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The Renaissance. Aim: How did society change during the Renaissance in Europe?. Vocabulary. Renaissance – rebirth; a period of time in Europe characterized by a revival in art/culture

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the renaissance

The Renaissance

Aim: How did society change during the Renaissance in Europe?

  • Renaissance – rebirth; a period of time in Europe characterized by a revival in art/culture
  • Humanism – an intellectual movement that focused on human potential and achievements (humanities = history, literature, philosophy)
  • Vernacular – the language spoken (mother tongue) in a country or region
  • Printing Press – a machine used for printing text from type or plates
after the dark middle ages
After the dark Middle Ages…
  • During the late Middle Ages, Europeans were dying from wars and the plague
  • Many were questioning the Church – resented it for causing so much suffering
  • Those who survived wanted to celebrate life and the human spirit
1300 the renaissance begins
1300: The Renaissance begins
  • A period of time in which there was an explosion of creativity in art, writing and philosophy
  • Renaissance = rebirth; revival of art and learning and a return to Greek and Roman times
  • Began in Italy
  • Spread through


why italy
Why Italy?
  • Thriving cities
    • Wealthy due to trade
    • Sites of cultural diffusion
  • Wealthy merchant class
    • Due to trade, merchants became very rich and had lots of money to spend on cultural things like education, art
    • Families like the Medici’s poured tons of money into it
  • Classical history of Greece and Rome
    • Used for inspiration in rebuilding culture/society
new values
New Values
  • During the Renaissance, people focused on human achievements – started studying literature, art, philosophy and history
  • People began to enjoy life – spent money on material luxuries like parties, clothes, food, wine
  • People were more interested in the “here and now”, less worried about pleasing God
  • Enormous amounts of money was spent on art during this time
  • Rich church leaders and families donated their money to pay for art, became “patrons of the arts” (financially supporting the artists)
  • Had their portraits painted, made them look important
renaissance men and women
Renaissance men and women
  • Renaissance men were expected to be educated, study art and excel at everything cultural
    • Expected to create art, sing, dance, play music and write poetry
  • Women were expected to be well-read, like art, be charming
    • Expected to inspire art, not create it
    • They had little influence on politics
famous artists
Famous Artists
  • New trend: featuring the individual in a realistic way – showing their true selves
  • Emphasis on the human body
  • Michelangelo, Donatello, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael
  • Sculptor, poet, architect and painter
  • Famous for his realistic style in depicting the human body
  • Accomplishments: marble statue of David, painting the dome of St. Peter’s cathedral and ceiling paintings on the Sistine Chapel
leonardo da vinci
Leonardo da Vinci
  • Painter, sculptor, inventor and scientist
  • Very interested in the details of how things worked – like veins, muscles
  • Most famous for painting the Last Supper and the Mona Lisa
renaissance authors
Renaissance authors
    • Renaissance writers wrote in their native language (Italian) instead of the traditional language of Latin
      • This is called writing in the vernacular
  • They focused on describing their character’s personalities
  • Famous authors: Petrarch (poet), Boccaccio (Decameron), Machiavelli (The Prince)
role of the printing press
Role of the printing press
  • The Chinese invented the idea of using blocks with carved letters on them to print on paper
  • This was very useful for the Europeans, because they only had 26 letters – easy!
  • In 1455, German craftsman, Johann Gutenberg, improved the printing press
    • The Bible became the first full-sized book typed with movable type
    • Made books cheap and easy to mass produce
    • This made it easier to spread ideas
legacy of the renaissance
Legacy of the Renaissance
  • Increased interest in human experience and art
  • People questioned the church, religion, laws and political structures/practices
  • Authors use vernacular languages in books
  • Printing press made it easier for ideas, maps, discoveries to spread

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