Early modern europe a - renaissance

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Early modern europe a - renaissance

  1. 1. Early Modern Europe A. The Importance of the Renaissance MovementUnit 1.1 - Definition and origin of the term ‘Renaissance’1. The Renaissance is thought to have begun in Italy during the 14thcentury during the lifetime of Dante and Giotto and to have ended in thelate 16th century when Shakespeare and Galileo Galilei were still living.The word ‘Renaissance’ owes its first definition to the French historianJules Michelet in 1855. With the publication of the influential book TheCivilzation of the Renaissance in Italy (1860) by the Swiss historianJacob Burckhardt, the word became an accepted part of the historian’svocabulary.2. Michelet and Burckhardt invented the term ‘Renaissance’, but scholarsand artists living in the 15th and 16th centuries were themselves awarethat they were living in a time of great cultural change. The Italian painter Giorgio Vasari (1511-74) wrote in 1550 that the arts were moving towards perfection and that a recovery of the ancient civilization of Greece and Rome was taking place. The humanist scholar Marsilio Ficino (1433-99) spoke of a new golden age in Florence that had ‘restored to life the arts, which were almost extinct: grammar, poetry, rhetoric, painting, sculpture, architecture, music and the ancient singing of songs….’3. The word ‘Renaissance’ means ‘rebirth’ and this was precisely how theleading scholars and artists of that time saw the cultural environment inwhich they lived and worked; as the rebirth of classical civilizationafter a long period of decline during the Middle Ages.Other previous ‘renaissances’ in the Middle AgesIt was a Renaissance scholar, Flavio Biondo (1392-1463), who first usedthe term medium aevum or ‘middle ages’ to describe the period between thefall of the Roman Empire and the revival of the arts in his own day (i.e.400 A.D. to 1300 A.D.). But historians now agree that classical culturehad never completely disappeared from Europe during the Middle Ages, andthere were in fact several important attempts to revive it in thecenturies before the Renaissance proper: The Carolingian Renaissance when Charlemagne, King of the Franks (742-814 A.D.) sought to restore the Roman Empire in Western Europe by sponsoring a revival of Roman architecture and literature. He rebuilt the royal palace at Aachen in ancient Roman style, ordered the copying of classical texts and gathered together a group of scholars of Roman literature. These scholars invented the Carolingian miniscule alphabet to copy classical texts faster and make them more easier to read. The 1
  2. 2. ‘Roman’ print type we use today is fact Carolingian in origin. The Twelfth Century Renaissance spread more than its Carolingian predecessor. This new renaissance was characterized by the growth and spread of libraries and interest in classical sculpture and architecture. Some of the great monuments of the Middle Ages, the famous Gothic Cathedrals scattered in Northern Europe originated in the France in the 1130s. As a result of the Crusades against Islam, Western Europeans obtained translations of some of the scientific and philosophical works of ancient Greece. The rediscovery of Greek learning resulted in the foundation of universities at Bologna, Pauda, Paris and Oxford.ConclusionThe Renaissance did not take place, therefore, against a background ofcomplete cultural decay. There had been previous smaller ‘renaissances’,which in a number of respects had prepared the way for the achievements ofthe 15th and 16th centuries. But the Italian Renaissance appears to bemore brilliant because its achievements were so widespread andlong-lasting that it is thought to have brought about end of the MiddleAges and began the Modern Age in the history of Europe.Hints to study and remember about Unit 1.1• The meaning and origin of the term ‘Renaissance”.• How did scholars and artists of the Renaissance describe their times?• Which were the two ‘renaissance’ of the Middle Ages?• Why was the Italian Renaissance important in European history?Unit 1.2 - The Italian Origins of the Renaissance1. Why did the Renaissance begin in Italy?Northern Italy differed from the rest of Europe in at least threeimportant respects which may be said to have caused the Renaissance tooriginate in Italy:Greek and Roman ruins that still dominated the Italian landscape served asproof that Italy was the centre of classical civilization. It was bytaking inspiration from the Pantheon in Rome that Filippo Brunelleschi(1377-1446) designed the dome for the Cathedral of Florence. Otherartists used Roman models when designing bronze reliefs and statues.Northern Italy was one of the wealthiest and most populated region inEurope. Genoa and Venice controlled much of the Mediterranean trade withthe Levant. Florence and Milan were centres of manufacture. In thesecity states the middle class was large, powerful and well educated.Florence was the richest of the cities of northern Italy and dominated theearlier phase of the Renaissance. Its wealth was based on cloth-making, 2
