The Italian Renaissance The Black Death killed millions of Europeans but didn’t destroy towns and buildings. There were more jobs available. Wages rose and prices dropped. Trade increased and more goods were produced. Slowly Europe slowly began slowly to recover slowly.
Marco Polo • The Polo family traveled from Europe to China. • They became friends with the Emperor and spent 20 years living in China. • Returned to Europe and wrote a book about their experiences in China. • Their descriptions made many Europeans curious about Asian culture, people and goods.
4 Major Trade Cities in Italy • Florence, Milan, Genoa and Venice were the 4 major trade cities in Italy at the time. • People could go to these cities to buy exotic Asian goods, hear new languages and meet people from around the world. • Luxurious goods from all around the world, especially Asia, arrived in Europe through these port cities.
These cities were also major manufacturing centers; each specialized in one thing. • Venice: glass • Milan: silk and weapons • Florence: weaving cloth • Florence also became a banking capital of the world. • Considerable wealth grew in Florence - INTEREST • The Medici family were the greatest bankers. • Set up schools in Florence to ensure their bank workers would be well educated. • In Italy, richest family in city controlled government. • Under the Medici family, Florence became center of wealth, culture, art and culture.
Beginning of the Renaissance • Interest in art, literature, and the Roman and Greek works returned after the recovery from the Black Plague. • Appreciation for people as individuals instead of religion or civilizations. • By 1300, European scholars moved away from religion and science and instead focused on the humanities. • Poetry, art, literature, Latin, Greek and Rome • Led to humanism movement: • Way of thinking that stresses importance of human abilities and actions.
During the 1300s, scholars rediscovered Roman and Greek classical writings and art. • Many were found in monasteries where monks had preserved and made copies of them. • European people became very interested in revisiting the romance and mystery of the Roman and Greek periods of history. • Renaissance artists and architects were drawn to the past and inspired by works from these time periods.
Italian Writers • Dante Alighieri was one of the first Italian authors to stop writing in Latin and begin writing in the native Italian language that most people understood. • Niccolo Machiavelli wrote The Prince, a book about his ideas of how best to rule.
Italian Art and Artists • Artists began showing real things and realistic depictions of people and places in their art. • The human body was a common theme in art of this period, however, subjects often resembled the god-like figures of Greek and Roman sculptures. • Artists also began using concept called perspective to create depth in artworks. • Paintings could look 3D instead of flat.
The 2 Masters • Michelangelo • Architect, designed buildings, wrote pictures, sculpted, made magnificent paintings. • Painted Sistine Chapel ceiling in Vatican. • Leonardo da Vinci • Expert painter, sculpture, architect, inventor, engineer, town planner, and map maker. • Studied science and nature; painted Mona Lisa.