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was there a European 'Renaissance' in 14 century

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The Renaissance was a period of time from the 14th to the 17th century in Europe. This era bridged the time between the Middle Ages and modern times. The word "Renaissance" means "rebirth". 


Coming out of the Dark 


The Middle Ages began with the fall of the Roman Empire. Much of the advances in science, art, and government that had been made by the Greeks and Romans were lost during this time. Part of the Middle Ages is actually called the Dark Ages because so much of what was learned earlier was lost. 


The Renaissance was a time of "coming out of the dark". It was a rebirth of education, science, art, literature, music, and a better life for people in general. 


A Cultural Movement 


A big part of the Renaissance was a cultural movement called humanism. Humanism was a philosophy that all people should strive to be educated and learned in the classical arts, literature, and science. It looked for realism and human emotion in art. It also said that it was okay for people to pursue comfort, riches, and beauty. 


The Renaissance - Class 11 
The Mona Lisa -
perhaps the world's most famous painting - 
was painted during the Renaissance by Leonardo da Vinci.

It began in Italy 


The Renaissance started in Florence, Italy and spread to other city-states in Italy. Part of the reason it began in Italy was because of the history of Rome and the Roman Empire. Another reason it began in Italy was because Italy had become very wealthy and the wealthy were willing to spend their money supporting artists and geniuses. 


City-states played a big role in the rule of Italy at the time. They were often ruled by a powerful family. Some important city-states included Florence, Milan, Venice, and Ferrara. 


The Renaissance Man 


The term Renaissance Man refers to a person that is an expert and talented in many areas. The true geniuses of the Renaissance were great examples of this. Leonardo da Vinci was a master painter, sculptor, scientist, inventor, architect, engineer, and writer. Michelangelo was also a superb painter, sculptor, and architect. 



Fun Facts about the Renaissance

  • One of the most popular Greek philosophers was Plato. Many men studied Plato's writings at the Academy in Florence.
  • Venice was famous for its glass work, while Milan was famous for its iron smiths.
  • Francis I, King of France, was patron of the arts and helped Renaissance art spread from Italy to France.
  • Artists were initially thought of as craftsmen. They worked in workshops and belonged to a guild.
  • Two of the biggest changes to art from the Middle Ages were the concepts of proportion and perspective.
  • Michelangelo and Leonardo became rivals when Michelangelo mocked da Vinci for not finishing a statue of a horse.
  • Hunting was a popular form of entertainment for the wealthy.
  • Artists and architects would often compete for a job, or commission, to create a piece of art.
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FAQs on The Renaissance - Class 11

1. What is the Renaissance?
Ans. The Renaissance was a period in European history, occurring between the 14th and 17th centuries, characterized by a renewed interest in the arts, sciences, and humanism. It was a time of significant cultural and intellectual advancements, marked by the revival of classical Greek and Roman knowledge and an emphasis on individualism and human potential.
2. Who were some famous figures of the Renaissance?
Ans. The Renaissance saw the rise of many influential figures in various fields. Some notable individuals include Leonardo da Vinci, an Italian artist, scientist, and inventor; Michelangelo, an Italian sculptor and painter; William Shakespeare, an English playwright and poet; and Galileo Galilei, an Italian astronomer and physicist.
3. What were the main characteristics of Renaissance art?
Ans. Renaissance art was characterized by a shift from the religious focus of the Middle Ages to a greater emphasis on humanism and the natural world. It sought to represent realistic human figures with depth and perspective, often inspired by classical Greek and Roman art. Artists also experimented with techniques such as chiaroscuro (light and shadow) and sfumato (blurring of outlines).
4. How did the Renaissance impact society?
Ans. The Renaissance had a profound impact on society, leading to significant changes in various aspects of life. It sparked an increase in literacy and education, as well as the spread of new ideas and knowledge through the invention of the printing press. The Renaissance also brought about social and economic transformations, contributing to the rise of the middle class and the growth of trade and commerce.
5. What role did the Medici family play in the Renaissance?
Ans. The Medici family, particularly in Florence, played a crucial role in the patronage of the arts and the support of Renaissance thinkers and artists. They were wealthy bankers who used their financial power to commission artworks, sponsor scholars, and create an environment conducive to intellectual and artistic growth. Their patronage helped fuel the cultural advancements of the Renaissance.
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