Chapter 14: The Renaissance
and Reformation (1350-1600)
Section 1: The Renaissance in
Italy
“What a glorious time to be alive!”
Italian City-States
• Renaissance = rebirth…of classical culture
• Birthplace in Italy: Florence
• Produced gifted poets, artists, architects, scholars and
scientists
• Eventually spread north: Flanders
• Prosperous cities of trade – Florence, Milan, Venice,
Genoa
• Wealthy & powerful merchant class supported the arts
and culture – patrons (supporters of the arts)
• Education, individual achievement, curiosity
(Copernicus/Galileo) and adventure (Columbus)
stressed
Medici family of Florence
• built a powerful banking
and merchant business
(mined alum-chemical
used in textile
production/dying of wool)
• Giovanni, Cosimo
(Godfather) and Lorenzo
“the Magnificent” (14491492)
• 1434 onward: served as
uncrowned rulers of
Florence
• Medici
What was the Renaissance?
• Most important change: the way people viewed
themselves and the world
• The human experience in the living world replaced the
preoccupation with gaining salvation in the afterlife!
• Preserving classical (Greek/Roman) heritage:
Medieval monks/nuns & scholars copied manuscripts
• Latin – survived as language of the Catholic Church and
of educated people
• Renaissance ideal = person with many talents
(knows a great deal about many things: a
Polymath)
• Education, individual achievement, curiosity and
adventurous spirit
Humanism
• intellectual movement based on the study of
classical culture – did not focus only on
religious issues!
• Humanist scholars believed that education
should stimulate creative powers of an
individual.
• They were collectors of classical manuscripts
from church & monastery libraries.
• Humanities: subjects taught in Greek and
Roman schools – grammar, poetry, rhetoric,
history, philosophy, etc.
Francesco Petrarch (1304-1374)
Father of Humanism
• Humanist who searched for
classical manuscripts
(Homer, Virgil, Cicero, etc.) in
monastery & church libraries.
• He was also a devout Catholic.
• wrote literature of his own
(Sonnets to Laura)
• April 8, 1341: crowned poet
laureate in Rome on Easter
Sunday
• The laurel wreath was identified
by Petrarch as being the
symbol of literary and poetic
immortality.
• July 13, 1374: died with “a pen
in his hand and Laura in his
heart.”
• Petrarch
When Love within her lovely face appears
now and again among the other ladies,
as much as each is less lovely than she
the more my wish I love within me grows.
I bless the place, the time and hour of the day
that my eyes aimed their sights at such a height,
and say: 'My soul, you must be very grateful
that you were found worthy of such great honour.
From her to you comes loving thought that leads,
as long as you pursue, to highest good,
esteeming little what all men desire;
there comes from her all joyous honesty
that leads you by the straight path up to Heaven—
already I fly high upon my hope.'
A Golden Age in Arts
• PATRONS: Popes, nobility and wealthy businessmen
(Medici) supported the work of artists, architects,
sculptors.
• Isabella d’Este (1474-1539) from Mantua also
patronized the arts.
• She invited scholars, artists, sculptors & musicians to her
city; was a Renaissance woman herself.
• Isabella
• Artists studied Greek & Roman works.
• Religious figures (Mary & Jesus) were set against
classical backgrounds
• Humanist interest in individual achievement led to
portraits of well-known people.
Portraits of Isabella d’Este,
1st Renaissance Woman, by Leonardo
Da’Vinci & Titian
New Techniques
• Artists revived
lifelike, classical
forms
• studied human
anatomy and live
models – more
accurate portrayal
• used realism, linear
perspective and
shading
• Architects rejected
Gothic style – went
back to columns,
arches and domes
Donatello di Betto Bardi (1386-1466)
• Son of a Florentine woolcarder; apprentice to
goldsmith Lorenzo
Ghiberti at age 14
• Bronze David (1440s?)
was 1st life-sized, free
standing nude to be cast
in bronze since classical
times
• Placed in the courtyard of
the Medici palace for
Lorenzo and Clarice
Orsini’s wedding
• Today it can be found in
the Bargello Museum in
Florence.
