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State of Europe
• What was the state of Europe at the
end of the Middle ages?
– Population: recovering from plague
and wars
– Economy: recovering
– Religion: questioning authority
Middle Ages Art: Describe
• Means: “rebirth”
– Secular interests in Greco-Roman culture and
– Focus more on earthly matters rather than on
• cultural awakening in Europe
• about 1350 – 1600
• started in Italy
– Why Italy?
• more trade between Europe
and Islamic Empire
• preservation of Greco-Roman
knowledge by Byzantines and
• more trade = more money
Why Italy?
• center of trade routes
• attachment to classical (Roman) traditions
• prosperous city-states: Primarily Urban
– Leaders in trade
– Wealthy merchant class
• 1st to get and recover from the plague.
Middle Ages
• Art – focused on
– Primitive looking
• Lacking in
Renaissance Art
• Still use religion as main subject matter
• Introduce
– Perspective
– Shading
– Scientific knowledge of anatomy
• Result: more realistic images
New Ideas
• Individualism – emphasis on
person as individual rather than
part of a group
• Refocus on the appreciation of
• More secular
Key People
• Medici Family
• Niccolo Machiavelli
• Leonardo da Vinci
• Michelangelo
• Petrarch
Or you can think of these guys …
• Michaelangelo
• Leonardo
• Raphael
• Donatello
Medici Family
• Wealthy Italian (Florence) -
Banking family
• Dominated politics: Became
powerful in politics due to
extreme wealth and influence
• Patron of the arts
Power of Patrons
• Artists began to paint portraits of
people in Italian city-states
– And images of everyday life
• Showed wealth & power by
commissioning as many portraits and
art pieces as they could afford
Niccolo Machiavelli
• wrote The Prince –
handbook for
princes on ruling
• supported absolute
The Prince
• “it is better to be feared than loved, if you
cannot be both.”
• “Men should be either treated generously or
destroyed, because they take revenge for slight
injuries - for heavy ones they cannot.”
• “The fact is that a man who wants to act
virtuously in every way necessarily comes to
grief among so many who are not virtuous.”
• “The first method for estimating the intelligence
of a ruler is to look at the men he has around
Leonardo da Vinci
• artist, scientist,
• painted Mona Lisa
and The Last Supper
• THE “Renaissance
Mona Lisa
The Last Supper
• Scientific
study of
human form
• Inventor
• artist – painter and sculptor
• painted ceiling of the Sistine
• sculpted David
Sistine Chapel
Michelangelo –
Sistine Chapel ceiling -
Creation of Adam
• Realism: aimed to
represent the visible
world truthfully
– Show emotion

• Science and art of making objects
appear to be receding into
– Making them smaller
– Using mathematical method
– Result: more realistic looking artwork
• Brunelleschi’s drawing of interior of Church of Santo
• poet and scholar
• love sonnets (14 line poems)
inspired poetry in Romeo and Juliet
– Most famous to Laura
• humanist writings: “Father of the
• Humanism: an intellectual movement
that focused on human potential and
– Focused on Greek values & values
of other cultures
– People could enjoy life without
offending God.
• Their love affair with the ancients led to an
increasing literacy in Latin and Greek
• The Renaissance was secular in orientation,
concentrating its attention on the here and
now, unlike the medieval concern for the
world to come
• Changes in art during Renaissance
correlate close with changes in ideas
about life
– People curious about science and
mathematics and humanities
– Focus more on life on earth rather than
on the afterlife
Spread of Renaissance
• Spread north from Italy into
other parts of Europe
– To be continued…