  3. 3. banking and trade in luxuries. Florence’s leading family, the Medici,were the city’s rulers (podestà), bankers to the popes and patrons of artin the city.Northern Italy was divided into city-states. These cities had much incommon with the cities of ancient Greece and Rome. Italians living in the14th and 15th centuries had the conviction that living in a city was themost civilized form of existence.2. What were the main characteristics of the early Italian Renaissance?The artists shared the conviction that their era represented a completebreak with the Middle Ages. Thus they had utter contempt for the art ofthe Middle Ages and admired only the art of classical times.Until Giotto’s (c. 1270-1337) time Italian painting was dominated byByzantine (Greek) influences and had been flat and two-dimensional.Giotto was the first painter to break away with this style and producemore realistic paintings to provide an illusion of depth by contrastinglight and shade.Italian Renaissance art, like the medieval, was above all a religious art. The majority of paintings came from the Bible and the life of the Saints. Saints were painted as human beings, the Madonnas painted as beautifulyoung women. Leonardo da Vinci once remarked: ‘Paint the face in such away that it will be easy to understand what is going on in the mind.’ Landscape painting was another major innovation of Italian Renaissanceart. At first landscapes were used as symbols of hell (rocks andmountains) and paradise (gardens). As artists learned more about colour,light, shadow and perspective, landscapes began to dominate manypaintings.Italian Renaissance artists made increasing use of nude figures in theirwork – another great innovation. Above all others, Michelangelo masteredthe nude as a medium of expression when he painted figures on the ceilingof the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican.Renaissance sculpture bore a close relationship to painting and followed asimilar development. Many sculptures, like painters, studied humananatomy, tried new techniques, made nude statues, chose many themes fromthe Bible and classical literature and developed the art of portraiture.Renaissance sculpture reached its zenith with the work of Michelangelowith statues such as David, Moses and the Pietà. Some art critics thinkthey have never been equaled.Renaissance architecture broke with medieval Gothic and adopted classicalforms and decoration: domes, columns, rounded arches and symmetry.Architects insisted that each part of a building had to harmonize withevery other part. Besides religious buildings, they also designedpalaces, private homes and country villas to the rich and powerful. 3
  4. 4. Filippo Brunelleschi was the pioneer of Renaissance architecture.Florence remained the centre of Renaissance architecture until the late15th century. Its place was taken over by Rome. After 1500 the Popestransformed Rome into a magnificent Renaissance city when they employedartists and architects to rebuild Rome similar to classical Roman times.Hints to study and remember about Unit 1.2• The reasons why the Renaissance started in Italy.• The main characteristics of Italian Renaissance artUnit 1.3 - Renaissance, Humanism and ScienceRenaissance HumanismThe study of the classics came to be known as humanism, from studiahumanitatis. The first of the Renaissance humanists was FrancescoPetrarca (Petrarch) (1304-74). He wrote extensively in Latin and searchedtirelessly for classical Latin manuscripts, editing and ridding them ofthe errors by copyists. Petrarch was the first to call the period sinceclassical times the ‘dark ages.’Many of the humanists were employed by rulers, popes, and men of wealth assecretaries, government officials or teachers. Through such positions ofinfluence they transmitted to others the view of life they found in theclassical literature of Cicero, Virgil and Aristotle.Around 1400 a number of Greek scholars settled in Italy to teach classicalGreek. After the fall of Constantinople to the Turks in 