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The Renaissance

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  1. 1. 88 The Renaissance: Upsurge of Humanism  
  2. 2. Overview Rediscovery of the classical ideal of the fully developed human being whose character was formed by literary study and education
  3. 3. The Renaissance View of Human Nature The Revival of Interest in the Classical World By the twelfth century, many scholars were familiar with the works of antiquity The good life is the life that is pleasing to the senses, intellect, and aesthetic capacities Humanism ran counter to many Christian teachings Seemed to reject the doctrine of original sin and natural human sinfulness  Individuals could perform mighty deeds without divine assistance
  4. 4. The New Scholarship: Petrarch, Boccaccio Renaissance arose in Italy  Forces of social change were more advanced in Italy than in northern Europe  Nationality caused Italians to embrace their past more warmly than ever before Francesco Petrarca (Petrarch)  Collected ancient manuscripts  Love of solitude and the peace of nature  First Poet Laureate Giovanni Boccaccio  Fiammetta, Decameron
  5. 5. Humanistic Education and the “Gentleman” Italian humanists made up the first substantial body of secular scholars in Europe Little use for scholasticism  Scholasticism had not taken root in the Italian Universities Humanists not welcomed in most northern universities Greek ideal of the well-rounded man was the heart of humanistic education Pattern of education Gentleman – man of refinement and self-control  Baldassare Castiglione, The Courtier
  6. 6. Philosophy: The Appeal of Platonism Aristotle had ruled over medieval universities as the foremost philosopher Florence  Platonic Academy, 1450  Marsilio Ficino Pico della Mirandola  Comparative study of religion and philosophy  Platonic view of creation and existence Natural beauty  Platonic love  Realistic representation
  7. 7. The Critical Spirit and Beginnings of Empiricism Methods of scholarship introduced by humanists more important than the Platonic revival Reassembly of old learning led to a more critical attitude and greater attention to observed facts Lorenzo Valla  Donation of Constantine, 1440 Niccolò Machiavelli  Learn from direct observation of the world around you  Use of induction Thomas Aquinas  Use of deduction Leonardo da Vinci: desire to unlock the secrets of nature
  8. 8. Christian Humanism: Erasmus Northern countries dissatisfied with scholasticism and focused on the rediscovered classics of antiquity  Not looking for models of secular life  Sought guides to a purer religion and found ideals that would encourage spiritual reform Desiderius Eramus  Sought models of behavior that could be followed by Christians  Ancient writings could strengthen faith  He was feared by the suspicious conservatives in the clergy  Call for the need to reform  In Praise of Folly, 1509
  9. 9. The Revolution in Art The Pioneer of Naturalism: Giotto  Giotto de Bondone  Not satisfied with flat look of medieval altar panels and the painted figures of manuscripts  Seeks to recreate an actual scene  Careful attention to composition  Official architect of Florence New Artistic Techniques: Brunelleschi, Masaccio, van Eyck  Fillippo Brunelleschi  Study of perspective  Lays down the mathematical rules governing the reduction in size of pictured objects  Masaccio  Fresco in Santa Maria Novella in Florence  Jan van Eyck of Flanders  Precise detail  Treated the background with the same attention as the foreground
  10. 10. The Liberation of Sculpture: Donatello Studied the remains of Roman sculpture Contemporary of Masacchio and Brunelleschi Observations of the human body Gattamelata Lorenzo Ghiberti
  11. 11. Art Triumphs over Nature: Botticelli, Titian, and Leonardo Sandro Botticelli  Subordination of realism to form and color  Figures from classical mythology  Birth of Venus  Idealized beauty Venus of Urbina by Titian  Flesh tones and textures Leonardo da Vinci  Breadth of curiosity  Optics of perceptive, mixing colors, techniques of metalwork  Anatomy, physiology, and nature  The Last Supper
  12. 12. The Artistic Climax: Michelangelo Michelangelo Buonnarroti  Represented the body in three dimensions of sculpture  Sistine Chapel  Influenced by Platonism  Sculpture David Dying Slave  Architecture Dome of St. Peter’s
  13. 13. The Liberation Humorist: Rabelais François Rabelais Humanist with a talent for satire and parody Represented a humanism that did not copy classical models but stood as an individualistic philosophy Rejected Original Sin and stressed natural goodness Gargantua and Pantagruel  Begun publication in 1538 Praised natural instincts and abilities of free persons
  14. 14. The Skeptical Essayist: Montaigne Michael de Montaigne  Remains loyal to the Catholic Church  Essays, 1580  Essay (personal view) a new form of literature  A Philosophical relativist  Limits of reason in efforts to comprehend the universe  All knowledge subject to uncertainty and doubt, beliefs are not constant  Dogmatism is unjustified  Firm authority indispensable to peace and order  Tolerance
  15. 15. Impervious to Religious Upheavals of the Time Rabelais, Montaigne, and Miguel de Cervantes  Devotion to humanism Cervantes  Don Quixote  Satire of popular tales of chivalry  Relationships of characters correspond with relativity of truth found in Montaigne’s Essays
  16. 16. The Master Dramatist: Shakespeare Sir Thomas More, Utopia William Shakespeare  Elizabethan Age  “Passion” and “morality” plays of the ancient Greeks and Romans  Theaters are built, Globe Theater  Renaissance drama was not associated with religious festivals  Plays reflect the values and concerns of humanism  The urge to power and sense of nationality  Emphasis on materialism and sensuousness  Hamlet: dramatic method
  17. 17. Discussion Questions What was the Renaissance? Why was it centered in Italy? How does it affect the human condition? Why is education an important part of the Renaissance? How does humanism affect education? What were the changes in art and architecture during the Renaissance? What were the main themes and ideas of literature and drama during the Renaissance?
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