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Italian Renaissance
A new era of thought and feeling, by which Europe and its institutions were changed from their forms in the Middle Ages. 15th Century Italy is where the era rose from, and eventhough it pertained to high culture, the changes in literature, the arts, education, and morals spread across a whole area, influenced by the Italians.
El Greco
Greek artist, one of the greatist Mannerists, he elongated his figures an used unnatural pigments, famous works include Burial of Count Orgaz and Toledo.
Bocaccio, Decameron
his most famous work consisted of tales that were a social commentary ofn 14th century Italy. His goal was to impart wisdom of human character and behavior. He also wrote his most famous work in Italian.
city states
Since Italy was mostly ununited during the renaissance, towns governed themselves like independent city states. There was no king to build up a government for Italy as a whole, and the popes were usually absent, so cities got their influence from Rome. In some cities merchant oligarchies ran the cities, by their own interests, while in Milan it was usually a prince or despot. Florence, Venice, and Genoa governed themselves as republics, their leaders contended for public office, produced works of public munificence, hired armies, and conducted affairs of state.
Brunelleshci, Il Duomo
He studied Roman architecture, and in the competitive artistic society of Europe during the Renaissance, he produced a masterpiece, the dome on top of Santa Maria del Fiore. He was called a madman as his idea of creating a dome became a scandal, but after he made it he was known as the father of perspective.
Artistic movement against the Renaissance ideals of symetry, balance, and simplicity; went against the perfection the High Renaissance created in art. Used elongated proportions, twisted poese and compression of space.
Erasmus, In Praise of Folly
Famous northern humanist, a European authority on the Greek language who translated the New Testament into purer language (away from Latin and Greek). He was the first humanist to earn a living writing, and his most famous work criticized the church in order to cause reform.
Sandro Botticelli, Birth of Venus
The subject of his painting ins Venus, the Roman goddess of love, which makes this a great work of humanism since it shows paganism. He uses the contrapposto shape that Greek and Roman sculptors used ( more weight on one leg than other).
Papal States
The territories or states of Italy that were ruled by the Pope, both civil and spiritual, used to be the Duchy of Rome.
Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote
Wrote one of the greatest peices of Spanish lit, it criticized excessive religious idealism and chivalric romance.
Francois Rabelais, Gargantua and Pantagruel
His writings were written in French vernacular and helped unify the language. His well known writings portrayed his confidence in human nature, as he satirized French society and attacked clerical education, and argued for secular learning.
His most famous sculpture, made of marble, glorifies the human body, uses contrapposto stance and unique facial expression. He also painted the ceiling of the Sistene Chapel, created the Dome of St. Peter's Cathedral, and created another famous sculpture called Pieta (Mary holding the limp body of Christ)
Greatest Renaissance painter in Venice, used vivid color and movement, which was the opposite of the subtle colors and static figures in Florentine paintings.
Sforza family
After 1450 this family ruled Milan as dukes, and continued to serve as leaders of the city for most of the Renaissance period. (1450-1535)
Republic of Florence
A moderatly large Italian city that was central to the Italian Renaissance because of its gifted individuals; Dante, Pretrach, Boccaccio, Machiavelli, Brunelleschi, Donatello, Masaccio, Boticelli and others. The city was ruled by the Medici familly, a family of great wealth. Still, the city continued to produce new ways of thinking and helped progress the Renaissance further.
Lorenzo Valla; Elegances of the latin languages
An expert on the Latin language, he also exposed the Donation of Constantine (the Church claimed it was granted vast territories by the Roman emperor Constantine) as a fraud. Eventhough he was a devoted Catholic, his work helped those challeging the Churches authority. Founder of textual criticism.
Leonardo Da Vinci, Mona Lisa
The ideal Renaissance Man; painter, sculptor, architect, engineer, scientist. Created one of the greatest masterpeices of art hisory, used technique of sfumato (haze that softens the edges of objects in painting)
Baldassare Castiglione, Book of the Courtier
His most famous work on Renaissance education specified qualities necessary to be a true Renaissance man; be familar with all subjects. Must be well versed in Greek and Roman classics, so they could converse, must be an accomplished warrior, could play music and dance.
The father of humanism, he wrote that literature should not be subordinate to religion. He studied ancient texts like Cicero, and wrote his poetry in Italian vernacular, which unified the Italian language. He became a symbol of a new type of writer, he didn't use language merely as a practical tool but instead for expression.
