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CH. 15 The
Renaissance and
1350-1700 A.D.
The Italian Renaissance
• An era of Awakening
• Renaissance- “rebirth” Philosophical and Artistic movement and
the era when that movement flourished
• Renewed interest in Ancient Greek and Roman literature and Life
• Italian Renaissance Scholars wanted to explore ancient Greek and
Roman great achievements
• Medieval scholars tried to bring ancient history into harmony with
Christian teachings
• Emphasized the power of human reason and advances were
made in the arts and sciences
The Italian Renaissance
• Causes:
• Ruins of the old Roman Empire reminded Italians of Ancient
Roman glory
• Trade and the Crusades
• Byzantine civilization whose scholars preserved ancient Greek and
Roman learning
• Trade with Southwestern Asia and Africa helped teach Europeans
about African and Arab advancements in science and in Medicine
Differences in Art:
Differences in Literature:
• Middle Ages
• Scholasticism
• Religion
• “The Divine Comedy”
by Dante
• “The Canterbury
Tales” by Chaucer
• Renaissance
• “The Prince” by
• About Government
• Francesco Petrarch
• Love poems
The Italian Renaissance
• Humanities
• Humanities- the study of ancient Greek and Roman literature
focusing on grammar, history, poetry, and rhetoric to become a
“well rounded” person in society
• Humanists- people who specialized in the humanities
• Literature written in Greek and Latin
• Many copies so the scholars need to investigate as to which was the
most accurate copy (sought to verify through investigation)
• Christians turned to the Jewish to learn Hebrew
• Important to know how things worked = interest in education
• Meaningful life
• involved in practical affairs, such as supporting the arts
• Many were Christian struggled with preparing for the afterlife but also
living a joyful life with individual achievment
The Italian Renaissance
• Italian Renaissance Writers
• Classical Education- study of ancient Greek and Roman literature
• Studying the ancient Greeks and Romans works (the Classics) was the
distinction of an educated person
• Francesco Petrarch- 1304-1374 Love Poet/teacher/scholar
• Considered to be some of the best love poems in literature
• Most famous Sonnets to Laura (imaginary ideal woman)
• Believed in a full active life but worried that his desire for fame would
hinder his chances at salvation
• Niccolo Machiavelli- 1469-1527 Florentine diplomat and historian
• Most Famous “The Prince” described government as it truly was not loft
• Ruthless behavior to get ahead – Ruler should only be concerned with
power and political success
• Ancient Roman inspiration – Lack of conventional morality- Still humanist
just different “ the ends justify the means”
The Italian Renaissance
• Baldassare Castiglione- 1478-1529
• “The Book of the Courtier” most famous book of the Renaissance - about
real people, real places but fictional story about how gentlemen and
gentlewomen show act in polite society settings
Examples of literature:
• Petrarch:
• Machiavelli:
• Castiglione
• Castiglione's characters opine about how their courtier can impress his audience
and win its approval. Similar to the Classical Roman rhetoricians Cicero and
Quintillian, Castiglione stresses the importance of delivery while speaking. In Book
I, the Count states that when the courtier speaks he must have a “sonorous, clear,
sweet and well sounding” voice that is neither too effeminate nor too rough and
be “tempered by a calm face and with a play of the eyes that shall give an effect of
grace.” (Castiglione 1.33) This grace, or grazia, becomes an important element in
the courtier’s appearance to the audience.
The Italian Renaissance
• Italian Renaissance Art:
• Perspective- life like quality of painting 3Dish, Objects in the
distance smaller than in the foreground.
• Huge contrast to medieval art
No holy land
Real life Italy portrayed in the paintings
Human figures
Realistic figures and images
The Italian Renaissance
• Leonardo da Vinci- 1452-1519
Architect, engineer, painter, sculptor, mathematician and scientist
Flying machine and submarine
Drew about plants and the human body
Used his work in science to assist his paintings
• om/
The Italian Renaissance
• Michelangelo- 1475-1564
• Painter and sculptor
• Statue of David and the celling of the Sistine Chapel of the Vatican
• Wrote poetry and assisted in the design of St. Peter’s Bascilia
The Italian Renaissance
• Rafael – 1483-1520
• Beautified the Vatican hired by the Pope
• Painter- best known for frescos and Madonna’s
• Titian -1483-1520
• “The assumption of the Virgin”
• 1st to become wealthy from his work
• Giotto- 1276-1337
• Realist fly story
• Masaccio- 1452-1519
• Realist used light and shadow to create a sense of depth in hos
The Northern Renaissance
• The spread of ideas
• Students studying in Italy went back to their homes in northern
Europe and brought back all of the knowledge and ideas they
• Johannes Gutenburg- invented the first movable type machine or
printing press.
• 1450 to print copies of the Bible
• Social, economic, and technological advancement
• By 1475 England, France, Germany, and Italy among other nations
were using the printing press.
• This is not the first printing press in the world, China was using a
form of moveable and reusable type for a long time before Johannes
The Northern Renaissance
• Northern Renaissance Writers:
• Desiderius Erasmus- 1466-1536 Most famous Dutch humanists scholar
• Enrolled in a monetary then left to study the classics in printed books
• Studied Greek, Roman and early Christianity
• Believed there was a lack of spirituality in the Christian religion (too ceremonial)
• “The Praise of Folly”- ridiculed ignorance, superstition, and vice among Christians
(fasting, pilgrimages, religious shrines and the interpretations of the Bible)
• Thomas More- English writer and politician he was also a friend of
Erasmus and had similar views about Christianity
• “Utopia” 1516
• Acclaimed by humanist thinkers
• Translated into German, Italian, French and Dutch
• He served King Henry VIII of England
• He refused to see Henry as the head of the English Church so Henry executed
• 400 years later the church recognized his faith and service toward the church during
his time working under King Henry VIII and made him a saint
The Northern Renaissance
• Erasmus :
• More:
The Northern Renaissance
• Height of the English renaissance was from the late 1500’s – the
early 1600’s
• Classical dramas were mainly about angry gods punishing humans
• Renaissance dramas were about the drama between humans
(man made drama)
• William Shakespeare:
• His ability to depict and articulate different personalities, and
human emotion was unmatched
• He wrote plays and dramas
• Moody Hamlet
• Star crossed lovers Romeo and Juliet
• And tragic MacBeth
• All three are as real today as they would have been back then
The Northern Renaissance
• Northern Renaissance Artists:
• Italian art inspired artists throughout Western Europe
• Flemish School- Located in Flanders and the artists that studied there
developed a distinct style of painting (oil on Canvas)
• Jan and Hubert van Eyck• Detail was very important and prominent in his work
• Realist: facial expression are his signature
• Pieter Brueghel- studied in Flanders
• Painted a lot of village festivals/dances
• Work had a hidden meaning, mainly criticized the intolerance and cruelty he
observed in his everyday life
• Albrecht Durer- 1471-1528 German
• Studied in Germany and Venice
• Studied the classics and humanism
• First to see and openly explain the possibilities of having illustrations in books
• Hans Holbein the younger- worked in the early 1500’s
• Portraits
• Erasmus, More, and King Henry VIII
The Northern Renaissance
• Difference between the Northern and Southern artists
• Italians depict humans as having Greek God qualities
• Rippling muscles
• Had an admiration for the human form
• Northern more realistic
• bald, frail, imperfect
• Emphasized importance of Christianity
• Painted a lot of the early fathers of Christianity