The Renaissance period in European history was a time of great cultural change. It began in the 14th century and lasted until the 16th. The Renaissance led to an increase in literature, art, music, science, exploration, and technology.
The Renaissance began in Italy around 1345 when many people were seeking knowledge that had been lost during previous centuries. Renaissance means “rebirth” and started when many people began to think they could improve society by pursuing knowledge and education rather than spiritual goals. Renaissance thinking was based on the idea that the ancient days were better than medieval times (the time between about A.D. 500-1350) because in ancient times, people sought more secular ways to be happy such as art and science. Renaissance minds did not value spirituality nearly as much as medieval minds had done
In Italy during this time, there was a stronger government with more stability among families called city-states. This allowed Italian Renaissance thinkers to have more freedom from family restrictions and it also meant that men had broader opportunities for success in life [ say some lower class person living in a city-state could rise to a higher position within society…if he had enough money and time]. For example, Renaissance thinkers were able to take art classes from an artist such as Michelangelo or Leonardo da Vinci. In medieval times, learning was done through religious institutions so it would have been harder for people outside the church to learn about science and the arts.
Some Renaissance figures who made important contributions in science include Georgio della Rovere whose major work was a publication of Ptolemy’s books on astronomy and geography, Gerardus Mercator who invented a map that used lines called meridians, Marcello Malpighi who studied insects and laid some groundwork for future microscopists, Johann Blasius who studied the anatomy of birds and was one of the first to make close observations of living animals, Niccolo Copernicus who developed a model for planetary motions that placed the sun rather than the Earth at the centre of the solar system, Pietro Andrea Mattioli who did extensive studies on medicinal plants, Girolamo Fracastoro who was one of the earliest to propose ideas about viruses spread by contagion rather than through magically created seeds, and Galileo Galilei whose main contributions were in physics.
Renaissance scientists also looked at anatomy by dissecting human cadavers which had emerged as part of Renaissance thinking about art. The church still believed that dissection violated both cultural customs and religious convictions so Renaissance thinkers had to resort to autopsies on executed criminals to learn about anatomy. Renaissance art reflected Renaissance thinking in that artists focused more on the human body and nature than medieval times.
The Renaissance spread through Europe during the late Middle Ages into northern Italy, France, Germany, England, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, The Netherlands and Switzerland. It was not so much a movement as it was a time when many changes were occurring at once. For example the Renaissance swept over Scotland between 1420-1630 which was known as the Scottish Renaissance.
There are some things you should remember about the Renaissance period:
– Renaissance thinkers tried to apply themselves to learning rather than spiritual matters; they also looked for ways to learn by spending more time studying science and nature instead of what they read in religious texts. Renaissance thinkers began to think more about the world around them and less about how God was involved with nature
– Renaissance thinking eventually led to new ideas in science, but Renaissance thinkers did not value these ideas as much as they valued what could be found in the Bible
– Renaissance thinking spread across Europe during the late Middle Ages which historians call “proto modern” because people began to think more like we do today than they had before when they were following medieval traditions
– Renaissance art was considered secular because it focused on human anatomy rather than biblical stories or saints’ lives
– Renaissance art also showed great detail of things that exist in nature such as plants, animals, rocks,, etc. instead of medieval pictures of religious art
– Renaissance thinking did not change the social order because it did not produce any new ideas to challenge traditional beliefs or government structures
– Renaissance thinkers were scientists, but they did not push ideas forward as much as their predecessors had done in ancient times. The Renaissance period was a time of transition from medieval thought to modern reasoning, but Renaissance thinking did not result in a large amount of new scientific discoveries.
Historians often refer to Renaissance as “rebirth” in Europe, which means that the Renaissance Period of European history is when the continent sees a renewed interest in classical ideas. Renaissance is defined by many different, sometimes contradictory things. Renaissance literally means “rebirth” in French, so historians often use this term for the period of European history, spanning from the middle of 14th century to 17th century. Renaissance is a time that saw a renewed interest in classical ideas and thinking.
Renaissance also refers to the historical change that occurred during this period, which means Renaissance can refer to developments in humanities as well as the arts. Renaissance art is more lifelike and it is clearly indebted to Renaissance ideals. Renaissance art uses humanism as its main source of inspiration, with Renaissance artists focusing more on the individual and their emotions. Renaissance art is also closely tied with science and technology. Renaissance art is a return to classical beauty and realism after centuries of medieval stylization and abstraction.
Renaissance artists put their focus on realism. Renaissance art is also more closely tied with science and technology than earlier periods in history. Renaissance artists believed that mathematics and geometry were the essential tools to understand God’s creation, so they used these mathematical concepts to represent naturalism in their works. Renaissance art can be recognized by its realistic subjects, intellectual themes, lifelike poses, natural colors and textures. Renaissance literature was written with a new aesthetic value given to human emotions and behavior.
Renaissance authors wrote about complex issues, such as love or desire rather than writing for a religious purpose or moral lesson like previous periods of literature did. Renaissance writers also focused a lot on courtly love which means different of relationships between men and women. Renaissance literature is often broken down into three subgroups: Renaissance epic , Renaissance lyric poetry and Renaissance drama . Renaissance literature was informed by classical work, including philosophical works by authors such as Cicero and Ovid.
Renaissance writers used the vernacular instead of Latin for their works, which meant that they wrote in everyday spoken language rather than using ancient languages like Latin or Greek. Renaissance writers also put a lot of focus on storytelling and storytelling techniques, with many Renaissance works written as allegories with hidden meanings behind them. Renaissance literature has been divided into three periods: early Italian Renaissance (14th-16th century), high Italian Renaissance (1550-1600) and late Italian Renaissance (-1650).