1453, exiledGreeks settled in Italy in greater numbers, bringing with them more Greekmanuscripts. During this period printing was introduced into Italy fromGermany, where it had just been invented (c. 1440). Until then, copyistshad done handwritten copies of the ancient writings. The printed editionsof the Greek and Roman classics quickly spread to most Italian cities andhence to other parts of Western Europe.The humanists were also responsible for the study of archaeology. In the1450s they forbid any further stealing of stones and marbles from theclassical monuments of Rome but sponsored excavations that recoveredancient works of art.In the Medieval Europe education had been limited mainly to the trainingof the clergy. In the 15th century humanists changed the practice ofeducation by setting up curricula to include classical literature,rhetoric, mathematics, music, religion, science, good manners, athleticsand outdoor activity in imitation of ancient Greek education.Humanists believed that man was the master of his own destiny, that therewas no limit to his ambitions and abilities, and that his purpose on earth 4
  5. 5. was to develop himself to his fullest capacities. Success or fame nolonger needed to depend upon birth and social status (as in feudal Europe)but upon a man’s native abilities. Their ideal was that of the universalman, that is, the man who excelled in many different fields. The mostfamous of the universal men were Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) (painter,architect, anatomist, scientist, inventor, engineer), and Michelangelo(1475-1564) (painter, architect, military engineer, poet).Renaissance ScienceNicholas Copernicus (1473-1543) is the greatest scientific figure of theRenaissance and he is considered the point of origin for the greatrevolution on which modern science if founded.Renaissance humanists contributed to later scientific discoveries andprogress by uncovering and editing of works of classical science and bymaking accurate translations from the original Greek. The interest of Renaissance artists in the human body, when paintingportraits and realistic figures, encouraged anatomical study anddissection of corpses. The first to study modern anatomy was AndreasVesalius (1514-54) a Flemish who taught anatomy at the University ofPadua. His famous work, On the Structure of the Human Body was publishedin 1543, was illustrated with woodcuts of anatomical drawings. Vesalius’book made the ideas of the ancient Greek Galen, up to then the authorityin medical science, out of date.Hints to study and remember about Unit 1.3• The meaning and origin of the terms ‘humanism’ and humanist.• What sort of studies did humanists undertake?• Write short biographies of three well-known Renaissance humanists?• The contribution of Copernicus and Vesalius to modern science.Unit 1.4 - The Renaissance in Northern EuropeThe Spread of Renaissance North of the AlpsTo 15th century Italians the culture of Europeans north of the Alps seemedso far behind theirs that when the French King Charles VIII invaded Italyin 1494, they regarded the attack as a new barbarian invasion. Onelong-term result of this invasion was to establish Northern Europe’sconnection with Italian Renaissance culture. The Kings of France, Englandand Spain sought the services of Italian artists and humanist scholars.One well known example was when King Francis I (1515-47) of Francepersuaded Leonardo da Vinci to come to France by offering him 7,000 goldflorins and a palace of his own choosing!Northern artists combined the artistic traditions of their own lands withthe style and techniques learned from the Italians. Albrecht Dürer 5
  6. 6. (1471-1528) is the leading figure of German Renaissance woodcuts andcopper engravings. Hans Holbein the Younger (1497-1543) stands out as oneof the greatest portrait painters of all time.Flanders, like northern Italy, was a land of cities with a rich middleclass. The great Flemish artists painted primarily for these people andfor the powerful Dukes of Burgundy. The brothers Hubert van Eyck (c.1370-1426) and Jan van Eyck (c. 1390-1440) were the first great artists ofthe Flemish school. Until then artists had preferred to mix colours withegg yolk thinned with water (called tempera). The mixing of linseed oilwith solvents and thinners after 1400 made it possible for the van Eycksto perfect the use of oil paints. In the early 1500s Flemish artists camemore under Italian influence.The Spread of Humanism in the NorthDuring the late 15th century the impact of Italian humanism began to befelt in Northern