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The Renaissance (French for "rebirth"; Italian: Rinascimento, from ri- "again" and nascere "be born")[1] was

a cultural

movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Florence in the Late Middle Ages and later

spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historic era, but since the changes

of the Renaissance were not uniform across Europe, this is a general use of the term. As a cultural movement, it

encompassed a resurgence of learning based on classical sources, the development of linearperspective in painting,

and gradual but widespread educational reform. Traditionally, this intellectual transformation has resulted in the

Renaissance being viewed as a bridge between the Middle Ages and the Modern era. Although the Renaissance saw

revolutions in manyintellectual pursuits, as well as social and political upheaval, it is perhaps best known for

its artistic developments and the contributions of such polymaths as Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo, who

inspired the term "Renaissance man".[2][3]There is a general, but not unchallenged, consensus that the Renaissance

began in Florence, Tuscany in the 14th century.[4] Various theories have been proposed to account for its origins and

characteristics, focusing on a variety of factors including the social and civic peculiarities ofFlorence at the time; its

political structure; the patronage of its dominant family, the Medici;[5] and the migration of Greek scholars and texts to

Italy following the Fall of Constantinople at the hands of the Ottoman Turks.[6][7][8]

Origins: Most historians agree that the ideas that characterized the Renaissance had their origin in late 13th

century Florence, in particular with the writings of Dante Alighieri (1265–1321) and Francesco Petrarca (1304–1374), as

well as the painting of Giotto di Bondone (1267–1337).[17]Some writers date the Renaissance quite precisely; one

proposed starting point is 1401, when the rival geniuses Lorenzo Ghiberti and Filippo Brunelleschi competed for the

contract to build the bronze doors for the Baptistery of the Florence Cathedral (Ghiberti won).[18] Others see more

general competition between artists and polymaths such as Brunelleschi, Ghiberti, Donatello, and Masaccio for

artistic commissions as sparking the creativity of the Renaissance. Yet it remains much debated why the

Renaissance began in Italy, and why it began when it did. Accordingly, several theories have been put forward to

explain its origins.

During Renaissance, money and art went hand in hand. Artists depended totally on patrons while the patrons needed

money to sustain genuises. Wealth was brought to Italy in 14th, 15th and 16th century by expanding trade into Asia and

Europe. Silver mining in Tyrol increased the flow of money. Luxuries from the Eastern world, brought during Crusades

made the prosperity of Genoa and Venice.[19]

Latin and Greek Phases of Renaissance humanism: In stark contrast to the High Middle Ages, when Latin
scholars focused almost entirely on studying Greek and Arabic works of natural science, philosophy and
mathematics,[20] Renaissance scholars were most interested in recovering and studying Latin and Greek
literary, historical, and oratorical texts. Broadly speaking, this began in the 14th century with a Latin phase,
when Renaissance scholars such as Petrarch, Coluccio Salutati (1331–1406), Niccolò de'
Niccoli (1364–1437) and Poggio Bracciolini (1380–1459 AD) scoured the libraries of Europe in search of
works by such Latin authors as Cicero, Livyand Seneca.[21] By the early 15th century, the bulk of such
Latin literature had been recovered; the Greek phase of Renaissance humanism was now under way, as
Western European scholars turned to recovering ancient Greek literary, historical, oratorical and
theological texts.[22]
Social and political structures in Italy: The unique political structures of late Middle Ages Italy have led
some to theorize that its unusual social climate allowed the emergence of a rare cultural efflorescence.
Italy did not exist as a political entity in the early modern period. Instead, it was divided into
smaller city states and territories: the Kingdom of Naples controlled the south, the Republic of
Florence and the Papal States at the center, the Genoese and theMilanese to the north and west
respectively, and the Venetians to the east. Fifteenth-century Italy was one of the most urbanised areas
in Europe.[32] Many of its cities stood among the ruins of ancient Roman buildings; it seems likely that the
classical nature of the Renaissance was linked to its origin in the Roman Empire's heartland.[33]
Cultural conditions in Florence: It has long been a matter of debate why the Renaissance began in Florence,
and not elsewhere in Italy. Scholars have noted several features unique to Florentine cultural life which
may have caused such a cultural movement. Many have emphasized the role played by the Medici,
a banking family and later ducal ruling house, in patronizing and stimulating the arts. Lorenzo de'
Medici (1449–1492) was the catalyst for an enormous amount of arts patronage, encouraging his
countryman to commission works from Florence's leading artists, including Leonardo da Vinci, Sandro
Botticelli, andMichelangelo Buonarroti.[5]

Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni[1] (6 March 1475 – 18 February 1564), commonly known as Michelangelo,

was an Italian Renaissance painter, sculptor, architect, poet, and engineer. Despite making few forays beyond the

arts, his versatility in the disciplines he took up was of such a high order that he is often considered a contender for

the title of the archetypal Renaissance man, along with his rival and fellow Italian, Leonardo da Vinci.

Michelangelo's output in every field during his long life was prodigious; when the sheer volume of correspondence,

sketches, and reminiscences that survive is also taken into account, he is the best-documented artist of the 16th

century. Two of his best-known works, thePietà and David, were sculpted before he turned thirty. Despite his low

opinion of painting, Michelangelo also created two of the most influential works in fresco in the history of Western

art: the scenes from Genesis on the ceiling and The Last Judgment on the altar wall of the Sistine Chapel in Rome. As

an architect, Michelangelo pioneered the Mannerist style at the Laurentian Library. At 74 he succeededAntonio da

Sangallo the Younger as the architect of Saint Peter's Basilica. Michelangelo transformed the plan, the western end

being finished to Michelangelo's design, the dome being completed after his death with some modification.

