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    The Renaissance- Major Terms and Concepts

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    Alexander VI
    (1492-1503) Corrupt Spanish pope. He was aided militarily and politically by his son Cesare Borgia, who was the hero of The Prince.
    Dante AlIghieri
    (1265-1321) an Italian poet famous for writing the ‘Divine Comedy,’ an epic poem that describes a journey through hell and purgatory and paradise.
    Giovanni Boccaccio
    Petrach’s student and friend who pioneered in Humanism. He’s famous for his Decameron and for being an avid collector of manuscripts, assembling an encyclopedia of Greek and Roman Mythology.
    Sandro Botticelli
    Sandro Botticelli
    (1445-1510) A painter who embodied platonist ideas, used color, made many paintings on an allegorical level. on aesthetic path. more concerned with grace and elegance, works: birth of Venus
    Filippo Brunelleschi
    Filippo Brunelleschi
    (1377-1446) Accompanied Donatello and gathered information about architecture. His first project was finishing the dome for the Cathedral of Florence and also created the Church of San Lorenzo.
    Michelangelo Buonarroti
    Michelangelo Buonarroti
    (1475-1564) Italian Renaissance sculptor, architect, painter, and poet; he sculpted the Pieta and the David, and he painted the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel which took him four years to paint. The ceiling shows sweeping scenes from the Old Testament of the Bible.
    Baldassare Castiglione
    (1478-1529) An Italian author who wrote the book The Courtier in 1528. He described the ideal Renaissance man and woman.
    The Book of the Courtier
    (1528) Castiglione’s definition of what Renaissance aristocracy should be; basically, it argued that if the nobles wanted to maintain a high position they must act responsibility and have impeccable character.
    Benvenuto Cellini
    (1500-1571) Goldsmith & sculptor who wrote an autobiography, famous for its arrogance and immodest self-praise.
    Leonardo da Vinci
    (1452-1519) Italian painter, engineer, musician, and scientist. The most versatile genius of the Renaissance, he filled notebooks with engineering and scientific observations that were in some cases centuries ahead of their time. As a painter he is best known for The Last Supper (c. 1495) and Mona Lisa (c. 1503).
    Miguel de Cervantes
    (1547-1616) Spanish writer best remembered for ‘Don Quixote’ which satirizes chivalry and influenced the development of the novel.
    Lorenzo de’ Medici
    (1449-1492) “the Magnificent” Italian statesman and scholar who supported many artists and humanists including Michelangelo and Leonardo and Botticelli.
    Pico della Mirandola
    (1463-1494) Wrote On the Dignity of Man which stated that man was made in the image of God before the fall and as Christ after the Resurrection. Man is placed in-between beasts and the angels. He also believed that there is no limits to what man can accomplish.
    (1386-1466) Sculptor. Probably exerted greatest influence of any Florentine artist before Michelangelo. His statues expressed an appreciation of the incredible variety of human nature.
    (1466?-1536) “The Prince of the Humanists” Dutch Humanist and friend of Sir Thomas More. Perhaps the most intellectual man in Europe and widely respected. Believed the problems in the Catholic Church could be fixed; did not suport the idea of a Reformation. Wrote Praise of Folly.
    Jacob Fugger
    (1449-1525) Headed leading banking, and trading house in l6th century Europe., German business man. Richest banker. One of the first philanthropist. Financed monarchs.
    Lorenzo Ghiberti
    Lorenzo Ghiberti
    (1378 – 1455) A Florentine sculptor and goldsmith who taught both Donatello and Filippo Brunelleschi. He is best known for two pairs of bronze doors on the Florence Baptistery (associated with the Duomo, or Florentine Cathedral). He produced a single, low-relief panel to win a 1401 competition (defeating Brunelleschi) for the commission to design the 28 panels for the north doors. After that, he was given another commission to design ten panels for the east doors. This latter work, by far his most famous, was dubbed the “Gates of Paradise” by Michelangelo.
    (1276-1337) Florentine Painter who led the way in the use of realism; sometimes called the “father of renaissance painting”
    Francesco Guicciardini
    (1483-1540) Machiavelli’s Florentine contemporary who wrote more accurate chronicles of Italian and Florentine history. He was a more sober historian less given to idealizing antiquity.
    Hans Holbein the Younger
    Hans Holbein the Younger
    (1497-1453) Born in Germany, but made court painter to King Henry VIII of England; considered one of the greatest Renaissance portraitists.
    A intellectual movement when people studied the classical culture of Greece and Rome, but used that study to incresase their understanding of their own times.
    Giving priority to one’s own goals over group goals and defining one’s identity in terms of personal attributes rather than group identifications.
