Renaissance terms

Renaissance terms
* Humanist (otherwise known as "rational humanist"): someone who believes in the worth and dignity
of the individual and the idea that the individual can better himself through the acquisition of knowlege
and the mastery of artistic forms.
* Renaissance Man: Like Da Vinci and Michelango, artists who reached the very pinnacles of success
and skill in multiple intellectual endeavors, such as sculpture, painting, architecture, and languages.
* Chiaroscuro: a signature Renaissance technique wherein variations of light and darkness
(specifically, a subtle movement from light to dark) provide emotional depth and mood to a painting.
* Neoplatonism: a revival of Plato's philosophy of the mind and the ultimate reality of Ideas, but with a
new twist. Renaissance thinkers believed that you could find in a love of beauty a higher, spiritual (and
thus Platonic) love leading you to God. This held true even for human nudes, for example; the nudes,
in paintings and sculptures like Michelangelo's famous "David," were not regarded as risque but rather
spiritual, because the beauty of a man or woman or a flower was given through God, and it was a
reflection of the Divine. Thus an aesthetic worship of beauty was legitimized on philosophical grounds.
* Patronage: a system in which aristocratic or bourgeois patrons became enthusiastic supporters of
individual artists, who would then dedicate their works to the patron.
* The printing press: the premiere invention of the Renaissance and one of the most influential
inventions of all time, it made books accessible to the middle class and greatly increased literacy and
learning, as well as the formation of libraries (which had existed before in the classical world but not
during the Middle Ages).
* The classical world: the Graeco-Roman culture of a millenia past, when secular philosophies and the
pursuit of the natural sciences and the arts were still tolerated and even venerated. Much of the thrust
of the Renaissance came from an attempt to recapture the glories of Greece and Rome.