renaissance'', translated by James Emmons, New York: G. Braziller, 1970). Other periods of cultural rebirth have also been termed "renaissances", such as the
Bengal Renaissance Bengal ( ; bn, বাংলা/বঙ্গ, translit=Bānglā/Bôngô, ) is a geopolitical, cultural and historical region in South Asia South Asia is the southern subregion of Asia Asia (, ) is one of the world's most not ...
, Tamil Renaissance, Nepal Bhasa renaissance, al-Nahda or the
Harlem Renaissance The Harlem Renaissance was an intellectual and cultural revival of African American music, dance, art, fashion, literature, theater, politics and scholarship centered in Harlem, Manhattan, New York City, spanning the 1920s and 1930s. At the t ...
. The term can also be used in cinema. In animation, the Disney Renaissance is a period that spanned the years from 1989 to 1999 which saw the studio return to the level of quality not witnessed since their Golden Age of Animation. The
San Francisco Renaissance The term San Francisco Renaissance is used as a global designation for a range of poetic Poetry (derived from the Greek language, Greek ''poiesis'', "making"), also called verse, is a form of literature that uses aesthetics, aesthetic and ...
was a vibrant period of exploratory poetry and fiction writing in that city in the mid-20th century.


See also

* Index of Renaissance articles * Outline of the Renaissance * List of Renaissance figures *
List of Renaissance structures The following is a list of notable Renaissance The Renaissance ( , ) , from , with the same meanings. is a Periodization, period in History of Europe, European history marking the transition from the Middle Ages to modernity and covering ...
*
Roman Renaissance The Renaissance in Rome occupied a period from the Quattrocento, mid-15th to the Cinquecento, mid-16th centuries, a period which spawned such masters as Michelangelo and Raphael, who left an indelible mark on Western figurative art. The city had ...
*
Venetian Renaissance The Venetian Renaissance had a distinct character compared to the general Italian Renaissance elsewhere. The Republic of Venice was topographically distinct from the rest of the city-states of Italian Renaissance, Renaissance Italy as a result of t ...
*
Scientific Revolution The Scientific Revolution was a series of events that marked the emergence of modern science during the early modern period, when developments in mathematics Mathematics is an area of knowledge that includes the topics of numbers, fo ...
*
Age of Enlightenment The Age of Enlightenment or the Enlightenment; german: Aufklärung, "Enlightenment"; it, L'Illuminismo, "Enlightenment"; pl, Oświecenie, "Enlightenment"; pt, Iluminismo, "Enlightenment"; es, La Ilustración, "Enlightenment" was an intel ...


References


Explanatory notes


Citations


General sources

* Burckhardt, Jacob, ''The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy'' (1860), a famous classic
excerpt and text search 2007 edition
als
complete text online
* * * * * * * Reynolds, L. D. and Wilson, Nigel, ''Scribes and Scholars: A Guide to the Transmission of Greek and Latin Literature'', Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1974. *


Further reading

* Cronin, Vincent (1969), ''The Flowering of the Renaissance'', * Cronin, Vincent (1992), ''The Renaissance'', * Campbell, Gordon. ''The Oxford Dictionary of the Renaissance''. (2003). 862 pp. online at OUP * Davis, Robert C. ''Renaissance People: Lives that Shaped the Modern Age''. (2011). * Ergang, Robert (1967), ''The Renaissance'', * Ferguson, Wallace K. (1962), 'Europe in Transition, 1300–1500'' * Fisher, Celia. ''Flowers of the Renaissance''. (2011). * Fletcher, Stella. ''The Longman Companion to Renaissance Europe, 1390–1530''. (2000). 347 pp. * Grendler, Paul F., ed. ''The Renaissance: An Encyclopedia for Students''. (2003). 970 pp. * Hale, John. ''The Civilization of Europe in the Renaissance''. (1994). 648 pp.; a magistral survey, heavily illustrated
excerpt and text search
* Hall, Bert S. ''Weapons and Warfare in Renaissance Europe: Gunpowder, Technology, and Tactics'' (2001)
excerpt and text search
* Hattaway, Michael, ed. ''A Companion to English Renaissance Literature and Culture''. (2000). 747 pp. * Jensen, De Lamar (1992), ''Renaissance Europe'', * Johnson, Paul. ''The Renaissance: A Short History''. (2000). 197 pp.
excerpt and text search
also
online free
* Keene, Bryan C. ''Gardens of the Renaissance''. (2013). * King, Margaret L. ''Women of the Renaissance'' (1991
excerpt and text search
* Kristeller, Paul Oskar, and Michael Mooney. '' Renaissance Thought and its Sources'' (1979)
excerpt and text search
* Nauert, Charles G. ''Historical Dictionary of the Renaissance''. (2004). 541 pp. * Patrick, James A., ed. ''Renaissance and Reformation'' (5 vol 2007), 1584 pages; comprehensive encyclopedia * Plumb, J.H. ''The Italian Renaissance'' (2001)
excerpt and text search
* Paoletti, John T. and Gary M. Radke. ''Art in Renaissance Italy'' (4th ed. 2011) * Potter, G.R. ed. ''The New Cambridge Modern History: Volume 1: The Renaissance, 1493–1520'' (1957
online
major essays by multiple scholars. Summarizes the viewpoint of 1950s. * Robin, Diana; Larsen, Anne R.; and Levin, Carole, eds. ''Encyclopedia of Women in the Renaissance: Italy, France, and England'' (2007) 459 pp. * Rowse, A.L. ''The Elizabethan Renaissance: The Life of the Society'' (2000)
excerpt and text search
* Ruggiero, Guido. ''The Renaissance in Italy: A Social and Cultural History of the Rinascimento'' (Cambridge University Press, 2015). 648 pp
online review
* Rundle, David, ed. ''The Hutchinson Encyclopedia of the Renaissance''. (1999). 434 pp.; numerous brief article
online edition
* Turner, Richard N. ''Renaissance Florence'' (2005)
excerpt and text search
* Ward, A