    Julius II
    (1503-1513) Pope – very militaristic. Tore down the old Saint Peter’s Basilica and began work on the present structure in 1506. Sponsored Michaelangelo to paint the Sistine Chapel.
    Leo X
    (1475-1521) The pope who excommunicated Martin Luther and who in 1521 bestowed on Henry VIII the title of “Defender of the Faith.”
    Niccolo Machiavelli
    (1469-1527) Italian historian, statesman, and political philosopher of the Renaissance. His greatest work is The Prince, a book of political advice to rulers in which he describes the methods that a prince should use to acquire and maintain political power.
    The Prince
    A book written by Niccolo Machiavelli in 1513 about the imperfect conduct of humans and says how a ruler is able to keep power and manage to keep it disregarding enemies. This book was used to defend policies of despotism and tyranny. Machiavelli wrote that a ruler should take any action to remain in power, or that “the ends justifies the means.”
    (1401-1428) Florentine artist, first to start using light and shade to help achieve perspective. Also developed linear persepctive. First shown in The Tribute Money. Influence on other artists of the Ren.
    (1533-1592) A French magistrate who resigned his office in the midst of the wars of religion to write about the need for tolerance. A catholic who emphasized skepticism and tolerance in religion and race.
    Sir Thomas More
    (1478-1535) Englishman, lawyer, politician, Chancellor for Henry VIII. Wrote Utopia which presented a revolutionary view of society, in which the problems of society were caused by greed. Executed by Henry VIII for not compromising his religious beliefs.
    “New Monarchs”
    The term applied to Louis XI of France, Henry VII of England, and Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain, who strengthened their monarchical authority often by Machiavellian means.
    Pazzi Conspiracy
    When the Medici family was nearly killed by a conspiracy headed by the Pazzi family, who were rival bankers. The family tried to kill the two sons of Lorenzo de Medici in church, but failed. The Medicis responded quickly and dealt with the Pazzis easily.
    (1304-1374) Father of Humanism. He believed the first two centuries of the Roman Empire to represent the peak in the development of human civilization.
    Italian for fifteenth century(1400s). It was in this period in Italy that the Renaissance really gathered full steam. Why Italy? Geography, Trade, Politics (City States), history. Spread and influenced rest of Euro for several centuries – art, literature, style, architecture, taste, manners, education. Intro of secularism. Renewed emphasis on rationalism and individualism – all in this period and emanating from Italy.
    Francois Rabelais
    A French Humanist who lived 1494-1553. He was the author of Gargantua which made fun of the church using giants to represent the church. Instead of true monks there were swimming pools, maids, and no clocks.
    “Renaissance Man”
    A person who is successful when it comes to working, and overall universal, knew how to dance, fight, sing, write poetry, and how to create art, and well educated with the classics.
    revival of antiquity
    The awakening from the Dark Ages and the focusing on the Greeks and the Romans.
    Raphael Santi
    Raphael Santi
    1483 – 1520; contemporary/rival of Michelangelo whom he respected highly; famous for his portraits, religious works (especially of the Virgin Mary), “The School of Athens”, & fresco’s in the Vatican Palace.
    Fra Girolamo Savonarola
    (1452-1498) A Dominican monk who opposed the Renaissance and predicted the French invasion. He was a large political and religious influence in Florence. He spoke out against the corruption, greed, wealth, and luxury of the Italian Renaissance. He was eventually excommunicated and executed. He inspired/influenced greats such as Pico and Michelangelo.
    An indifference to religion and a belief that religion should be excluded from civic affairs and public education.
    Caterina Sforza
    1462-1509, Duchess of Forli. Courageous, tyrannical, proud and ruthless. Illegit offspring of future Duke of Milan. Married off at 14, 9 kids, several love affairs. But life shows limitations placed on women. Took over Duchy when husband died. Became very powerful. Wouldn’t concede to sons. Eventually overthrown by Cesare Borgia. Raped and killed at age 46. Burkhardt thought Renaissance improved status of women – this now considered a very questionable claim.
    Lorenzo Valla
    (1405-1457) Important Ren. scholar. Used methods of linguistic and historical analysis to prove that the Donation of Constantine, a document of 4th century giving pope right to rule over central Italy, was in fact an 8th century forgery. So what – new learning and attitudes undermining old, accepted sources of authority.
    Giorgio Vasari
    Italian painter and art historian (1511-1574); wrote The Lives of the Artists. Massive patronage of the arts came from this and was lead by families like the Medici’s and also the churches, who saw art as a means of glorifying God.
    Everyday language of ordinary people.

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