Facts about the cultural movement Renaissance
The Renaissance was a period of history from the 14th to the 17th centuries, accompanied by a series of new artistic, scientific and cultural achievements.
The French Renaissance literally means “rebirth” and first appeared in English in the 1830s.
The first sentence of the Renaissance in English:”A style has many rude similarities and is more elegant and refined with Italian Renaissance art.-Letter from W Dyce and CH Wilson to Lord Meadowbank (1837)
From the dark ages of Europe to the more enlightened and progressive eras of Europe, the Renaissance was seen as a period of rebirth.
The century before the Renaissance was particularly dark. The Centennial War (1337–1453) swept across Europe. The failed Crusade and the Black Death (1346–1353) killed about 25 million people, accounting for 33% of the population at the time. .
However, some scholars believe that the term “Renaissance” is too vague and not particularly inspirational to the “Renaissance Year.” Some scholars believe that the Renaissance was more accurately a part of the “long tongue” in European history.
Real issues still existed during the Renaissance, such as religious wars, political corruption, inequality, hunting witches and corrupt Pope Pope. Most people who have experienced the Renaissance do not regard it as a “golden age”!
The Renaissance was a groundbreaking period of exploration, with famous explorers such as Christopher Columbus and Vespucci discovering new lands outside Europe.
The Renaissance was also a period of scientific discovery. Galileo Galilei and René Descartes (1596–1650) proposed new perspectives on astrology and mathematics, which challenged Aristotle’s ancient ideas.
N. Copernicus began the process of changing the whole world. He believes that the sun is the center of the galaxy, not the earth. This heliocentric worldview is controversial because it challenges the church’s existing teachings. However, during the Renaissance, this day-centered perspective was gradually accepted.
The Renaissance was most particularly associated with Italy and Florence. But most other European countries have their own Renaissance.
For example, the Netherlands developed its own Renaissance painting renaissance, including Jan van Eyck. Dutch artistic style later influenced Italy.
The British Renaissance began in the late 15th century and later focused more on literature and music than art.
The main figures of the Renaissance in England include William Shakespeare, John Milton, William Bird (music) and William Tindale (translation of the Bible into English)
Art of the Renaissance
Leonardo’s famous portrait of the perfect man was based on Vitruvius’ De Architectura (1st century BCE) – mostly a treatise on architecture, but also the human body.
The ceiling of Sistine Chapel was commissioned by Pope Julius II, and painted by Michelangelo.
“Without having seen the Sistine Chapel one can form no appreciable idea of what one man is capable of achieving.”
— Johann Wolfgang Goethe, 23 August 1787
‘David’ by Michelangelo is one of the great masterpieces of the Renaissance. It symbolises the defence of the civil liberties of Florence, with the eyes of David turned towards Rome.
The Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci is perhaps the world’s most famous painting. Da Vinci worked on the painting continuously for over 20 years – striving to attain perfection.
- ‘Sfumare‘ was a new painting technique of the Renaissance; it means to evaporate or to fade out. It was developed by da Vinci and enabled greater depth and realism to be given to a painting.
- The term chiaroscuro refers to the fine art painting modelling effect of using a strong contrast between light and dark.
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Reasons for the Renaissance
Sandro Botticelli portrays the Piero de ’Medici family of Madonna del Magnificat.
The Black Death caused a significant reduction in European population in the 14th century, but survivors have relatively more wealth and the ability to climb social / political structures. This led to the decline of the feudal system.
New political structure-With newcomers in power, art sponsorship is a way to ensure higher status and reputation.
This new political order led to the patronage of Florence’s powerful and wealthy Medici family, who were able to provide commissions to artists.
After the conquest of the Ottoman Turks, Greek scholars and texts migrated from Constantinople to Europe (1453).
The printing press founded by J. Gutenberg in 1440 increased the printing volume of books and spread knowledge to a wider population. This is especially important for printing the Bible, including the first printing of the Bible in English instead of Latin.
New secular / humanistic ideas. Thinkers like Plutarch (1304–1374) and Erasmus (1466–1536) helped make classical texts and humanistic ideas more relevant and popular with Christian society.
Artistic genius of da Vinci, Michelangelo and Raphael.
The church is more open. In response to the temporary decline in the Catholic Church’s power, the Vatican has sponsored more art and reform as part of a counter-reform in response to Luther’s criticism. Pope Nicholas V and Leo X sponsored many Renaissance art projects to strengthen the church.
Trade between Italy and the rest of Europe is even greater. Also, ironically, the war between Italy and France helped spread Renaissance ideas.
The Crusades exposed many European scholars to Eastern ideas. It also promoted growth in trade and commerce.
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