A French historian
Period: Middle Ages
Genres: French History
Spouse(s): unknown wife 1824-Athenais
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
literature, philosophy, art, music, politics, science, religion, and other
aspects of intellectual inquiry.
Renaissance scholars employed the humanist method in study, and
searched for realism and human emotion in art.
Had a lot of prosperous towns (center for
manufacturing, trade, and banking)
People were with considerable wealth.
Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and of the
province of Florence.
It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with approximately 370,000
inhabitants, expanding to over 1.5 million in the metropolitan area.
Florence is famous for its history. A centre of medieval European trade
and finance and one of the wealthiest cities of the time;
Florence is considered the birthplace of the Renaissance, and has been
called the Athens of the Middle Ages.
A turbulent political history includes periods of rule by the powerful
Medici family, and numerous religious and republican revolutions.
From 1865 to 1871 the city was also the capital of the recently established
Kingdom of Italy.
A political dynasty, banking family and later royal house that first
began to gather prominence under Cosimo de' Medici in the
Republic of Florence during the late 14th century.
WEALTH: industry, trade, banking
Giovanni di Bicci de Medici (an Italian banker, founder of the
Cosimo de Medici (virtually became “Dictator of Florence”)
Lorenzo de Medici (the most famous; generous patron of the arts)
It began in Italy for three reasons:
1. THRIVING CITIES
2. WEALTHY MERCHANTS
3. CLASSICAL HERITAGE OF GREECE AND ROME
The architecture of the period between the early 15th and early 17th
centuries in different regions of Europe, demonstrating a conscious revival
and development of certain elements of ancient Greek and Roman thought
and material culture.
Renaissance architecture followed Gothic architecture and was succeeded
by Baroque architecture.
Developed first in Florence, with Filippo Brunelleschi as one of its
innovators, the Renaissance style quickly spread to other Italian cities. The
style was carried to France, Germany, England, Russia and other parts of
Europe at different dates and with varying degrees of impact.
(1377 – April 15, 1446)
One of the foremost architects and
engineers of the Italian Renaissance.
Most famous for his discovery of
perspective and for engineering the
dome of the Florence Cathedral.
His accomplishments also include other
works, sculpture, mathematics, engine
ering and even ship design.
His principal surviving works are to be
found in Florence, Italy.
Perspective drawing for Church of Santo
Spirito in Florence
Sketch of the machines (c. 1430)
Brunelleschi's dome for the Duomo of Florence, Santa Maria
Renaissance style places emphasis on symmetry, proportion, geometry and the
regularity of parts as they are demonstrated in the architecture of classical
antiquity and in particular ancient Roman architecture, of which many examples
Orderly arrangements of columns, pilasters and lintels, as well as the use of
semicircular arches, hemispherical domes, niches and aedicules replaced the
more complex proportional systems and irregular profiles of medieval buildings.
Church of San Prospero, Reggio Emilia, Italy
Ancient Roman Severan Basilica at Leptis
Sydney sandstone in the entry of the Mitchell
Library in Sydney, Australia
Dome of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome crowned by a cupola.
Designed primarily by Michelangelo, the dome was not
completed until 1590
Niche on exterior of Uffizi Palace, Florence (c.156081), containing statue of Farinata degli Uberti (d.1264)
During the Renaissance period, there was a distinction between country dances
and court dances.
Court dances required the dancers to be trained and were often for display and
entertainment, whereas country dances could be attempted by anyone. At Court, the
formal entertainment would often be followed by many hours of country dances which all
present could join in.
Dances described as country dances such as Chiarantana or Chiaranzana remained popular
over a long period - over two centuries in the case of this dance.
A Renaissance dance can be likened to a ball.
Knowledge of court dances has survived better than that of country dances as
they were collected by dancing masters in manuscripts and later in printed
books. The earliest surviving manuscripts that provide detailed dance instructions
are from 15th century Italy. The earliest printed dance manuals come from late
16th century France and Italy. The earliest dance manual printed in England did
not appear until 1651.