Sack of Rome, 1527
In 1527 the Holy Roman Emperor (and king of Spain) Charles V invaded Italy and sacked Florence and Rome, he took the Renaissance ideals of Italy across France and back to Spain, symbolizing the end of the Italian Renaissance, and the beginning of the Norther Renaissance.
the quality of being a man in a noble pursuit, or successful demonstration of human powers.
Northern Renaissance
continuity of Italian Renaissance in Northern Europe, based on Christian humanism, and the idea that education and power of human intellect could cause change and improvement.
A new technique of shading or using dark and light colors, it helped show depth of an object.
Isabella d' Este
First lady of the Renaissance, she was an example for women to break away from traditional roles, and even founded a school for young women. She ruled Mantua, was well educated and a big patron of the arts.
Christian humanism
more emphasis on early Church writings than pagan works of Greek or Rome, helped improve society through emphasis of human intellect and education, and reform of the church.
Fugger Family
A family in Germany who had a great deal of money due to international banking, and they used there pull to patronize art of the Northern Renaissance.
Jacob Burckhart
19th century historian who claimed that the Renaissance period was in distinct contrast to the Middle Ages, hence he coined this french term, meaning rebirth, for the era.
Civil Humanism
idea that people should be active in civic affairs or participate in their government. Education should include teaching humanist ideals because most important humanists were important political leaders.
Pico Della Mirandola, Oration on the Dignity of Man
member of Platonic Academy, he looked for aspects of truth not revealed in Christian scriptures. He wrote one of the most famous Renaissance works on the nature of the human mind, saying that because man was created by God, they had potential for greatness, but could also choose a negative course.
Thomas More, Utopia
Civic humanist who rose to a high government position in England. His masterpeice is a description of a utopian society where there is a balance of humanism, religion and property, which he believes causes problems in society (some have it, most don't). He believed that for harmony in society, individuals must be willing to sacrifice rights for the common good.
Medici Family
Dominated the politcs of Florence from 1360 to 1492, first with Giovani, a merchant and banker, then his son Cosimo, and then Lorenzo the Magnificent governed with great wealth until Tuscany became a grand duchy.
Cesare Borgia
A political leader, son of Pope Alexander VI, a member of the Spanish Borgia family, he had ambitions of uniting all of Italy under his control. His father tried to exploit his office for the benefit of his relatives.
Johann Gutenberg, printing press, moveable type
One of the most important inventions, this development made possible the spread of Renaissance literature throughout Europe, copies were no longer done by hand.
Cosimo de' Medici
Son of Giovanni Medici, he allied himself with the popular element against some of the leading families of the republic untill he became Florence's unofficial ruler.
Machiavelli, The Prince
A patriot of Italy, he wrote the most lasting work of the Italian Renaissance, a quintessential political treatise. In it, he wrote of how he dreamed that when citizens of his native Florence, or all of Italy, should behave like early Romans--show virility in their politics, fight in citizen armies for patriotic causes, and uphold their dignity before Europe. He admired the leaders of France, Spain and England because they knew how to exercise poer and how to build strong states. (ends justify means, for rulers it is better to be feared than loved).
Albrecht Durer
Famous Northern Renaissance artist, he often used woodcutting along with Italian Renaissance techniques like proportion, perspective and modeling. (Knight Death, and Devil; Four Apostles)
The revival of antiquity of philosophy, language, literature and art. Strong belief in the individual and the potential of human beings. The studied ancient languages of Latin and Greek, along with philosophy, created new art and literature without religon in them.
"High Renaissacnce"
A time when the "Renaissance Popes"; Alexander VI, Julius II and Leo X provided patronage to the arts.
Masaccio, Expulsion of Adam & Eve
Also studied the past for inspiration, he was the first Renaissance painter to portray real, nude human figures in 3D, his Fresco painting shows tremendous emotion.
Charles V
Holy Roman emperor and king of spain who sacked Rome in 1527 and spread the Renaissance ideals to the North.
Donatello, David
He studied the ancient Greek and Roman art, his bronze stature was the first sculpture of the Renaissance, and he was the first to utilize a nude figure.
William Shakespeare
Greatest of Renaissance authors in Elizabethan England, he reflected ideals of Greek and Roman culture, and humanism. His comedies, tragedies, histories and sonnets were all written in the English vernacular.
Lorenzo de' Medici (the Magnificent)
Grandson of Cosimo, he used his great wealth to govern Florence, but he is also remembered as a poet, connoisseur, and lavish benefactor of art and learning.
Raphael, School of Athens
famous painter, his most famous work was full of humanism; prominent Greco Roman architecture, presence of Plato and Aristotle.
In Renaissance art, using mathematics, space could be presented in relation to the beholder's eye, establishing a 3D effect.

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