A short history of renaissance and reformation europe pdf

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a short history of renaissance and reformation europe pdf

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Meaning rebirth or revival historical period of approximately years marked by a revival in art, literature, and learning. The period served as a bridge or transition between medieval and modern Western Europe.

This text's conversational tone and concise presentation are examples of an approach that is more representative than comprehensive--introducing historical figures and concepts as they flow through the narrative, without frequent interruption to include and define technical and foreign terms. Rather than a compendium or grand summa, the text serves as a brief introduction to some of the major personalities, issues, events, and ideas of the Renaissance and Reformation age. This unique text offers readers a concise, lively history of Europe that highlights the role of women in all aspects of the period. By adopting a conversational style and biographical approach to the study of art, culture, economics, religion and politics, it is designed to stimulate students' interests in the Renaissance and Reformation movements.

The Renaissance and Reformation in Northern Europe

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. The Renaissance saw many contributions to different fields, including new scientific laws, new forms of art and architecture, and new religious and political ideas. There is some debate over the actual start of the Renaissance.

However, it is generally believed to have begun in Italy during the 14th century, after the end of the Middle Ages , and reached its height in the 15th century. The Renaissance spread to the rest of Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries.

One of the fields that embodied the Renaissance was fine art, especially painting and sculpture. Works from this period were inspired by Classical Greek and Roman art and were known for their grace, harmony, and beauty. Artists worked from the living model and perfected techniques such as the use of perspective. In addition, the Renaissance saw the refinement of mediums, notably oils.

Leonardo da Vinci , Michelangelo , and Raphael are widely considered the leading artists of the period. Leonardo da Vinci is a leading example of a Renaissance man, noted for his achievements in art , science , music , invention, and writing. A brief treatment of the Renaissance follows.

For full treatment, see Europe, history of: The Renaissance. The term Middle Ages was coined by scholars in the 15th century to designate the interval between the downfall of the Classical world of Greece and Rome and its rediscovery at the beginning of their own century, a revival in which they felt they were participating.

Indeed, the notion of a long period of cultural darkness had been expressed by Petrarch even earlier. Events at the end of the Middle Ages, particularly beginning in the 12th century, set in motion a series of social, political, and intellectual transformations that culminated in the Renaissance. These included the increasing failure of the Roman Catholic Church and the Holy Roman Empire to provide a stable and unifying framework for the organization of spiritual and material life, the rise in importance of city-states and national monarchies, the development of national languages, and the breakup of the old feudal structures.

While the spirit of the Renaissance ultimately took many forms, it was expressed earliest by the intellectual movement called humanism. Humanism was initiated by secular men of letters rather than by the scholar-clerics who had dominated medieval intellectual life and had developed the Scholastic philosophy.

Humanism began and achieved fruition first in Italy. The fall of Constantinople in provided humanism with a major boost, for many eastern scholars fled to Italy, bringing with them important books and manuscripts and a tradition of Greek scholarship. Humanism had several significant features. First, it took human nature in all of its various manifestations and achievements as its subject. Second, it stressed the unity and compatibility of the truth found in all philosophical and theological schools and systems, a doctrine known as syncretism.

Third, it emphasized the dignity of man. In place of the medieval ideal of a life of penance as the highest and noblest form of human activity, the humanists looked to the struggle of creation and the attempt to exert mastery over nature.

Finally, humanism looked forward to a rebirth of a lost human spirit and wisdom. In the course of striving to recover it, however, the humanists assisted in the consolidation of a new spiritual and intellectual outlook and in the development of a new body of knowledge. The effect of humanism was to help men break free from the mental strictures imposed by religious orthodoxy, to inspire free inquiry and criticism , and to inspire a new confidence in the possibilities of human thought and creations.

From Italy the new humanist spirit and the Renaissance it engendered spread north to all parts of Europe, aided by the invention of printing, which allowed literacy and the availability of Classical texts to grow explosively. Foremost among northern humanists was Desiderius Erasmus , whose Praise of Folly epitomized the moral essence of humanism in its insistence on heartfelt goodness as opposed to formalistic piety.

The intellectual stimulation provided by humanists helped spark the Reformation , from which, however, many humanists, including Erasmus, recoiled. It was in art that the spirit of the Renaissance achieved its sharpest formulation.

In the hands of men such as Leonardo da Vinci it was even a science , a means for exploring nature and a record of discoveries. Art was to be based on the observation of the visible world and practiced according to mathematical principles of balance, harmony, and perspective , which were developed at this time. Francis of Assisi had rejected the formal Scholasticism of the prevailing Christian theology and gone out among the poor praising the beauties and spiritual value of nature.

His example inspired Italian artists and poets to take pleasure in the world around them. The great poet Dante lived at about the same time as Giotto, and his poetry shows a similar concern with inward experience and the subtle shades and variations of human nature. Although his Divine Comedy belongs to the Middle Ages in its plan and ideas, its subjective spirit and power of expression look forward to the Renaissance.

