The Renaissance • The Renaissance was a change in the social, economic, political, and cultural life of Europe. • Renaissance artists and writers turned from the religious life to humanist life. • The return of the writings of Greek and Roman writers came from the Muslim world.
The Renaissance Begins in Italy • Italy was the center of ancient Roman culture. • Roman statues, coins, buildings all reminded Italians of Roman greatness. • Italian cities had survived the Middle Ages and become rich. • Florence, Genoa, Milan, and Venice became rich trading cities. Rome and Naples also contributed to the richness of Italy. • A wealthy class of merchants also contributed to the Renaissance by stressing individual achievement and education. • Italy sticks out into the Mediterranean Sea.
Florence and the Medicis • The Medici family of Florence formed a banking business and became rich and powerful. • The Medici ruled Florence and Lorenzo the Magnificent became a great patron of the arts. • Humanism was at the heart of Renaissance thinking. • Humanists studied grammar, poetry, and history, based on Greek and Roman learning. • Francisco Petrarch translated Greek and Roman writings. He wrote “ Sonnets to Laura” love poems written in the vernacular.
The Golden Age of the Arts • Renaissance artists used religious themes and often used Greek and Roman backgrounds. • Renaissance artists learned the rules of perspective. They made objects smaller in the distance. • Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael and Donatello were all great artists of the Age. • Leonardo painted the Mona Lisa, Raphael painted the Madonna and the School of Athens, and Michelangelo painted the Sistine Chapel. • Women painters often had to work in secret.
Architecture and Writings • Filippo Brunelleschi created a great dome in Florence. Michelangelo designed and built the dome at St. Peter’s in Rome. • Baldassare Castiglione wrote, “The Book of the Courtier”, about the perfect or ideal Renaissance man and woman. • Niccolo Machiavelli wrote, “The Prince” about how a ruler should govern. • Machiavelli advised rulers that it is better to be feared than loved, the end justifies the means. • Machiavelli was a realist, but he advised rulers to be honest and wise, as well as crafty.
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