One dance for couples, a form of the galliard called Lavolta, involved a
rather intimate hold between the man and woman, with the woman
being lifted into the air while the couple made a 3/4 turn. Other dances,
such as branles or bransles, were danced by many people in a circle or
Fifteenth-century Italian dance
Our knowledge of 15th-century Italian dances comes mainly from the
surviving works of three Italian dance masters: Domenico da Piacenza,
Antonio Cornazzano and Guglielmo Ebreo da Pesaro. Their work deals with
similar steps and dances, though some evolution can be seen. The main types
of dances described are bassa danze and balletti. These are the earliest
European dances to be well-documented, as we have a reasonable knowledge
of the choreographies, steps and music used.
Renaissance art is the painting, sculpture and decorative arts of that
period of European history, emerging as a distinct style in Italy in about
1400, in parallel with developments which occurred in
philosophy, literature, music and science.
Renaissance art took recent developments in the art of Northern Europe
and by application of contemporary scientific knowledge.
Renaissance art, with Renaissance Humanist philosophy, spread
throughout Europe, affecting both artists and their patrons with the
development of new techniques and new artistic sensibilities.
Renaissance art marks the transition of Europe from the medieval period
to the Early modern age.
In many parts of Europe, Early Renaissance art was created in parallel
with Late Medieval art. By 1500 the Renaissance style prevailed. As Late
Renaissance art (Mannerism) developed, it took on different and
distinctive characteristics in every region.
The "universal genius" Leonardo da Vinci was to further perfect the
aspects of pictorial art (lighting, linear and atmospheric
perspective, anatomy, foreshortening and characterization) that had
preoccupied artists of the Early Renaissance, in a lifetime of studying and
meticulously recording his observations of the natural world.
An Italian Renaissance polymath:
painter, sculptor, architect, musician, mathematician, engineer, invent
or, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist, and writer.
He’s genius, perhaps more than that of any other figure, epitomized
the Renaissance humanist ideal. Leonardo has often been described
as the archetype of the Renaissance Man, a man of "unquenchable
curiosity" and "feverishly inventive imagination“.
He is widely considered to be one of the greatest painters of all time
and perhaps the most diversely talented person ever to have lived.
Among his works, the Mona Lisa is the most famous and most
The Last Supper the most reproduced religious painting of all
time, with their fame approached only by Michelangelo's The Creation
Leonardo's drawing of the Vitruvian Man is also regarded as a cultural
icon, being reproduced on items as varied as the euro
coin, textbooks, and T-shirts.
Perhaps fifteen of his paintings survive, the small number because of
his constant, and frequently disastrous, experimentation with new
techniques, and his chronic procrastination.
The Mona Lisa (La Gioconda or La Joconde) is a half-length portrait
of a woman by the Italian artist, Leonardo da Vinci, which has been
acclaimed as "the best known, the most visited, the most written
about, the most sung about, the most parodied work of art in the
The painting, thought to be a portrait of Lisa Gherardini, the wife of
Francesco del Giocondo, is in oil on a poplar panel, and is believed to
have been painted between 1503 and 1506, although Leonardo may
have continued working on it as late as 1517.
It was acquired by King Francis I of France and is now the property of
the French Republic, on permanent display at The Louvre museum in
Paris since 1797.
Mona in Italian is a polite form of address originating as ma donna —
similar to Ma’am, Madam, or my lady in English. This became
madonna, and its contraction mona. The title of the painting, though
traditionally spelled "Mona" (as used by Vasari), is also commonly
spelled in modern Italian as Monna Lisa, but this is rare in English.
The Mona Lisa (or La
Joconde, La Gioconda)
Date: Between circa 1503
and circa 1505
Current location: Louvre
Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni (6 March 1475 – 18
An Italian sculptor, painter, architect, poet, and engineer of the High
Renaissance who exerted an unparalleled influence on the development
of Western art.
Despite making few forays beyond the arts, his versatility in the
disciplines he took up was of such a high order that he is often
considered a contender for the title of the archetypal Renaissance man,
along with his fellow Italian Leonardo da Vinci.
Two of his best-known works, the Pietà and David, were sculpted
before he turned thirty.
Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475–1564)
Creation of Adam
La Creación de Adán
Current Location: Sistine Chapel (the best-known chapel of the
Apostolic Palace, the official residence of the Pope in the Vatican
The earliest Renaissance literature appeared in Italy in the 14th
Dante, Petrarch, Boccaccio, Machiavelli and Ariosto are notable
examples of Italian Renaissance writers. From Italy the influence of
the Renaissance spread at different times to other countries and
continued to spread around Europe through the 17th century.