Petrarch and Giovanni Boccaccio also belong to this proto-renaissance period, both through their extensive studies of Latin literature and through their writings in the vernacular. Unfortunately, the terrible plague of and subsequent civil wars submerged both the revival of humanistic studies and the growing interest in individualism and naturalism revealed in the works of Giotto and Dante.

The spirit of the Renaissance did not surface again until the 15th century. In a competition was held at Florence to award the commission for bronze doors to be placed on the baptistery of San Giovanni. Defeated by the goldsmith and painter Lorenzo Ghiberti, Filippo Brunelleschi and Donatello left for Rome, where they immersed themselves in the study of ancient architecture and sculpture.

When they returned to Florence and began to put their knowledge into practice, the rationalized art of the ancient world was reborn. The founder of Renaissance painting was Masaccio — The intellectuality of his conceptions , the monumentality of his compositions, and the high degree of naturalism in his works mark Masaccio as a pivotal figure in Renaissance painting. The succeeding generation of artists—Piero della Francesca, the Pollaiuolo brothers , and Verrochio—pressed forward with researches into linear and aerial perspective and anatomy , developing a style of scientific naturalism.

The situation in Florence was uniquely favourable to the arts. The civic pride of Florentines found expression in statues of the patron saints commissioned from Ghiberti and Donatello for niches in the grain-market guildhall known as Or San Michele, and in the largest dome built since antiquity, placed by Brunelleschi on the Florence cathedral.

The cost of construction and decoration of palaces, churches, and monasteries was underwritten by wealthy merchant families, chief among whom were the Medici family. The Medici traded in all of the major cities in Europe, and one of the most famous masterpieces of Northern Renaissance art , The Portinari Altarpiece , by Hugo van der Goes c.

Instead of being painted with the customary tempera of the period, the work is painted with translucent oil glazes that produce brilliant jewel-like colour and a glossy surface. Early Northern Renaissance painters were more concerned with the detailed reproduction of objects and their symbolic meaning than with the study of scientific perspective and anatomy even after these achievements became widely known.

On the other hand, central Italian painters began to adopt the oil medium soon after The Portinari Altarpiece was brought to Florence in Article Contents.

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History World - History of the Renaissance Quatr. Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica Encyclopaedia Britannica's editors oversee subject areas in which they have extensive knowledge, whether from years of experience gained by working on that content or via study for an advanced degree See Article History. Overview of Florence, widely regarded as the birthplace of the Renaissance.

Top Questions. Read more below: Renaissance. Middle Ages. William Shakespeare. Leonardo da Vinci. Get a Britannica Premium subscription and gain access to exclusive content. Subscribe Now. Self-portrait of Leonardo da Vinci in red chalk, c.

Leonardo da Vinci's plans for an ornithopter, a flying machine kept aloft by the beating of its wings, c. Nicholas , tempera on wood by Ambrogio Lorenzetti, c. The Birth of Venus , tempera on canvas by Sandro Botticelli, c.

Leon Battista Alberti, self-portrait plaque, bronze, c. Palazzo Medici-Riccardi, designed by Michelozzo, in Florence. Ospedale Maggiore, designed by Filarete, begun , in Milan. Francis of Assisi Receiving the Stigmata , wood panel by Giotto, c. David , sculpture by Donatello, early 15th century. George , bronze copy of a marble sculpture by Donatello, begun c. The original statue has been transferred to the Bargello, Florence. Load Next Page.


JavaScript seems to be disabled in your browser. You must have JavaScript enabled in your browser to utilize the functionality of this website. My Account. Edited by Kenneth R. Bartlett and Margaret McGlynn.

Early modern Europe is the period of European history between the end of the Middle Ages and the beginning of the Industrial Revolution , roughly the late 15th century to the late 18th century. The precise dates of its end point also vary and are usually linked with either the start of the French Revolution in or with the more vaguely defined beginning of the Industrial Revolution in late 18th century England. Some of the more notable trends and events of the early modern period included the Reformation and the religious conflicts it provoked including the French Wars of Religion and the Thirty Years' War , the rise of capitalism and modern nation states , widespread witch hunts and European colonization of the Americas. The modern period was characterized by profound changes in many realms of human endeavor. Among the most important include the development of science as a formalized practice, increasingly rapid technological progress , and the establishment of secularized civic politics , law courts and the nation state. Capitalist economies began to develop in a nascent form, first in the northern Italian republics such as Genoa and Venice as well as in the cities of the Low Countries , and later in France , Germany and England. The early modern period also saw the rise and dominance of the economic theory of mercantilism.

View larger. Additional order info. K educators : This link is for individuals purchasing with credit cards or PayPal only. The prose-like writing, highly regarded by faculty and students alike, flows without frequent interruption by jargon or foreign terms. The Babylonian Captivity, The Burning of Jan Hus c. The Medici in Florence.

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