Life Michelangelo was born on 6 March 1475[a] in Caprese near Arezzo, Tuscany.[4] For several generations, his family

had been small-scale bankers in Florence, but his father, Lodovico di Leonardo di Buonarroti di Simoni, failed to

maintain the bank's financial status, and held occasional government positions. [2] At the time of Michelangelo's birth,

his father was the Judicial administrator of the small town of Caprese and local administrator of Chiusi.

Michelangelo's mother was Francesca di Neri del Miniato di Siena. [5] The Buonarrotis claimed to descend from the

Countess Mathilde of Canossa; this claim remains unproven, but Michelangelo himself believed it. [6] Several months

after Michelangelo's birth, the family returned to Florence, where Michelangelo was raised. At later times, during the

prolonged illness and after the death of his mother when he was seven years old, Michelangelo lived with a

stonecutter and his wife and family in the town of Settignano, where his father owned a marble quarry and a small
farm.[5] Giorgio Vasari quotes Michelangelo as saying, "If there is some good in me, it is because I was born in the

subtle atmosphere of your country of Arezzo. Along with the milk of my nurse I received the knack of handling chisel

and hammer, with which I make my figures."[4] Michelangelo arrived in Rome 25 June 1496[18] at the age of 21. On 4 July

of the same year, he began work on a commission for CardinalRaffaele Riario, an over-life-size statue of the Roman

wine god, Bacchus. However, upon completion, the work was rejected by the cardinal, and subsequently entered the

collection of the banker Jacopo Galli, for his garden.


Works
Statue of David

Michelangelo returned to Florence in 1499–1501. Things were changing in the republic after the fall of anti-

Renaissance Priest and leader of Florence, Girolamo Savonarola (executed in 1498) and the rise of

the gonfaloniere Pier Soderini. He was asked by the consuls of the Guild of Wool to complete an unfinished project

begun 40 years earlier by Agostino di Duccio: a colossal statue portraying David as a symbol of Florentine freedom, to

be placed in the Piazza della Signoria, in front of the Palazzo Vecchio. Michelangelo responded by completing his most

famous work, the Statue of David in 1504. This masterwork, created out of a marble block from the quarries

at Carrara that had already been worked on by an earlier hand, definitively established his prominence as a sculptor

of extraordinary technical skill and strength of symbolic imagination.

Also during this period, Michelangelo painted the Holy Family and St John, also known as the Doni Tondo or the Holy

Family of the Tribune: it was commissioned for the marriage of Angelo Doni and Maddalena Strozzi and in the 17th
century hung in the room known as the Tribune in the Uffizi. He also may have painted the Madonna and Child

with John the Baptist, known as the Manchester Madonna and now in the National Gallery, London.

Sistine Chapel ceiling


In 1505 Michelangelo was invited back to Rome by the newly elected Pope Julius II. He was commissioned to build the Pope's
tomb. Under the patronage of the Pope, Michelangelo had to constantly stop work on the tomb in order to accomplish
numerous other tasks. Because of these interruptions, Michelangelo worked on the tomb for 40 years. The tomb, of which the
central feature is Michelangelo's statue of Moses, was never finished to Michelangelo's satisfaction. It is located in
the Church of S. Pietro in Vincoli in Rome.During the same period, Michelangelo took the commission to paint the ceiling of
the Sistine Chapel, which took approximately four years to complete (1508–1512). According to Michelangelo's
account, Bramante and Raphael convinced the Pope to commission Michelangelo in a medium not familiar to the artist. This
was done in order that he, Michelangelo, would suffer unfavorable comparisons with his rival Raphael, who at the time was at
the peak of his own artistry as the primo fresco painter. However, this story is discounted by modern historians on the
grounds of contemporary evidence, and may merely have been a reflection of the artist's own perspective.
Last works in Rome
The fresco of The Last Judgment on the altar wall of the Sistine Chapel was commissioned by Pope Clement VII, who
died shortly after assigning the commission. Paul III was instrumental in seeing that Michelangelo began and
completed the project. Michelangelo labored on the project from 1534 to October 1541. The work is massive and spans
the entire wall behind the altar of the Sistine Chapel. The Last Judgment is a depiction of the second coming of Christ
and the apocalypse; where the souls of humanity rise and are assigned to their various fates, as judged by Christ,
surrounded by the Saints. In 1546, Michelangelo was appointed architect of St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican, and
designed its dome. As St. Peter's was progressing there was concern that Michelangelo would pass away before the
dome was finished. However, once building commenced on the lower part of the dome, the supporting ring, the
completion of the design was inevitable. Michelangelo died in Rome at the age of 88 (three weeks before his 89th
birthday). His body was brought back from Rome for interment at the Basilica di Santa Croce, fulfilling the maestro's
last request to be buried in his beloved Tuscany.

Conclusion: The Italian Renaissance had placed human beings once more
in the center of life's stage and infused thought and art with
humanistic values. In timethe stimulating ideas current in
Italy spread to other areas and combined with indigenous
developments to produce a French Renaissance, an English
Renaissance, and so on.Renaissance means rebirth and is the period in European
civilization immediately following the Middle Ages,
conventionally held to have been characterized by a surge of
interest in classical learning and values. The Renaissance also
witnessed the discovery and exploration of new continents, the
substitution of the Copernican for the Ptolemaic system of
astronomy, the decline of the feudal system and the growth of
commerce, and the invention or application of such potentially
powerful innovations as paper, printing, the mariner's compass,
and gunpowder. To the scholars and thinkers of the day, however,
it was primarily a time of the revival of classical learning and
wisdom after a long period of cultural decline and stagnation.