The English Renaissance and the Renaissance in Scotland date from
the late 15th century to the early 17th century. In northern Europe the
scholarship of Erasmus, the plays of Shakespeare and the writings of
Sir Philip Sidney may be included in the Renaissance.
The impact of the Renaissance varied across the continent; countries
that were predominantly Catholic or Protestant, experienced the
Renaissance differently. Areas where the Orthodox Church was dominant
as reflecting on its culture, as well as those areas of Europe under Islamic
rule were more or less outside its influence. The period focused on self
actualization and one's ability to accept what is going on in one's life.
The creation of the printing press by Johannes Gutenberg encouraged
authors to write in the local vernacular rather than
in Greek or Latin classical languages, widening the reading audience and
promoting the spread of Renaissance ideas.
Johannes Gensfleisch zur Laden zum; c. 1395
– February 3, 1468) was a German
blacksmith, goldsmith, printer, and publisher
who introduced printing to Europe.
His invention of mechanical movable type
printing started the Printing Revolution and is
widely regarded as the most important event
of the modern period.
It played a key role in the development of the
Renaissance, Reformation, the Age of
Enlightenment, and the Scientific Revolution
and laid the material basis for the modern
knowledge-based economy and the spread of
learning to the masses.
Petrarch (Francesco Petrarca)
One of the earliest and most influential humanists.
Wrote 14-line poems called sonnets.
Best known for his Decameron.
Stories that were supposedly told by a group of youngsters
waiting in a villa to avoid the plague sweeping through
Best known for his The Prince.
Examines how a ruler can gain power and keep it in spite of his
A woman writer who helped Castiglione publish The Courtier.
Count of Casatico
An Italian courtier, diplomat, soldier
and a prominent Renaissance
Most famous for his 1528 work, The
Book of the Courtier.
Renaissance music is music written in Europe during the
Renaissance. Consensus among music historians – with notable
dissent – has been to start the era around 1400, with the end of
the medieval era, and to close it around 1600, with the beginning
of the Baroque period.
As in the other arts, the music of the period was significantly
influenced by the developments which define the Early Modern
The rise of humanistic thought;
The recovery of the literary and artistic heritage of ancient Greece and
Increased innovation and discovery;
The growth of commercial enterprise;
The rise of a bourgeois class;
and the Protestant Reformation.
From the Renaissance era both secular and sacred music survives in
quantity, and both vocal and instrumental. An enormous diversity of musical
styles and genres flourished during the Renaissance, and can be heard on
commercial recordings in the 21st century, including
masses, motets, madrigals, chansons, accompanied songs, instrumental
dances, and many others.
Numerous early music ensembles specializing in music of the period give
concert tours and make recordings, using a wide range of interpretive styles.
Polyphony became increasingly elaborate throughout the 14th century, with
highly independent voices: the beginning of the 15th century showed
simplification, with the voices often striving for smoothness. This was possible
because of a greatly increased vocal range in music – in the Middle Ages, the
narrow range made necessary frequent crossing of parts, thus requiring a
greater contrast between them.
The modal (as opposed to tonal) characteristics of Renaissance music began to
break down towards the end of the period with the increased use of root
motions of fifths. This later developed into one of the defining characteristics of
The main characteristics of Renaissance music are:
Music based on modes.
Richer texture in four or more parts.
Blending rather than contrasting strands in the musical texture.
Harmony with a greater concern with the flow and progression of chords.
Polyphony is one of the notable changes that mark the Renaissance from the
Middle Ages musically. Its use encouraged the use of larger ensembles and
demanded sets of instruments that would blend together across the whole
The designation "Renaissance philosophy" is used by scholars of
intellectual history to refer to the thought of the period running in
Europe roughly between 1350 and 1650 (the dates shift forward for
central and northern Europe and for areas such as Spanish
America, India, Japan, and China under European influence).
Therefore overlaps both with late medieval philosophy, which in the 14th
and 15th centuries was influenced by notable figures such as Albert the
Great, Thomas Aquinas, William of Ockham, and Marsilius of
Padua, and early modern philosophy, which conventionally starts with
René Descartes and his publication of the Discourse on Method in 1637.
Intellectual historians, however, take into considerations factors such as
sources, approaches, audience, language, and literary genres in addition
to ideas. This article reviews both the changes in context and content of
Renaissance philosophy and its remarkable continuities with the past.