Europe. Italian scholars and humanists were employed bykings and princes as secretaries and diplomats who could write and speakpolished Latin. Other Italians taught Greek, Latin and classicalliterature in universities across Europe.The invention of printing in Germany contributed greatly to the rapidspread of humanism in the North. By 1500 thousands of books had alreadyprinted all over Europe. The early printers made their books look likemedieval manuscripts. Leading Italian printers, influenced by thehandwriting developed by the humanists, adopted the Roman and italic typesthat are familiar today.Who were the Christian Humanists?The Christian humansits hoped that by studying the early texts ofChristianity, it would enable them to purify the Christian doctrine of theerror added through the centuries by theologians who had not read theoriginal texts. In this way they would be helping the Catholic Church toreform itself and acquire renewed strength, vitality and inspiration. Themost prominent Christian humanists were:St Thomas More (1478-1535) the most prominent English humanist lawyer,diplomat, politician and philosopher. As Lord Chancellor (Prime Minister)of England he refused to acknowledge Henry VIII as supreme head of theEnglish Church. For keeping loyal to the Catholic faith he was accused oftreason and died on the scaffold (beheaded).Desiderius Erasmus (1466-1536) dominated the intellectual life of NorthernEurope very much like Voltaire did in the Age of the Enlightenment in the18th century. He had disciples everywhere in Europe. He argued thatlearning must be used to combat ignorance, superstition, corruption andviolence. His books were the first best sellers in the history ofprinting. Erasmus’ views and influence made him a leader in the movement 6
  7. 7. for reform of the Catholic Church. For a time he went along with MartinLuther. But he wanted to reform the Church from within, not break awayand start a new church. When Europe finally split between Catholics andProtestants, Erasmus and most of the other Christian humanists remainedwithin the Catholic fold. The irony was that in their effort to reformthe Church they loved, the humanists helped to undermine it and to causereligious revolution known in history as the Protestant Reformation.Hints to study and remember about Unit 1.4• The reasons why the Renaissance spread from Italy to Northern Europe.• Who were the Christian humanists?• Who were Thomas More and Erasmus?Unit 1.5 - Italian Politics of the RenaissancePolitical Theory: Niccolò Macchiavelli (1469-1527)Macchiavelli was the greatest of the new political philosophers. He wasthe child of the Renaissance at its peak. He knows his fame to hispamphlet The Prince, written in 1513 and addressed to Lorenzo de’ Mediciin the hope that the prince would recognize and employ his talent. Thesuccess of The Prince lies in the fact that it became the guidebook topower politics for future centuries. The Prince has as its theme thedoctrine that the ruler should use any means to win and hold power, tocreate a strong central government, and to preserve the state. Hebelieved that good could come out of evil: the unscrupulous ruler couldachieve desirable social ends more easily than could a just ruler.Macchiavelli’s famous dictum was: ‘the end justifies the means’.Italian politics at the time of the RenaissanceMany of the northern Italian cities came under the rule of despots. Theyhad to be ruthless, cunning and coldly rational to win and hold power.The stories of their cruelties and their cunningness are numerous. Togive just one example, in 1409 Giovanni Maria Visconti, ruler of Milan,sent mercenaries (hired soldiers) against his subjects, massacring twohundred Milanese, because people cried out to him in the streets to endthe war that he was waging.Violence and treason became commonplace in Italian life. Yet the recordof the despots was not all black. They often improved methods oftaxation, ordered the construction of public works and buildings to givepeople work and beautify the city, built canals, promoted irrigation toincrease farm products, enforced justice and increased trade and commerce. They also acted as patrons of art and culture. Many of them knew how toachieve lasting fame by commissioning magnificent buildings, pictures andmonuments. Without them the Renaissance in culture could not have takenplace. 7