older essays by scholars; emphasis on politics


Historiography

* Bouwsma, William J. "The Renaissance and the drama of Western history." ''American Historical Review'' (1979): 1–15
in JSTOR
* Caferro, William. ''Contesting the Renaissance'' (2010)
excerpt and text search
* Ferguson, Wallace K. "The Interpretation of the Renaissance: Suggestions for a Synthesis." ''Journal of the History of Ideas'' (1951): 483–495. online in JSTOR * Ferguson, Wallace K. "Recent trends in the economic historiography of the Renaissance." ''Studies in the Renaissance'' (1960): 7–26. * Ferguson, Wallace Klippert. ''The Renaissance in historical thought'' (AMS Press, 1981) * Grendler, Paul F. "The Future of Sixteenth Century Studies: Renaissance and Reformation Scholarship in the Next Forty Years," ''Sixteenth Century Journal'' Spring 2009, Vol. 40 Issue 1, pp. 182+ * Murray, Stuart A.P. The Library: An Illustrated History. American Library Association, Chicago, 2012. * Ruggiero, Guido, ed. ''A Companion to the Worlds of the Renaissance''. (2002). 561 pp. * Starn, Randolph. "A Postmodern Renaissance?" ''Renaissance Quarterly'' 2007 60(1): 1–2

* Summit, Jennifer. "Renaissance Humanism and the Future of the Humanities". ''Literature Compass'' (2012) 9#10 pp: 665–678. * Trivellato, Francesca. "Renaissance Italy and the Muslim Mediterranean in Recent Historical Work", ''Journal of Modern History'' (March 2010), 82#1 pp: 127–155. * Woolfson, Jonathan, ed. ''Palgrave advances in Renaissance historiography'' (Palgrave Macmillan, 2005)


Primary sources

* Bartlett, Kenneth, ed. ''The Civilization of the Italian Renaissance: A Sourcebook'' (2nd ed., 2011) * Ross, James Bruce, and Mary M. McLaughlin, eds. ''The Portable Renaissance Reader'' (1977)
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External links


"The Renaissance"
''In Our Time'', BBC Radio 4 discussion with Francis Ames-Lewis, Peter Burke and Evelyn Welch (June 8, 2000).



*
Renaissance Philosophy
entry in the
Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy The ''Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy'' (''IEP'') is a scholarly online encyclopedia, dealing with philosophy, Philosophy, philosophical topics, and philosophers. The IEP combines open access publication with peer reviewed publication of ori ...
Interactive resources
Florence: 3D Panoramas of Florentine Renaissance Sites(English/Italian)

Interactive Glossary of Terms Relating to the Renaissance

Multimedia Exploration of the Renaissance

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Exhibits Collection – Renaissance
Lectures and galleries


The Bagatti Valsecchi Museum



The Society for Renaissance Studies


{{good article 14th century in Europe 15th century in Europe 16th century in Europe 17th century in Europe Early Modern period Historical eras History of Europe by period Medieval philosophy Western culture