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1. Early Renaissance Literally, re-birth
Renaissance values emerge in different places at different times.
2. Renaissance Culture Rebirth: Implies some dead cultural element is reborn
Humanism and humanistic values
Classical forms of literature (epic poetry)
Public theatre (secular comedy and tragedy)
Classical forms of sculpture
Classical orders of architecture
3. Renaissance Culture But if some Classical elements were reborn, other aspects of medieval culture doubtless continued into the Renaissance
Social class hierarchy
4. Renaissance or Early Modern? Scholarly debate over whether the period is characterized by a re-birth of ancient values, or by the appearance of modern values.
Rise of the nation-state
Rise of early capitalism
Rise of the rule of law
Rise of a paid military
Rise of secularism
5. Renaissance Literature Baldassare Castiglione (1478-1529)
The Courtier (1528)
Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1527)
The Prince (1513)
6. Castiglione, The Courtier a guide to courteous behavior or conduct book for the upper classes
composed as a set of after-dinner conversations between ladies and gentleman
a continuing debate over the traits that define the ideal courtier and lady
7. Castiglione, The Courtier The gentleman:
education in the arts and humanities
skill in horsemanship and swordplay.
a man of letters
proficient in music, drawing and dance.
ready for war / athletics
8. Castiglione, The Courtier The Lady:
a civilizing influence
charming, witty, graceful
physically attractive, utterly feminine
well versed in the same areas as men, except for athletics and arms
9. Castiglione, The Courtier Question: Whats missing from these lists of attributes of the ideal gentleman and lady?
status as faithful Christians
Is Christianity assumed? Yes, somewhat; but no longer a central item of emphasis.
10. Castiglione, The Courtier Question: Who is the audience for this text? That is, who needs a guide to the characteristics and appropriate behaviors of the aristocracy?
The upwardly mobile mercantile class.
11. Machiavelli, The Prince (1513) the first modern text of statecraft and political science
a kind of guidebook for princes, or anyone leading a state
primarily concerned with pragmatic leadership, not with ideals
See Readings, pp. 17-20.
See p. 323-324 in text.
12. Machiavelli, The Prince Famous (or infamous) advice:
It is better to be feared than loved.
Rulers should cultivate a public image and reputation suggesting their virtue, but should be prepared to act otherwise when necessary.
If it were possible to change ones character to suit the times and circumstances, one would always be successful.
13. Machiavelli, The Prince Real truth, rather than imagination
gulf between how one should live, and how one does live.
A man who wants to act virtuously in every way necessarily comes to grief among so many who are not virtuous.
14. Machiavelli, The Prince Since ecclesiastical principalities are controlled by a higher power, which the human mind cannot comprehend, I shall refrain from discussing them. Since they are raised up and maintained by God, only a presumptuous and rash man would examine them. Nevertheless, one might ask how it has happened that the temporal power of the Church has become so great.
15. Machiavelli, The Prince As a work of history, the emphasis is on causation, and it does not look to the workings of Providence.
As a work of philosophy, it assumes that mankind cannot live up to the stated ideals of virtue and right behavior.
Anticipates late-Renaissance Skepticism (Montaigne, Shakespeare)
16. Secularism in Renaissance lit. Castiglione
Concerned with ideals of courtly behavior
Concerned less with religion than with social class and accomplishments.
Concerned with pragmatic rules of governing
Little concerned with religion, except to dismiss it.
17. Origins of the Renaissance Medieval crusades had been launched from Venice
development of Venetian naval power, shipping routes (and wealth!)
Finance for the crusades was done in Florence
development of banking (and wealth!)
18. Origins of the Renaissance Rome, Florence, Venice (to a lesser extent other Italian cities)
Engaged in a rivalry for prestige.
Each wants to be known as a city of art, culture, and learning.
Each governed by non-feudal oligarchy or autocracy
Lots of patronage for artists, scholars, composers, etc.
19. Renaissance Humanism Humanism: the revived Classical notion of the value and dignity of mankind; chief characteristic of the Renaissance
Reflected in the studia humanitatis
A response to the growing interest in and availability of Classical texts.
Revived interest in Greek, as well as Latin.
Educational curriculum grew beyond the medieval liberal arts to include such fields as history and poetry.
20. Renaissance Humanism One of the chief philosophical pursuits of Renaissance humanism was Neo-Platonism (Ficino, the leading voice of Florentine Neo-Platonism; his student Pico della Mirandola)
Brings Plato in line with Christianity, including Platos idea of the immortality of the soul
The importance of mankinds free will (dignity)
The notion of Platonic love: All love on earth is an echo of the divine idea of love. Images of beauty (visual, musical, poetic) are pleasing to the senses. But the soul also associates those images with a higher level, with the beauty of divine love. So all beauty, all love, becomes a metaphor for divine love.
21. Renaissance Humanism Great Chain of Being
A means of understanding how humanity fits into the plan of Gods creation.
22. Aesthetic Principles A return to Classical principles: balance, symmetry, control, thought, simplicity
Revival of the Greek architectural orders
Use of mathematics to determine harmony and proportion
23. Aesthetic Principles In sculpture:
revival of free-standing figures
revival of the contrapposto stance,
24. Aesthetic Principles In painting:
invention of perspective: the illusion of creating a three-dimensional space in a two-dimensional artwork. Giving depth to a two-dimensional work.
Linear perspective: as objects move away (toward the horizon) size gets smaller; objects tend to converge at a vanishing point.
Atmospheric perspective: as distance increases, clarity and color decreases.
25. Renaissance Architecture Architecture: Filippo Brunelleschi (1377-1446), representing the Early Renaissance style, wanted to make a complete break with the Late Gothic style. Leone Batista Alberti was the theoretician of the Early Renaissance style who wrote about the mathematical aspects of painting. Brunelleschi also invented linear perspective (achieving the illusion of depth on a two dimensional surface, by organizing the picture space around a center point, or vanishing point).
26. Renaissance Architecture Brunelleschis studies led to the concept of the Renaissance space (the notion that a composition should be viewed from one single position). After four hundred years, the renaissance space as well as linear perspective was challenged by Manet in the 19th century.
27. Renaissance Painting The genius of the revolution in painting in the early Florentine school was Masaccio (1401-1428). In the history of Western painting, Masaccios Holy Trinity fresco is the first example of the Renaissance space.
28. Renaissance Painting Another masterpiece by Masaccio is The Tribute Money. In the 1480s, Florentine school was moving toward its culmination in the early works of Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519).
It is with Giovanni Bellini that Venice becomes another center of Renaissance art comparable to Florence