  8. 8. Italian states in the Fifteenth CenturyBy the 1400s five states had emerged as the dominant powers in thepeninsula. They were Milan, Florence and Venice (in the north), the PapalStates (in the centre) and the Kingdom of Naples and Sicily (in thesouth).In 1277 the Visconti, a noble Milanese family, seized power and ruledMilan for almost two hundred years. When the direct Visconti line ran outin 1447, the new government hired Francesco Sforza (1402-66), acondottiere (mercenary), to defend it. In 1450 Sforza overthrew therepublic and made himself despot. His dynasty lasted fifty years.Ludovico, last of the Sforza rulers (1479-1500) surrounded himself withscholars and artists. His court was one of the most brilliant andluxurious in Europe.Florence was, until the end of the 15th century, the great centre ofRenaissance culture. Cosimo de’ Medici (1389-1464) took over power. Hewas the head of the Medici banking and mercantile clan. His son Lorenzothe Magnificent became the famous of all the Medicis. Once he hadestablished despotic rule, he devoted himself to his great passion –patronage of arts and letters. His excellent taste did much to makeFlorence one of the greatest centres of arts and letters known to history. It was he who helped make Leonardo da Vinci very famous.The Papal States was the fourth of the chief powers of Italy. The Popeshad acquired control over central Italy during the Middle Ages. TheRenaissance Popes (1447-1534) distinguished themselves as patrons of artand learning by making Rome once again a renowned centre of culture. Theworldliness and open immorality of some of these Popes aroused criticismthroughout Europe – criticism that was to lead to the Protestant Revolt inthe 16th century.Renaissance politics managed to bring about a balance of power thatprevented the domination of Italy by any single state. But this balanceof power came to an end in 1494 when Ludovico Sforza, the ruler of Milaninvited King Charles VIII (1483-98) of France to help him against anexpected attack from the King of Naples. This event set Europe into itsfirst general war with Italy as the main battlefield.Hints to study and remember about Unit 2.1• The place in history of Niccolò Macchiavelli and The Prince• The characteristics of Italian despots of the Renaissance• The major Italian states in the 15th and 16th centuriesUnit 1.6 - The Italian Wars at the time of the RenaissanceThe Italian Wars (1494-1559) 8
  9. 9. When Charles VIII of France invaded Italy in 1494 he hoped to establishdomination over all of Italy and then lead a crusade against the Turks andfinally win the imperial crown of Germany for himself. But an alliancecalled the Holy League quickly formed against him. Its members includedSpain, the German Empire, Venice, Milan, the Papacy and later England.The Holy League was the first great coalition (alliance) of states inmodern European history. The allies soon drove Charles out of Italy in1495. But the French kings did not give up their dream of dominatingItaly. Charles VIII’s successors, Louis XII (1498-1515), Francis I(1515-47) and Henry II (1547-59) returned again and again to the attack.Italy became a battleground for foreign armies and the war spread intoFrance and Germany. The conflict ended only in 1559 by the Treaty ofCateau-Cambrésis when the French finally abandoned their Italian ambitionsand Spain emerged as the dominant power in Italy for the following 150years.Charles VIII’s invasion of Italy in 1494 marked the opening of a modernera in international relations. The balance of power concept was broughtinto being. This meant that states combine to check the ambitions of themost powerful among them. The price for the preservation of the balanceof power would be frequent wars between European states for the subsequentcenturies. The Italian Wars set the basic pattern of European alignmentsup to the outbreak of the First World War in 1914.Long-term Consequences of the Italian WarsOne of the long-term results of the Italian Wars was to throw Italy intopolitical and economic chaos. The most notable victim was the ItalianRenaissance itself. After 1560 Spain gained the upper hand in Italy andstrict Catholicism stifled the secular spirit of the Italian Renaissance.Italian creativity was already in sharp decline.Hints to study and remember about Unit 1.6• How did the Italian Wars come about?• How did the Italian Wars come to an end?• The long-term effects of the Italian Wars upon Italy and Europe in• generalUnit 1.7 - Case Studies on the RenaissanceThe Palazzo Pubblico, Siena Begun in 1298 on a Romanesque style, the town hall in Siena was the centre of the city’s political, cultural and commercial life. The government met regularly to debate matters of public interest and to issue laws regulating citizens’ daily lives. It was decreed that the palaces built facing the town hall would have to use the same type of window openings and facades. The city government paid for the paving of the main square. 9
