Renaissance Art and Writing Vocabulary
Scholars who were dedicated to the recovery, study, and transmission of the intellectual culture of Greece and Rome.
A period of intellectual and artistic rebirth after the Dark Ages.
The new interest in ancient literature.
Lorenzo de’ Medici
The first citizen of Florence who spent, along with the rest of his family, an enormous amount of money on commissions for artists and architects, donations to charity, and taxes. He became a patron of the arts and helped Florence become the leading city of the Italian Renaissance.
Wrote “The Divine Comedy”, in which he uses allegories to represent the medieval reliance on classical people.
A Florentine politician, diplomat, and political theorist who wrote “The Prince”, which shows secular/realistic ideas about politics and displays the comfort and equality the humanists felt in regards to ancient people. He inisted that rulers should only be concerned with strengthening their state rather than following moral or ethical standards.
Francesco Petrarca (Petrarch)
The “father of humanism” who escaped in classical literature, wrote poems for a realistic love named Laura, was conflicted between his concern for mortal things and his Christian faith, and frowned upon the empty logic of Scholasticism.
A writer of poetry and romances who wrote “Decameron”, which was about people in seclusion during Black Death, injecting 100 scandalous tales that were based on medieval writing and satirizes knights and expresses contempt for feudalism. He also composed an encyclopedia for classical mythology and searched for Greek and Roman manuscripts.
Cosimo de’ Medici
One of the great patrons of the Renaissance who founded an informal club called the Platonic Academy.
The leader of the Platonic Academy who made the first complete Latin translation of Plato’s works. He also wrote “The Platonic Theology”, in which he tried to synthesize Plato’s belief and Christianity and coined the term “Platonic love”.
An ideal, pure love
Pico della Mirandola
A man who thirsted for knowledge and tried to organize a public debate in Rome on 900 propositions. He wrote “Oration on the Dignity of Man”, which glorified the human race.
The concern with natural science, logic, and metaphysics.
A Muslim philosopher who followed Aristotle in teaching that matter is eternal and that the soul is immortal. He and his followers promoted the double truth that religious beliefs don’t have to match a philosophical truth.
A term humanists used to describe a well-rounded, versatile, accomplished, and socially assured citizen.
Wrote “The Courtier”, which established a behavioral model for a Renaissance man. He stressed that the strength of character and intellect was more important than one’s social status, and that good manners and social skills were important due to the greater importance of women.
A Florentine painter who painted a 3-D world with believable human beings and emotion who began a period of time in which art expressed the piety of lay patrons and the delight in everyday images. He humanized painting.
The modeling of figures in light and shade
A Florentine painter who mastered the problems of perspective, the naturalism of flesh and bone, and was the first to paint nude figures. He painted “Expulsion of Eden”.
A painter who studied perspective his whole life and whose painting reflect this, as well as the self-assurance of the Renaissance elite.
Piero della Francesca
A painter who wrote a book on reducing perspective to a science and whose paintings look stiff, unemotional and precise. He painted “Discovery and Proving of the True Cross”.
A painter who use a sensitive line to create emotion who painted “Birth of Venus”.
A sculptor who tried to imitate nature in his sculpture and created the Gates of Paradise, bronze doors for a baptistery which depicted humans.
A sculptor who created freestanding human sculptures based on the human body and made “David”, which was the first bronze nude since classical times.
Andrea del Verrocchio
A sculptor, painter, and teacher of Leonardo da Vinci who designed an equestrian statue displaying unsupported legs and the arrogance of the Renaissance elite.
The man who constructed the uncompleted dome in the cathedral in Florence, which was the first dome since antiquity, and recreated Roman style with a fresh perspective.
The architect hired to rebuild the basilica of St. Peter’s Basilica and planned a cross-shaped church with a dome.
Leonardo da Vinci
A knowledgeable man in all fields of study, this man was a master of artistic technique and psychological insight. He painted “La Gioconda” and “The Last Supper”.
A painter who created stanze frescoes in the Vatican, displaying a blending of classical and Christian styles. He was a master of perfect design and balanced composition, and his paintings feature serenity.
This painter painted the entire ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in 4 years using expressive human features. He glorified the naked human body in sculpture and created “David”, which expresses human dignity and modesty. He also designed the great dome of the cathedral. He was a “uomo universale”.
Involved a mood of langour and relaxation in painting. He made “Sleeping Venus” and his paintings did not tell a story.
A subtle, poetic painter who was famous for his portraits of royals and upperclassmen. He was known as a master of all subjects.
A Mannerist who painted “Abduction of the Body of St. Mark”, which had violent contrasts and imbalance. He was seen as careless and eccentric by classic followers.
He was a sculptor of a gold cup with stones and wrote “Autobiography”, which showed violence, corruption, and no artistic or moral standards.
A Spanish king who sacked Rome.
A Mannerist who painted “Madonna with the Long Neck”, which is very distorted and difficult to interpret.
Josquin des Prés
A Flemish composer who is known as the founder of High Renaissance music who handled complicated constructions with ease.
A Dutch humanist known as “the scholar of Europe” and who was familiar with prominent thinkers and popes. He wrote “The Praise of Folly”, which is a satirical tale criticizing a wide range of political, social, economic, and religious evils and issued a Greek edition of the New Testament.
Sir Thomas More
An English humanist/socialist who wrote “Utopia”, which described an ideal state through a tale of a sailor who contrasts life in Utopia to life in England, criticizing capitalism (versus a planned, cooperative, and shared economy in Utopia).
A French humanist who wrote “Gargantua and Pantagruel”, which criticized the church, Protestants, hypocrisy, and repression but put forth his ideas about educational reform and human goodness.
Michel de Montaigne
The developer of the essay, setting forth his personal ideas on many topics with open-mindedness, the last of which acknowledged that humans resort to experience. He also criticized empty scholarship.
Miguel de Cervantes
The writer of “Don Quixote de la Mancha”, a satirical tale contrasting the lives of Don Quixote, a unpractical chivalric knight representing the author’s own experience with lost hope and the realistic Sancho Panza. It makes fun of the ideology of the Middle Ages.
Queen Elizabeth I
An English queen, under whom the English Renaissance prospered, particularly literature.
The superb English writer of 37 plays (of varied genre). His works display the concern for human beings and the world around him and built concrete facts on universal truths. Some of his works include “The Taming of the Shrew”, “As You Like It”, “The Merchant of Venice”, “Measure for Measure”, and “Troilus and Cressida”.
Jan van Eyck
A Fleming artist who continued the painting style of the late Middle Ages and perfected the technique of oil painting. He focused on detail and reality in his painting.
A German painter, engraver, and woodcutter who was influenced by Italian art and blended old and new techniques. He engraved “Knight, Death, and the Devil”.
Hans Holbein the Younger
A German painter who painted portraits, which blend realism and concern for detail.
A Dutch painter who belonged to a Puritan sect and painted “The Garden of Delights”, which depicts naked men and women and the Garden of Eden. He was obsessed with sin and hell (secularism).
Pieter Brughel the Elder
A Flemish painter who painted village squares, landscapes, skating scenes, and peasants.
An Italian female portrait painter.
A female painter who painted “Judith”.
Dominico (“El Greco”)
A Mannerist painter (Greek living in Spain) who used unnatural colors, vibrancy, and distortion to depict an emotional imprint of the artist.