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chapter 12 sections 1 2 the renaissance

Chapter 12 - Sections 1 & 2The Renaissance

The period from the 1300s to 1500s was a time of great creativity and change in Europe. This period is called the Renaissance, which means “rebirth.” It was a time of renewed interest in classical Greek and Roman culture. It was a golden age in the arts, literature, and sciences.

the italian renaissance had 3 main characteristics
The Italian Renaissance had 3 main characteristics:
  • Italy was mostly an urban society with a growing secular viewpoint – instead of concentrating on spiritual things, people began to focus more on the world in which they lived
  • The Renaissance was an age of recovery from the disasters of the plague, political instability and the decline of church power
  • people in the Renaissance emphasized individual ability
why did the renaissance begin in italy
Why did the Renaissance begin in Italy?
  • The Renaissance began in Italy because the Italian cities were thriving centers of trade and manufacturing.
  • Merchants in these cities had great wealth and were willing to use it to promote art and education.
  • These wealthy people who supported arts and artists are known as patrons. They hired the most creative painters, sculptors, musicians, and builders of the time.
new ways of thinking
New ways of thinking
  • During the Middle Ages, philosophers and writers had wondered about life after death.
  • During the Renaissance, Europeans developed a new way of thinking called humanism. Humanists were more curious about life in the present.
  • Thinkers emphasized the achievements of the individual.
  • Instead of religious issues, humanists examined worldly subjects that the ancient Greeks and Romans had studied.
artistic achievements
Artistic achievements
  • The Renaissance produced some of the greatest paintings, sculptures, and architecture in the history of the world. Renaissance architects rejected medieval forms of architecture. They returned to Greek and Roman styles for columns, arches, and domes. Artists were supported by merchants, popes, and princes.
  • The art reflected humanist concerns. While many paintings still had religious subjects, others portrayed important contemporary figures. Renaissance art was very realistic.
  • Renaissance artists learned the rules of perspective – the technique used to give art a three-dimensional effect.
  • These artists studied human anatomy and often worked from live models so they could portray the body in accurate detail.
artists of the italian renaissance
Artists of the Italian Renaissance

Leonardo da Vinci


Sculptor, inventor, poet, painter, architect

David (statue)

Dome of St. Peter’s Church in Rome

  • Painter, sculptor, inventor, architect, musician, engineer
  • Mona Lisa (painting)
  • Sketches and plans for flying machines and submarines
Sketch of a flying machine

Leonardo da Vinci

Madonna of the Rocks

literature of the renaissance
Literature of the Renaissance
  • Dante – wrote the long poem The Divine Comedy about an imaginary journey through hell and heaven. It was religious in theme, but refers to many classical (Greek or Roman) heroes, poets, and philosophers. Dante wrote in the vernacular Italian not in Latin.
  • Cervantes – wrote the great novel Don Quixote. The title character believes himself to be a knight in defense of noble causes. Cervantes expressed Renaissance ideas by poking fun at the traditions of knighthood and chivalry. For example, Don Quixote who thinks he is a brave knight in battle with a giant, attacks a windmill.
  • Shakespeare – in his many plays, he wrote about human beings and the joys and sorrows of human life. His plays include: Julius Caesar, Romeo and Juliet, Richard III, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Taming of the Shrew.
political science machiavelli
Political Science - Machiavelli
  • Medieval political thought was based on religious principles.
  • Machiavelli wrote a book called, The Prince.
  • He advises rulers on how to gain and maintain power. He tells rulers that they should use whatever methods are necessary to ensure their success. He felt that leaders should be strong and ruthless when necessary, kind and generous when possible.
  • Main ideas: The ends justify the means
technology the printing press
Technology – The Printing Press
  • Johannes Gutenberg, a German printer, invented movable metal type and the printing press.
  • Westerners did not know about the earlier Chinese invention of another type of printing press.
  • The printing press printed books quickly.
  • As more people read more books, the ideas in them spread.