Isabella d este first lady of the world patron of the arts and most famous renaissance woman
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Isabella d’Este “First Lady of the world” Patron of the Arts and most famous Renaissance woman. Portrait by Titian. French Invasions (1494–1527). French king Charles VIII (r. 1483–1498) invited by Milan ruler storms through Italy—hoped to weaken Naples; later driven out

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Isabella d’Este “First Lady of the world” Patron of the Arts and most famous Renaissance woman

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Isabella d’Este“First Lady of the world”Patron of the Arts and most famous Renaissance woman

Portrait by Titian

French Invasions (1494–1527)

  • French king Charles VIII (r. 1483–1498) invited by Milan ruler storms through Italy—hoped to weaken Naples; later driven out

  • Louis XII (r. 1498–1515): allies with Pope Alexander VI—takes Milan & part of Naples

  • Pope Julius II: “warrior pope” drives French out again

  • Francis I (r. 1515–1547): third French invasion

  • leads to Italian political decline (Machiavelli’s world of concern)

Niccolò Machiavelli (1469–1527)

WroteThe Prince (1513):

  • Goal: Italian political unity

  • Based on empirical observation

  • 1st reality based political treatise

  • Becomes Bible of 20th c dictators

  • hoped for strong ruler from Medici family

  • Believed successful ruler must be ruthless & pragmatic— “end justifies the means”

  • virtù: ability to act heroically & decisively for one’s country

  • Diplomat & political philosopher

    Founder of modern political science

    Niccolo Machiavelli

    • “How praiseworthy it is for a prince to keep his word and live with integrity rather than craftiness, everyone understands; yet…those princes have accomplished most who paid little heed to keeping their promises, but who knew how craftily tomanipulate the minds of men.”

    • “We Italians then owe to the Church of Rome and to her priests for our having become irreligious and bad; but we owe her still a greater debt…that the church has kept and still keeps our country divided.”

    • “…It is, then much safer to be feared than to beloved…for touching human nature, we may say in general that men are untruthful, unconstant, dissemblers, they avoid dangers and are covetous of gain. While you do them good, they are wholly yours…but when (danger) approaches, they revolt.”

    Francois RabelaisFamous work: Gargantua and Pantagruel

    Pope Practices Simony and Nepotism

    Pope Alexander VI

    • Borgia family

    • Most corrupt pope

      • 6 children—gave several

        of them church positions.

    • Treaty of Tordisillas

      • 1494—divided the New World between Spain and Portugal

      • If followed—Spain & Portugal would have dominated all of the New World

      • England etc. not a part of this treaty and did not abide by it

    Children of Alexander VI

    Lucrezia Borgia


    Pope Julius IIpainted by Raphael

    • “Warrior pope”

    • Brought papacy to peak of military prowess and diplomatic intrigue

    • Criticized by Erasmus in “Julius Excluded from Heaven”—anonymous humorous satire about Julius’ unsuccessful efforts to convince St. Peter that he was worthy of admission to heaven.

      • (written after he witnessed a bullfight in the papal palace)

    Moses by Michelangelofor the tomb ofPope Julius II

    Duomo of Santa Maria del Fiore

    Brunelleschi’s Dome

    Florence, Itlay


    Revival of Monarchy

    • The new monarchs…

      • Created professional armies in the 15th c

      • created centralized gov’ts that relied upon educated, loyal middle-class officials.

      • new relationship with RCC

      • created foundation for modern nation-states in France, England, and Spain

    Revival of Monarchy


    • Charles VII (r. 1422–1461)

      • wins 100 Yrs. War & expels the English

      • Strengthened royal finances through taxestaille (on land) & gabelle (on salt)

      • Created 1st permanent royal army

    • Louis XI (r. 1461–1483)

      • doubled territory

      • Architect of French absolutism

      • Promoted new industries such as silk weaving

    • Francis I (r. 1515-1547)

      • Concordat of Bologna gave the king administrative control over the RCC in France.

    Unification of Spain

    • 1469 marriage of Isabella & Ferdinand unifies Spain

      • Christianized Spainbrought Spanish church under state control

        • “one king, one law, one faith”

        • Inquisition enforces religious hegemony

      • 1492

        • Reconquistadrove Muslims out of Granada

        • Jews also must convert, leave or die

        • sponsored ColumbusEmpire in New WorldSpain dominant 16c European power

    Revival of Monarchy (cont.)

    • England

      • Wars of the Roses, 1455–1485 Lancasters (red rose) vs. Yorks (white rose)

      • 1485 Battle of Bosworth Field—Henry VII (Tudor, a Lancasterian) wins

      • Henry VII— established the Tudor dynasty —controls nobles with Court of the Star Chamber

      • Weakens the older nobility—Tudors create new nobility loyal to them

    Holy Roman Empire

    • Germany & Italy exceptions to 15th c. centralizing trend

      • many (princes) fought off one (emperor)

      • divided into 300+ autonomous entities

      • 1356 Golden Bull between Emperor Charles IV & major territorial rulers: established 7-member electoral college who elected Holy Roman Emperor

    The Northern Renaissance

    • Differences from Italian Renaissance

      • Stressed social reform based on Christian teachings

      • Focused more on religion

      • Less influenced by classical themes

      • Last quarter of 15th c

    • First to use and perfect oil painting

    1450—Johann Gutenberg invented the

    moveable type in Germany.


    • humanist ideals spread

    • By late 1500s—new literate lay public

    • enormous growth of schools & universities

    • Books cheaper—rapidly produced

    • Effects of new literacy—nurtured self-esteem & critical thinking

    • Lay people—less credulous and docile—more difficult to suppress dissenting views

    Humanism & Reform

    • Catholic humanist reformers pave the way for Protestantism

    • Germany: Reuchlin controversy—humanists defend Christian scholar of Judaism on grounds of academic freedom

    • Spain: humanism in service of Catholic Church;

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