During the Renaissance, great advances occurred in
geography, astronomy, chemistry, physics, mathematics, manufacturing,
and engineering. The rediscovery of ancient scientific texts was
accelerated after the Fall of Constantinople in 1453, and the invention of
printing which would democratize learning and allow a faster
propagation of new ideas
Marie Boas Hall coined the term Scientific Renaissance to designate
the early phase of the Scientific Revolution, 1450–1630.
Scientific Renaissance of the 15th and 16th centuries, focused on the
restoration of the natural knowledge of the ancients;
Scientific Revolution of the 17th century shifted from recovery to
The capture of Constantinople, the capital of the Eastern Roman
(Byzantine) Empire, which occurred after a siege by the invading
Ottoman Empire, under the command of 21-year-old Ottoman Sultan
Mehmed II, against the defending army commanded by Byzantine
Emperor Constantine XI Palaiologos.
The siege lasted from Friday, 6 April 1453 until Tuesday, 29 May 1453
(according to the Julian calendar), when the city fell and was finally
conquered by the Ottomans.
The conquest of the city of Constantinople and the eventual collapse
of the Byzantine Empire marks, for some historians, the end of the
During and after the Renaissance of the 12th century, Europe
experienced an intellectual revitalization, especially with regard to
the investigation of the natural world.
In the 14th century, however, a series of events that would come to
be known as the Crisis of the Late Middle Ages was underway. When
the Black Death came, it wiped out so many lives it affected the
entire system. It brought a sudden end to the previous period of
massive scientific change. The plague killed 25–50% of the people in
Europe, especially in the crowded conditions of the towns, where the
heart of innovations lay. Recurrences of the plague and other
disasters caused a continuing decline of population for a century.
The Black Death was one of the most devastating pandemics in human
history, killing an estimated 75 to 200 million people and peaking in
Europe in the years 1348–50 CE.
Although there were several competing theories as to the etiology of the
Black Death, recent analysis of DNA from victims in northern and
southern Europe indicates that the pathogen responsible was the
Yersinia pestis bacterium, probably causing several forms of plague.
The disease is widely believed to be the plague. The location of bumps or
blisters, however, is more consistent with smallpox (as the bubonic plague
normally causes them only in the groin and in the armpits). Is generally
interpreted as a depiction of the plague - "the Black Death".
Paracelsus was an alchemist and physician of the Renaissance. The
Paracelsians added a third element, salt, to make a trinity of alchemical
The last major event in Renaissance astronomy is the work of Nicolaus
Copernicus (1473–1543). He was among the first generation of
astronomers to be trained with the Theoricae novae and the Epitome.
Shortly before 1514, he began to explore a shocking new idea that the
Earth revolves around the Sun.
William Harvey provided a refined and complete description of the
circulatory system. The most useful tomes in medicine used both by
students and expert physicians were Materia Medica and
Geography and the New World
The key classical text was the Geographia of Claudius Ptolemy (2nd
century). It was translated into Latin in the 15th century by Jacopo
d'Angelo. It was widely read in manuscript and went through many
print editions after it was first printed in 1475.
Thomas More's Utopia was inspired partly by the discovery of the New
One of the names used for the Western Hemisphere, specifically the
Americas, certain Atlantic and Pacific oceanic islands to which the
closest continental shelf is that of the Americas (such as
Bermuda), and sometimes Oceania (Australasia);
The term originated in the early 16th century after America was
discovered by Europeans in the age of discovery, expanding the
geographical horizon of the people of the Middle Ages, who had
thought of the world as consisting of Africa, Asia, and Europe only:
collectively now referred to as the Old World.
The term was first coined by Florentine explorer Amerigo Vespucci.
The Americas were also referred to as the "fourth part of the world".
(March 9, 1454 – February 22, 1512)
An Italian explorer, financier, navigator
Demonstrated that Brazil and the West
Indies did not represent Asia's eastern
outskirts as initially conjectured from
Columbus' voyages, but instead
constituted an entirely separate
landmass hitherto unknown to AfroEurasians.
Colloquially referred to as the New
World, this second super continent came
to be termed "America", probably
deriving its name from the feminized
Latin version of Vespucci's first name.
(Born before 31 October 1451 – 20 May
Born in the Republic of Genoa, in what
is today northwestern Italy.
