Renaissance • Renaissance means rebirth; the Renaissance was a period of rebirth in Europe, it was a new age of learning and art. • The Renaissance began with the emergence of a secular, urban society in the wealthy city-states of Italy. – Milan, Venice, and Florence were particularly prosperous trading centers. – Italy was very wealthy • Society became more secular, or worldly (not church based). • Society recovered from the plague, wars, and instability of the previous hundred years • A new view of humanity emerged, emphasizing individual ability; a high regard for the value of human worth and achievement created a new social ideal – This new ideal was reflected in art, literature, and architecture of the time.
Italian States• The Italian States: Instead of having Rome as the center of civilization in Italy, other cities became important during the Renaissance. Italy had city-states again. The city-states prospered because of increased trade and wealth. – Milan: Northern Italy, in 1447 Francesco Sforza took over (he was a paid fighter, a mercenary) He had a good tax system that helped the government generate revenues. – Venice: Had an elected leader called a Doge, Trade was important and the government was really run by the merchants; Venice was an international power because of trade. – Florence: Merchants ran government, The de ’Medici family took control (Cosimo & Lorenzo). A preacher named Savonarola came into power by criticizing wealth. After placing strict rules on the people, he lost power and was sentenced to death for heresy. The Medici’s returned to power• The Italian Wars: 1494-1527, fought between France vs. Italy/Spain. The soldiers were mercenaries. Spain ended up in Italy as the dominant political force.
Machiavelli• Machiavelli and the New Statecraft:• Italian politics were described best in Niccolo Machiavelli’s book, The Prince showing how to acquire, & keep political power. – “One can make this generalization about men: they are ungrateful, fickle, liars, and deceivers, they shun danger and are greedy for profit.” – Let the conscience sleep if you are in politics (meaning have NO conscience if you are in politics). – He abandoned morality in politics.
Renaissance Society• Three Social Classes During Renaissance Period: – The Nobility: Owned land, Nobles were only 3% of the population; Castiglione (The Book of the Courtier) described nobles: They were 1. Born, not made. 2. Military fitness & education. 3. Hide achievements, but show them with grace. Should serve the prince nobly. – Clergy made up second class; more on them later! – Peasants & Townspeople: 85-90% of the people. Rent paid to landlords instead of service/food. Townspeople were merchants/artisans. Patricians Burghers(shopkeepers) workers & unemployed.• Family & Marriage: arranged marriages, dowry ($$ for marriage by the female) Men were the center, women held no wealth. Father’s authority was absolute until he died or gave freedom before a judge.
Italian Renaissance: Humanism• Humanism was a key intellectual movement of the Renaissance, focusing on the study of the ancient Greek and Roman classics. • While early humanists emphasized solitary learning, fifteenth century humanists stressed intellectualism in the service of the state. • Humanism encouraged the use of classical Latin. However, European writers such as Dante and Chaucer wrote in the vernacular. Humanist schools taught a broad range of liberal studies.• Petrarch was called the “father of Italian Renaissance humanism” because he devoted his life to finding lost manuscripts and emphasized studying classical Latin.
Vernacular Literature• Vernacular Literature: Language that is spoken in your region.• Dante’s Divine Comedy was written in the vernacular; in it, a soul journeys to salvation through Hell, purgatory and Heaven) “The devil is not as black as he is painted.” ― Dante Alighieri, The Divine Comedy• Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales were also written in the vernacular – 29 pilgrims journeying to the tomb of Saint Thomas a’ Becket at Canterbury Cathedral in England• Christine de Pizan, a French woman and writer denounced men who said women can’t learn: “Should I also tell you whether a woman’s nature is clever and quick enough to learn speculative sciences as well as to discover them, and likewise the manual arts. I assure you that women are equally well- suited and skilled…”
Education in the Renaissance• Education in the Renaissance:• Students studied the liberal arts: – history, – moral philosophy, – eloquence, – grammar & logic, – poetry, – mathematics, – astronomy and – music.• Educate to follow virtue and wisdom. Lasted until the 20th century to make complete citizens (not great scholars)• Women did not really attend school; they were primarily taught religion and morals, but some studied art, music, and history
Artistic Renaissance• The Artistic Renaissance in Italy: Art should imitate nature, but human beings are central focus• New Techniques in Painting Frescos- painting done on fresh, wet plaster with water- based paints. Have depth. Gave a 3D effect. Painting could be realistic using geometry & anatomy.• Sculpture & Architecture: realism of taking hard stone marble and giving it movement was amazing. Donatello: copied Greek classics. Brunelleschi (architect) also was inspired by classical Roman buildings.
Renaissance ArtThe arts are a reflection of the new humanist spiritMedieval artists—had idealized and symbolic representations;Renaissance artists depicted what they observed in nature, attemptedto achieve realistic art Patrons of the Arts Competition Among Patrons• Medieval times, anonymous artists • Wealthy individuals who worked for church created art competed, displaying• Renaissance artists worked for wealth, modernity through whoever offered them highest price purchase of artworks• Buyers of art, patrons, might be • Florence, Lorenzo de Medici wealthy individuals, city supported most talented artists governments, or church • Milan, ruling Sforza family benefactors of artists, othersRenaissance artists wanted to paint the natural world as realistically aspossible.
Masters of the Renaissance: Jan van EyckFlanders (not in Italy), first to use oil paint,
Masters of the Renaissance: Da Vinci Self Portrait The Last Supper Helicopter
Masters of the Renaissance: Michelangelo Sistine Chapel David
Masters of the Renaissance: Raphael Painted many versions of the Virgin Mary, famous for “The School of Athens” The Coronation of the Virgin
Renaissance Summary• Rise of secular humanism: faith in science, less faith in the church; questioning of church’s role in life• Return to scholarly life of Greeks and Romans; classical Latin returns, books are written in the vernacular for the first time• Artistic expression explodes; art, literature, sculpture, painting, architecture , etc.