  10. 10. Dante and the Divine Comedy By the 1460s Dante Alighieri was celebrated as Florence’s foremost poet and writer. Yet Dante actually lived much of his life outside the city in exile. The Divine Comedy was written during this period of his life as a reaction for his exile. The poem takes the form of a journey through Hell, Purgatory and Paradise, in search of goodness, truth and beauty. Since Dante was buried in Ravenna, the city of Florence commissioned a famous Renaissance artist to paint a fresco of Dante standing Before the City of Florence (1465). Altarpieces The altarpiece became one of the primary forms of religious art in the 14th and 15th centuries. Altars were usually dedicated both to God and to specific saints. The first altarpieces were simple rectangular panels diptychs. Gradually they became more elaborate. Small portable triptychs could be set up in the bedroom to encourage private devotion. In the 16th century, many of the elaborate altarpieces were destroyed or sold separately. This had made it more difficult to appreciate the full impact of these works of art. Giotto’s Arena Chapel, Padua The Arena Chapel took its name from an ancient Roman amphitheaternearby. It was build by a wealthy nobleman who chose Giotto to decorate the chapel using the lives of the Virgin Mary and Christ. It is upon this extraordinary cycle of frescoes that Giotto established his reputation. He painted his figures in a moving, humane fashion. In this way people were encouraged to identify with the figures and connect such holy stories to their own lives. Jan Van Eyck: Symbolism and Allegory in Renaissance art Much of the art of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance show elaborate symbolism; for instance, a bee represented hard work, a dragon represented the devil, a bear denoted cruelty. Symbols were widely used in heraldric shields and coat of arms and in paintings depicted the contest between good and evil or the stages of life. The Bible, full of religious symbolism, further encouraged this type of art. At a time when most people were illiterate, symbols had an important educational function. One of the most famous examples of symbolic and allegorical art is Jan van Eyck’s Arnolfini Marriage (1434) portraying the marriage of a wealthy Italian couple living in Bruges. The painting acts as a king of marriage certificate and as an allegory of marriage. 10
  11. 11. Book hunters and printers of the Renaissance With the revival of interest in Roman literature, it became necessary to find and bring together as many ancient writings as possible. This task formed the first phase of the first Renaissance humanists. At first printers used the Carolingian miniscule as his writing style, today called Roman. These books were copies, made treasures by the beauty of their miniature paintings and gilded bindings. But texts copied many times down the ages became peppered with errors. So during the second phase of humanism, scholars sought to produce standard correct texts. Printing with movable type was invented in Germany (1420s) and perfected by Johanes Gutenberg at Mainz, one of the world’s great technological inventions. Gutenberg’s process used individual letters cast in metal. Printing was done by impression of one or two pages at a time using an oil-based ink. Printing was an expensive process and the great printers were wealthy businessmen. Aldus Manutius (1450-1515) chose Venice for his workshop and that city became the centre of the Italian printing industry during the Renaissance. He employed some of the finest scholars as editors. The printed book often tried to compete with the illuminated manuscript and artists were hired to paint decorated borders and capitals on printed pages. But by time, beauty in printing was found more in the font than in adornment. Aldus’s sloping roman font was called Aldino in Italy and italique in France. Michelangelo and the Sistine Chapel Ceiling The Sistine Chapel in the Vatican was built in 1473 for Pope Sistus IV. Pope Julius II commissioned Michelangelo to paint the ceiling (1508-12). The frescoes are based on the 12 Apostles and include nearly 300 figures. Above the altar Michelangelo painted the creation of the universe, the story of Adam and Eve, their expulsion from Eden.Filippo Brunelleschi Proportion and Linear perspective – the mathematical representation of 3-D space on a 2-D picture plane is one of the lasting achievements of Renaissance art. The technique was discovered by the sculptor and architect Filippo Brunelleschi in the mid-15th century. Other artists, like Donatello, were quick to see the possibilities of his achievement in sculpture and architecture. In architecture Brunelleschi carefully lay down the principles of proportion. The Innocenti Hospital (c. 1420) in Florence is based on the basic ratios of 1;2, 1;5 and 2;5. The distance between the centres of the columns, for example, is equal to the distance between the centre of a column and the wall of the hospital itself. 11
