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Renaissance Art 25/07/2007 10:22:00

Renaissance Ideals
• Social movement that came to be known as Humanism
o A secular way of thought
o Did not stand in opposition to religion
o Opposes the church in certain points
o Human perfectibility
 Humans had the capacity to perfect their existence and
their own destiny
• The Liberal Arts
o Humanists believed in seeking knowledge for its own sake
 They looked back to the texts of ancient Rome and
ancient Greece
 Renewed interest in Greek language and translation
 Emphasis on clarity and persuasiveness of the ancient
Greek thinkers
o Renewed interest of philology and rhetoric
 Study of Language and expression
o Strong civil component to humanism as a movement
 Civic humanism
 Life of action
 People could do both
 As a scholar and intellectual you are acting for the
service of the common good
 Believe that men is borne in order to be useful to
 Not only an interest in public service also a
renewed interest in diplomacy and statesmanship
• Renaissance Science
o two approaches to science
 text-based knowledge
 rooted in the study of classical scientists
• Hippocrates and Galen
o Hippocrates was medically based
o Galen brought improvements in the
medical as well.
 He believed that the human
body was composed of four
 Each of them were related to
the four basic elements
 and that wellness comes fro the
balance of these humors
 if sick then the balance needed
to be restored
 to restore the balance they
would bleed people to restore
the balance
 Experiment-based knowledge
 Dissection became a way to study the human
 this gave scientists a deeper and better
understanding of the human body and the
location of its organs
 a major leap in the understand of the human body
• Politics
o Civic Humanism extended to political realm
o Machiavelli
 while in exile he wrote The Prince
 strong army and good laws
 he was attempting a humanist study of politics and
The Italian City-States
• “Center of the Christian World” by the end of the 16th century
• the Byzantine empire is pretty much done by this time
o taken over the by the ottomans, Muslims
• Italy is not the center, but it is the wealthiest and most powerful
nation at this time
• its central location made it an ideal place for commerce
• it became more powerful because of the schism and the weakening
of the papal power
o it allowed the smaller nations to become more powerful in
their own terms (Italian city states)
• the city-states were wealthy enough to rely on mercenaries for most
of their fighting
• The Five Powers
o even though there were more than 5 city-states there were 5
more powerful than the rest
o Naples
 The only city-state ruled by a hereditary monarchy
 this system created turmoil and conflict over succession
 it is not resolved until it was overtaken by Spain
o Papal States
 Example of authority and weakness
 powerful, stretching through central Italy
 different regions were often powerful and managed a
deal of autonomy despite of papal rule
 the pope had to play a game of patronage between the
nobles to maintain his own rule
o Florence
 First became very powerful because it supported the
 but its political power was driven de facto in the longer
term by its economic power
 the economy derived from banking and wool
 cultural center during the renaissance
o Milan
 Similar to Naples but not ruled by a hereditary
 it was, however, ruled for over 200 years by the Visconti
o Venice
 the most powerful of the city-states
 derived from trade
 long been one of the most prosperous commercial
cities in Europe if not the most prosperous
 venitian merchants negotiated a privilege position with
the Byzantine empire
 the trade companies set up trading posts on the
Adriatic and throughout different parts of
 it gave them an advantage over other traders
 they also maintained the best and most powerful
fleet of the city-states that could double as a navy
if needed
 ruled by a hereditary elite, called the great council
 the council was about 2,500. Sons would go the
“Gold Book” and from the council they elected a
 senate was about 250 people
 from the senate they elected people for smaller
council with specific tasks
 they also elected the Doge that had power for life,
he was the decider. With the conjunction of the
 the terms of the senate and other comities lasted
for one year
• one person could not gain too much power
 Venice changed directions in the middle of the 15th
century when the ottoman fleet began to threaten the
naval supremacy
 Venice did not abandon their fleet but shifted their
gear to land based conquest
• Florence: Spinning Cloth into Gold
o The textile industry was the most powerful and lucrative
industries in southern Europe but competed with the Finnish
and British industries
o Banking was unmatched
 they did not simple exchange and handled money
 they also underwrote and financed other business
 banks would purchase wool and sell them to
textile companies
 they maintained a stake in other businesses and
 the most powerful banks were run by the Medici family
 they became to dominate the gov’t.
