Chp. 1 pp. 34-39
The philosopher Marsilio Ficino smiled
with pleasure as he watched the sun
cast a golden glow over his native city
of Florence. “This century
like a golden age has
restored to light the liberal
arts, which were almost
extinct: grammar, poetry,
rhetoric, painting,
sculpture, architecture,
Why Did the Renaissance Begin in
The Renaissance was marked by a new interest in the
culture of ancient Rome. Italy had been the center of the
Roman empire.
The cities of Italy had survived the Middle Ages and grown
into prosperous centers of trade and manufacturing. In the
North Florence, Milan, Venice and Genoa. Rome in Central
Italy, and Naples in the South.
A wealthy merchant class in the Italian city-states stressed
education and individual achievement and spent lavishly on
the arts.
Renaissance Italy 1505
Florence and the Medicis
Assassins Creed II
• More than any other city in Italy Florence became the
symbol for the Renaissance, it produced poets,
artists, architects, scholars, and scientists.
• The Medici family were bankers who expanded into
wool manufacturing, mining and other business.
Cosimo de Medici became the leader of Florence in
1434, and the Medici family became uncrowned rulers
for many years.
• Lorenzo de’ Medici was known as the “Magnificent”.
He was a clever politician and generous patron
[financial supporter of the arts. Under Lorenzo poets
and philosophers as well as artists frequented the
Medici palace.
What Was the Renaissance?
The Renaissance was a time of creativity and
change in many areas–political, social,
economic, and cultural. Perhaps most
important, however, were the changes that
took place in the way people viewed
themselves and their world.
A New World View
• It was time for a REBIRTH after the problems
and lack of learning of the Medieval time
• Renaissance Europe actually benefited from the
work that monks and scholars had done during
medieval times. The math of Euclid, astronomy
of Ptolemy, and the works of Aristotle were all
preserved as well as Latin by medieval people.
• Many new attitudes toward culture and learning.
Renaissance thinkers explored the here and the
after. New emphasis on individual achievement,
the ideal person was talented in many different
areas. Liberal Arts
A Spirit of Adventure
• People began exploring
new worlds.
• Christopher Columbus
sailed to America in 1492.
• Nicolaus Copernicus
changed the way
Europeans viewed the
• Writers and Artists
created new forms of art.
At the heart of the Italian
Renaissance was an intellectual
movement known as humanism.
Humanism was based on the study of
classical culture and focused on worldly
subjects rather than on religious issues.
Humanists studied the humanities,
the subjects taught in ancient Greece
and Rome. They believed that
education should stimulate creativity.
Francesco Petrarch’s Sonnets to
Laura inspired later writers, he got his
ideas from classic writers like Cicero,
Homer, and Virgil.
A Golden Age in Arts
• Most recognizable form of expression from
the Renaissance is the art
• Wealthy patrons helped fund artists
• Popes and Royalty supported many artists
• Isabella d’Este of Mantua was a female
Humanist Concerns
• Most artists painted religious figures
• As the renaissance went on artists also
painted well known people of the day,
reflecting the individual achievement part
of humanism.
• Artists studied ancient Greek and Roman
• Donatello was the first to create life size
sculptures, since classic times
• Painters studied how detailed Roman art was and learned the
practice of perspective.
• Painters used shading and painters and sculptors also studied
anatomy and drew from live models. This portrayed the human
body more accurately.
New Techniques
• Few women became
artists because of the lack
of education and
• Some women kept their
own artistic talent secret
allowing their work to
passed of as their
• Some women like
Sofonisba Anguissola, and
Italian noblewomen,
became well known,
Sofonisba was a painter in
King Philip of Spain’s
Women Artists
• Artists went away from the Gothic style of
the Middle Ages, thinking it was cluttered
and disorderly
• Renaissance architects adopted the
columns, arches, and domes of the Greeks
and Romans
• Filippo Brunelleschi created a dome
modeled after the Pantheon.
Three Geniuses of Renaissance Art
Made sketches of nature
and of models
Dissected corpses to learn
how the human body
Masterpieces include Mona
Lisa and The Last Supper
Studied botany, anatomy,
optics, music, architecture,
and engineering
Made sketches for flying
machines and undersea
Talented sculptor,
engineer, painter,
architect, and poet
Sculpted the Pieta and
statue of David
Painted huge mural to
decorate the ceiling of the
Sistine Chapel in Rome
Designed the dome for St.
Peter’s Cathedral in Rome
Studied the works of
Michelangelo and
Paintings blended
Christian and classical
Best known for
paintings of the
Madonna, the biblical
mother of Jesus
Italian Renaissance
• Poets, artists, and scholars mingled with
politicians at the courts of Renaissance
rulers. A literature of “how-to” books
sprang up to help ambitious men and
women who wanted to rise in this time
Catiglione’s Ideal Courtier
• The Book of the Courtier was the most widely
read of the “how to” books.
• Baldassare Castiglione talks about the manners,
skills, learning, and virtues that court members
should have.
• The perfect courtier was a well educated, well
mannered, aristocrat who was well rounded in
ability from poetry to sports
• Ideal man was athletic but not overactive, good
at games but not a gambler, plays instruments
and knows literature and history but is does not
have to prove that at every opportunity
• Ideal women is a balance to men, graceful and
kind, lively but reserved, beautiful “for outer
beauty is the true sign of inner goodness”
Machiavelli’s Successful Prince
• Niccolo Machiavelli wrote a handbook called
“The Prince” combined his experience of politics
with his knowledge of the paste to offer a guide
to rulers on how to gain and keep power
• Machiavelli has served in the courts of many
royals as a diplomat.
• He wrote not of high ideals for leaders but of
ruthless power politics. He stressed the end
justifies the means, no matter what a ruler had to
do to achieve their goals. Results were more
important than keeping promises.
Niccolo Machiavelli
“How praiseworthy it is for a prince to keep
his word and live with integrity rather than
craftiness, everyone understands; yet…
those princes have accomplished most who
paid little heed to keeping their promises,
but who knew craftily to manipulate the
minds of men.”
Machiavelli’s Successful Prince cont.
• Machiavelli saw himself as
an enemy of oppression
and corruption, but critics
attacked his advice, some
claimed he was inspired by
• Machiavellian is defined as
the use of deceit in politics
• Most historians today
believe Machiavelli was the
first to take a realistic look
at politics, and his work still
causes thought as it raises
ethical questions about how
governments use power.

Section 1 Renaissance in Italy Digital Presentation