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-A 300 year period in Western Europe that marked the revival
of art, literature and learning.
- a transition period between medieval and modern Europe.
-A time of creativity and change in the areas ex. Politics,
culture,society and economics.
-A spiritual reawakening
- A renewed interest in the classical learning of the past.
Medieval Europe had been a fragmented feudal society
with an agricultural economy
Its thought and culture dominated by the church
Renaissance Europe, especially after the 14th century
was characterized by growing national consciousness
and political centralization
An urban economy based on organized commerce and
With ever greater lay and secular control of thought
culture and religion.
-Center of Ancient Roman History.
-Italian cities survived the Middle Ages and
the Plague
-Milan, Florence, Genoa, and Venice in the
north Rome in the center and Naples in the
south all make an impact.
-Centers of trade
-Powerful merchant class evolves and
promotes a cultural rebirth.
Venice- Controlled by a Merchant
Oligarchy, also home of the “12 Families”
Milan- Controlled by the despots of the
Sforza Family
Papal States- Controlled by the traditional,
powerful families of Rome
Naples- Controlled by the nobility of the
House of Aragon
Florence- Controlled by the famous Medicis
Social Strife and competition for political power was so
intense within cities that most had evolved to despotism.
Florence was the most striking example
There were 4 social groups in Florence
•the old rich or nobles
•newly rich merchant class “poppolo grosso” or fat
•the middle-burgher ranks: guild masters, shopkeepers,
•Finally, the little people, popolo minuto
-The Medici family of Florence starts a
banking business, which prospers
-Family expands empire to include other
things- wool,mining etc.
- wealthiest family in Florence
-Translates into power
-Uncrowned king of Florence for years
-Best known is Cosimo
-Patron or financial supporter of the arts
Niccolo Machiavelli- Author of important
political treatise “The Prince”
Had served as a minor government official
in the Republican government of Florence
Wrote to stress that rulers must be
concerned with “the way things are, not the
way they wish them to be.”
Wanted the Italian city- states to unite so
that they would become stronger!
-An intellectual movement, study of
classic culture of Greece and Rome.
-focus on worldly subjects rather
than religious issues.
-Use wisdom of ancients to increase
the understanding of their own
-Education should stimulate a
person creativity
-Humanist do not accept texts
without question but, studied them
in light of their own experiences.
Leonardo Da Vinci
Humanists advocated the study of the
Classics in Greek and Latin
Stressed the worth of the individual,
individualism, as opposed to the traditional
teachings of scholasticism and the Church
Humanistic education was seen as a way for
a man to become complete; consisted of
reading, writing, music, and rhetoric
Seen in works of men such as Petrarch,
Lorenzo Valla, and Pico della Mirandola
Francesco Petrarch, Florence
Early humanist
Found and preserved ancient
Greek and Roman
Encouraged others to read
and preserve these works as
Wrote sonnets
“one thing that I know, is that
I know nothing”
-Art the best expression of humanism in the
-Patrons played large part in artists
-Renaissance reflect humanist concerns
-Produced portraits of well-known figures
of the day reflecting importance of
individual achievement.
-Studied ancient Roman works, revived
classic forms
-Represented both people and landscape in
a realistic fashion.
Artists begin using the rules of
Making distant objects smaller
Use of shading to make
objects look round or real
Studied the human anatomy
Allowed them to paint people
more accurately
Renaissance Reading
Text- 317-341
Achiever p 59-70