o Cosamo
 He used his banking to influence the gov’t
 he gains alliances with the ruling parties in Florence
 he then manages to convince the gov’t to use
emergency powers to limit the eligible voters to
eventually only his supporters were able to vote
 He later passes the gov’t to his son
 he emerged as the de facto ruler of Florence
 he never took over the council but it was
understood he was in charge
 the Medici family liked the arts
 financed Michael Angelo
o Lorenzo (Cosamo’s son)
 Led Florence through great prestige and territorial
 when he died Florence became less powerful
 and the influence of the Medici family could not be
• End of Italian Hegemony [1450 – 1527]
o Italian City States at the Height of Power
 Trade and manufacturing
 technology
 one of the dominants of the printing press
 double entry book keeping
 detailed navigational charts which gave to other
 the telescope and the compass
 Christopher Columbus came from Genoa and
Bespuchy got its start as a merchant in Florence
 Venetian glass had a great reputation and Florentine silk
o Political and Military Unrest
 Peace of Lodi [1454]
 The city states began to stabilize relationships
with one another
 Venice and Milan then Florence and Naples
 non-aggression treaty for about 40 years
 the constant threat from the other city states made
them paranoid
o Italian Decline
 Mehmed II
 Conquered Constantinople [1453] and Athens a
few years later
 Venice lost its naval supremacy
 instead of unity to meet the new threat they were
too busy fighting one another to do much about it
 [1494] Wars of Italy
 Naples, Florence, and the Papal states side with
 Milan appealed to France and not Venice for an
 This disrupted the alliance with the papal states
 Milan is now in war with the papal states and
other European powers
 Naples falls to Spain, Venice loses its territorial
gains, and in 1527 just before the wars German
mercenaries sack Rome
 These invasions allow the conquerors to take the
cultural gains and translates them northward and
outward of Europe
“Northern Renaissance”
• “Intellectual Reformation”
o some of the seeds of the protestant reformation
• Print Revolution
o Johannes Gutenberg
 Creates the printing press
 He refined the technique that was already in the making
 Paper making and goldsmith
 they had to shape hard metal into a type font
o Spread
 it did not spread very quickly
 the metal made it very expensive to buy
 book publishers were the only ones that could afford
them and most of them went bankrupt because of the
lack of demand
 people preferred the old type of books
 once it caught on it spread very rapidly
 by the 1490s, about 40 million books had been
o Impact
 Distribution
 easier to distribute locally and nationally
 codes of laws could spread more easily
 Standardization
 it standardize laws
 languages, correct forms of spelling and usage
 Intellectual Community
 international community of intellectuals
 they could share their writings and those they
wished to debate
• Christian Humanism
o Directly influenced by civil humanism
o took the revival of ancient greek and acient texts and applied
it to the Christian doctrines
o the establishment of biblical authority
 translate the Greek, or the latin, or the ancient Hebrew
translation to get the most original translation as
o equality of sex, and of education
 schools for women across Europe
 opened convents were they could receive a broader
humanistic education
o Juan Luis Vives, 1523 wrote “Intruction of a Christian Woman”
o also a response to what they saw as the state of the church
 far too stale in its practices
 the bible at the time was over 1,000 years old
 discourage questioning and focused on memorization
 at this time they start to ask questions, and have a
greater puristic nature that they thought the church had
• Humanist Movement
o International movement
o emperor and kings sought humanists as advisors in the royal
o humanists saw a staleness in the church and a backwardness
of the faith of the people
 the worship of relics and pilgrimages which they
considered superstitious
 they wanted a stronger connection between the peolpe
and the crhistian texts
o Utopia [1516]
 Moore, invents an imaginary world where people
disdained money and focused on community
 he wrote is as a contrast of the state of the church and
society at the time
o Polyglot [1522]
 Chrisitna humanists wrote it
 trilinguan bibble of latin, Greek, and Hebrew
 became a standard thelogical text
• Erasmus [1466 – 1536]
o Dutch monk, traveled across Europe
o wrote “In Praise of Folly” 1509
 harsh critizism of the church
 the church had become too intolerant
 adopted the practice of shooting down any questions
against it
o Translated “New Testament and St. Jerome” 1516
• This movement sets the stage for the protestant reformation
25/07/2007 10:22:00
25/07/2007 10:22:00