An Italian explorer, navigator, and
Under the auspices of the Catholic
Monarchs of Spain, he completed four
voyages across the Atlantic Ocean that
led to general European awareness of
the American continents.
Those voyages, and his efforts to
establish permanent settlements on
the island of Hispaniola, initiated the
Spanish colonization of the New World.
12 October 1492 – Christopher Columbus discovers The
Americas for Spain, painting by Gergio Delucio, no date.
Renaissance technology is the set of European artifacts and customs
which span the Renaissance period, roughly the 14th through the 17th
century. The era is marked by profound technical advancements such as
the printing press, linear perspective in drawing, patent law, double shell
domes and Bastion fortresses.
Renaissance science spawned the Scientific Revolution; science and
technology began a cycle of mutual advancement.
Three inventions in particular — the printing press, firearms, and the
nautical compass — were indeed seen as evidence that the Moderns
could not only compete with the Ancients, but had surpassed them, for
these three inventions allowed modern people to communicate, exercise
power, and finally travel at distances unimaginable in earlier times.
The invention of the printing press by the German goldsmith Johannes
Gutenberg (1398–1468) is widely regarded as the single most important
event of the second millennium, and is one of the defining moments of
the Renaissance. The Printing Revolution which it sparks throughout
Europe works as a modern "agent of change" (Eisenstein) in the
transformation of medieval society.
Triple Barrel Canon
Helicopter (Aerial Screw)
Water & Land Machines
Early modern warfare is associated with the start of the widespread
use of gunpowder and the development of suitable weapons to use
the explosive, including artillery and handguns such as the arquebus
and later the musket, and for this reason the era is also summarized
as the age of gunpowder warfare.
Prior to the 15th century, gunpowder was used on a limited basis, but
its use became universal in the early modern period, its apex
occurring during the Napoleonic Wars from 1792 to 1815. This entire
period is contained within the Age of Sail, which characteristic
dominated the era's naval tactics, including the use of gunpowder in
Gustavus Adolphus at the Battle of Breitenfield.
Adolphus was perhaps the greatest military
innovator of this era
The Battle of Breitenfeld (Battle of Leipzig), was fought at the
crossroads villages of Breitenfeld, Podelwitz, and Seehausen,
approximately five miles north-west of the walled city of Leipzig
on September 17 (new style or Gregorian calendar), or September
7 (Julian calendar, in wide use at the time), 1631. It was the
Protestants’ first major victory of the Thirty Years War.
The victory ensured that the German states would not be forcibly
reconverted to Roman Catholicism. It confirmed Sweden’s
Gustavus Adolphus of the House of Vasa as a great tactical leader
and induced many Protestant German states to ally with Sweden
against the German Catholic League, led by Maximilian I, Elector
of Bavaria, and the Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand II of Austria.
Was king of England from 21 April 1509 until his death.
Henry was the second monarch of the Tudor dynasty, succeeding
his father, Henry VII.
He made a new version of Christianity that was much like
Catholicism except they could divorce. He then divorced his first
wife to marry another. He made himself the head of the Church of
England. It changed the way people thought because now they
could divorce and remarry if they are christens.
People in the modern day are divorcing more than ever. People
are remarrying as well. People are still using the version of
Christianity that King Henry had created because they are
Christens just they are also allowed to divorce. So without King
Henry it would probably be really had to divorce anyone.
King Henry VIII by Hans Holbein the
Younger, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool
Was queen regnant of England and Ireland from 17
November 1558 until her death.
Sometimes called "The Virgin Queen", "Gloriana" or
"Good Queen Bess", Elizabeth was the fifth and last
monarch of the Tudor dynasty.
The daughter of Henry VIII, she was born into the
royal succession, but her mother, Anne Boleyn, was
executed two and a half years after her birth, and
Elizabeth was declared illegitimate.
Became queen at the age of 25.
From the start of Elizabeth's reign, it was expected that she would
marry and the question arose to whom. She never did, although she
received many offers for her hand; the reasons for this are not clear.
Historians have speculated that Thomas Seymour had put her off
or that she knew herself to be infertile.
She considered several suitors until she was about fifty. Her last
courtship was with Francis, Duke of Anjou, 22 years her junior.
Elizabeth I in her coronation robes, patterned
with Tudor roses and trimmed with ermine.