  12. 12. Renaissance Music During the Renaissance music began to move from the sacred to the secular – from church to court. Renaissance musicians brought about a dramatic increase in musical culture throughout Europe. Printed music led to the spread of popular music. Instruction books and theory manuals encouraged music-making and better standards of performance. The vocal ensemble of 8 to 10 singers was the ideal early Renaissance choir. In the 16th century the lute, recorder, bass viol and virginals playing popular chansons became the commonest type of music in royal courts and palaces of the nobility. Popular singers played and sang in taverns, fairs, feast days and in the town squares. Renaissance Astrology and Astronomy The astrologers of the 15th and 16th centuries generally believed that the world was a globe set in the heart of a spherical universe. The notion the the universe revolved around the Earth had led to inaccuracies in the Church’s calendar. Astrologers were also convinced that the Sun stood at the heart of the planetary system and was the principal influence on the Earth. In 1543 Nicholas Copernicus published his great work On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres, in which he argued that the earth and the planets revolved around the Sun. His theory provided the basis for the achievements of Kepler and Galileo and for the modern science of astronomy. The Palace of Chambord In the woods to the east of Blois, Francis I built a new Renaissance palace, one of the most remarkable buildings of the Renaissance.Building began in 1519 and the internal decoration was completed in 1539and it contained 440 rooms, enough to house the entire French court.Henry VIII of England was so impressed that he commissioned anequivalent palace in the woods south of Hampton Court. The most striking feature ofChambord is the crowded roofline, giving an air of medieval romance. Today, Chambord issituated in a part as large as the city of Paris. The Escorial, Madrid Built 50 km from Madrid, the Escorial is a vast complex comprising a mausoleum, monastery, church, library and palace. It stands as a fitting symbol of the Spanish monarchy during the 16th century. It was commissioned by Philip II and it took 21 years to build (1563-84). The absence of decoration, a style prepared by Philip II, was a break with earlier Spanish Renaissance buildings. The Escorial became Philip’s preferred residence; the work of overseeing Spain’s expanding empire and influence was carried out there. 12
  13. 13. Hampton Court, England Hampton Court is the best preserved Renaissance palace in Britain, begun in 1515 by Cardinal Wolsey, the Lord Chancellor. In 1525 Wolsey gave his two preferred palaces (Hampton Court and Whitehall) to Henry VIII. The King continued to expand Hampton Court: he commissioned the building of a larger Great Hall, remodeled the Chapel, build larger lodgings for the royal family and a range of chambers for the courtiers. Henry built a tilt yard for jousting and horsemanship, popular pursuits of a Renaissance court. The aerial view shows Hampton Court sited next to the river Thames; this was a typical setting of Renaissance palace design. The English Theatre The English Renaissance reached its finest expression in literature, particularly in drama with such figures as Christopher Marlowe and William Shakespeare. In the early Renaissance, plays were performed by small companies of actors in the houses of the nobility or at court. In time, they set up public playhouses. The earliest London was opened in1576. The Globe (c. 1599) was the theatre most often associated with Shakespeare. It could house over 2,000 people, and plays were seen by every social class, for admission was cheap for those prepared to stand. Who could pay more sat in the galleries. Performances were oftencrowded and boisterous. 13

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