Filippo Brunelleschi (1377-1446)
“Father of Perspective”
• Architect, engineer, goldsmith
• Visited Rome with Donatello to
study the ancient ruins
• created the dome (14171434) of Florence Cathedral
– based on the Pantheon in
Rome
• Used more than 4 million
bricks
• (1401-1403) Lost the
competition to Ghiberti to
design the bronze doors for
the baptistery of the Florence
Cathedral (Santa Maria del
Fiore)
• He is buried in the Florence
Cathedral (Santa Maria del
Fiore)
Three Geniuses of Renaissance Art
Self-Portraits of DaVinci & Raphael
Leonardo DaVinci
(1452-1519)
• Born in Vinci, Italy (had 17 half-brothers & sisters!)
• Many interests: botany, anatomy, optics, music, architecture,
engineering, military
• Genius for invention: placed sketches in notebooks: mirror
writing
• Dissected corpses to learn anatomy
• Considered himself a painter
• Invented sfumato: blending of light & shade
• Famous works: Mona Lisa (1503-1506) & The Last Supper
(1495-1498), Vitruvian Man/Proportions of Man (1487)
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Apprentice to Andrea del Verrochio (1470-1477)
Served the Duke of Milan (Ludovico Sforza) from 1482-1499 – completed only 6
works in 17 years!
1513-1516: worked in Rome under Pope Leo X (Giovanni d’Medici)
1516-Premier Painter & Engineer and Architect of King Francis I in France.
Died May 2, 1519 (67 yrs.) with his head in the hands of King Francis I
Leonardo da Vinci
Michelangelo Buonarotti
(1475-1564)
• Born March 6, 1475 in Caprese; 2nd of 5 brothers
• His mother died when he was 6 years old
• At age 13 he was apprenticed to Domenico Ghirlandaio and later lived
with the Medici family in Florence.
• Multi-talented genius: sculptor, engineer, painter, architect
and poet
• Considered himself a sculptor
• Dissected corpses to learn anatomy
• Famous works: Sculpture - Pieta (1499), David (1501-1504)
• Painting - Sistine Chapel ceiling (1508-1512) & The Last
Judgment (1536-1541)
• Architecture – Dome of St. Peter’s (Rome)
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Died February 18, 1564 (89 yrs.) in Rome and is buried in Santa Croce
Basilica in Florence
In his will, he left "his soul to God, his body to the earth, and his material
possessions to his nearest relations."
Raphael Sanzio (1483-1520)
• Italian painter, architect and draftsman from Urbino, Italy
• Studied DaVinci & Michelangelo
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Both parents died when he was 8 years old
He moved from Florence to Rome in 1508, where he ran a workshop until his
death (37 yrs.)
Painted frescoes in the Vatican Palace while Michelangelo was painting the
Sistine Chapel ceiling
Architect of the new St. Peter’s Basilica
• Paintings portrayed the Madonna (Mary) & child (Jesus)
• Famous work: The School of Athens- an imaginary
gathering of philosophers & scientists – included faces of
Michelangelo, DaVinci & himself
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Died on April 6th (Good Friday & his birthday) of a possible fever (lasted 2
weeks) & wrong cure
He was buried in the Pantheon after a grand funeral.
"Here lies that famous Raphael by whom Nature feared to be conquered while
he lived, and when he was dying, feared herself to die."
Italian Renaissance Writers
• “how-to”/handbooks became popular – to help ambitious men
and women rise in the Renaissance world.
Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1527)
• Served as a diplomat in Florence – observed kings/princes in
courts during a time when the Medici were ousted from power
(following Lorenzo’s death)
• Lived during a time of religious fanaticism in Florence, the invasion of
Italy by France and Spain and political turmoil
• He was tortured an imprisoned when the Medici returned to power in
1512 – following the death of Savonarola
• Saw himself as an enemy of oppression/corruption; wanted to earn
the respect of the ruling Medici
• wrote The Prince - a guide for rulers to help them gain &
maintain power: It was dedicated to the deceased Lorenzo de
Medici.
• “The end justifies the means.”
• “It is better to be feared than loved.”
• “Machiavellian” = deceit in politics
Baldassare Castiglione
(1478-1529)
• Italian courtier, diplomat, soldier and author
• wrote The Book of the Courtier (1528)–
describes manners, skills, learning, virtues of a
courtier (aristocrat)
• Ideal courtier = well-educated, well-mannered;
master in music, poetry, history, sports, etc.
• Ideal woman = graceful, kind, reserved &
beautiful (on the outside!)
• 108 editions published between 1528 – 1616 (in
Spanish, German, French and English)
• Died of a violent fever in Toledo, Spain on
February 2nd
Machiavelli (1469-1527) &
Castiglione (1478-1529)