The Italian Renaissance
A period of European history that began in Italy and spread to the rest of Europe. Italy was a largely urban society. Asecular viewpoint emerged as increasing wealth created a new enjoyment of material things. Was an age of recovery from the plague, the political instability and a decline in church power. Rebirth of interest in ancient culture. A new view of human beings emerged with which there was a high regard for human worth and a realization of what individuals could achieve. the new social ideal was a well educated, well rounded universal person. Wealthy upper class actively embraced new ideas and activities.
1. Rise of powerful city-states
2. Recovery from the Late Middle Ages.
2a. rebirth in Greek and Roman culture.
3. Focus on individuals and their achievements.
The Italian States
Italy failed to develop a centralized monarchial state. Because of this and because of their access to their trade routes allowed the city states to remain powerful and independent.
The Viscontis had control then Francesco Sforza became its duke by leading a band of mercenaries. Later the Viscontis regained power( a mix of Sforza rulers with Visconti rulers as advisors). It was a centralized state. LOcated on the crossroads of the main trade routes from the Italian coastal cities to the alpine passes. had an efficient tax system.
ruled by a doge that was instructed by wealthy merchants. Trade route that links Asia and Western Europe.
a republic. The Medici family controlled then Girolamo Savonarola led an uprising and gained control. People soon became tired of his restrictions, was accused of heresy buy the church and killed and the Medici family returned to power.
The Italian wars
French king Charles VIII led an army of 30,000 men into Italy in 1494 for the riches, occupied Naples. Northern Italian city states call to Spain for help. Spanish’s motive for helping is they get to control Italy and defeat France.battled for 30 years. May 5th 1527 – thousands of troops belonging to Spanish king Charles I along with mercenaries arrived in Rome demanding payment. king told them to loot the city for paylloted with such bloodlust, and it was such a massacre that left Spain a dominant force.
Machiavelli on power
Niccolo Machiavelli wrote The Prince- one of the most influential works on political power in the Western world. Concerns how to acquire and keep political power. Believed morality had little to do with politics.
nobles dominated society. Nobles had to uphold certain ideals and were born not made. must have character,grace,talent,had to be warrior and have a classical education and an interest in the arts. Perfect noble served his prince in an effective and honest way.
Peasants and Townspeople
new social class:
top- patricians – wealth from trade,industry and banking.
Middle – Burghers- shopkeepers,artisans,guildmasters,and guild members.
Bottom – wrkers that earned pitiful wages or were unemployed.
Family and Marriage
arranged marriages to strengthen business ties.
father handled finances and made all decisions.
Mothers supervised the household.Father had absolute authority and authority wasnt broken until the father went to a judge to free his children.
Italian renaissance humanism
humanism- based on the study of the classics, the literary works of ancient Greece and Rome. studied grammar,rhetoric,poetry,moral philsophy and history.
Petrach- father of Italian Renaissance. looked for forgotten latin manuscripts and set in motiona search for similar manuscriptsin mionastic libraries throughout Europe.
intellectual life was one of solitude.
took new interest in civic life and wanted to put their service to the states use.
Dante- Italian, “the Divine Comedy” expresses renaissance ideals and focused on an individuals achievement. souls journey to salvation.
Geoffrey Chaucer- English, “The Canterbury Tales” focused on 29 individuals all in seperate walks of life.
Education focused less on religion. liberal studoes. Purpose was to produce individuals who follow a path of virtue and wisdom.
Followed Greek ideal of a sound mind in a sound body. education was a practical preparation for life.
Women were rarely educated and those who were focused on religion and morals in order to be good wives and mothers
New techniques in Paintings
Fresco- a painting done on fresh,wet plaster with water based paints. Human figures looked flat but Masaccios’ paintings had depth. Two other developments: 1. Understanding the laws of perspective and the organization of outdoor space and light through geometry.
2. The investigation of movement and human anatomy.
Realistic portrayal of the individual.
Sculpture and Architecture
Donatello- studied Greek and Roman statues and his works included a realistic free standing figure of St. George.
Filippo Brunelleschi- inspired by the buildings of classical Rome. design of San Lorenzo church in Florence. space to fit human not divine needs.
High Renaissance Masters
Leonardo Da Vinci- mastered realistic painting, dissected human bodies to better understand their workings. was a paintersculptorarchitect inventor and mathematician.
Raphael- one of Italy’s best painter admired for his madonnas and his frescoes in Vatican Palace.
Michelango- accomplished painter,sculptor and architect created figures on the Sistine Chapel that depict an ideal human with perfect proportions.
Northern Artistic Renaissance
not enough space for frescoes= illustrations for books and wooden panels for altar pieces.
Jan van Eyck- first to use and perfect the technique of oil painting, varnish of linseed oil and nut oils mixed with resins created brilliant translucent colors. Spread north because of the Italian wars.