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THE RENAISSANCE Return to Classical Roots 14001494
TEACHING STRATEGIES AND SUGGESTIONS
The teacher can begin the section on the Early Renaissance with a Standard Lecture using either the Diffusion or the Pattern of Change approach to show the connections and discontinuities between this first modern period and the Middle Ages. At the same time, a general survey can be made between these two cultural periods, contrasting the religious, corporateminded Middle Ages with the secular, individualistic Renaissance. Because the nature of the Renaissance is such a hotly debated topic, the instructor may want to help students sort through the rival interpretations summarized in the textbook; these interpretations can also be used as the basis for a more general discussion on the nature of historical writing, such as what motivates historians and why they do not always agree. The teacher will be able to use fifteenthcentury Italy as a Case Study to show the interrelationship of politics, diplomacy, economics and war--a recurring theme in history. The Reflections/Connections model will work well in illustrating that in Early Renaissance Florence the brilliant developments in the arts were directly tied to political changes, economic prosperity, and ambitious families. Various paths may be followed in the lectures on Early Renaissance intellectual and artistic developments. The Pattern of Change model can be applied to the arts and ideas by tracing their evolution over the century. Innovations in education can be contrasted with medieval education, using the Comparison/Contrast approach. The arts can be illustrated with visual aids--slides, films, or both--and should probably be presented as an evolution in techniques, local traditions, and generational differences while underscoring the revival of GrecoRoman Classicism. The instructor might want to use the "Great Individual" argument in discussing the lives and contributions of such key figures as Donatello, Brunelleschi, or Leonardo da Vinci. A final lecture can deal with two topics: first, using a Spirit of the Age approach, the underlying unity of the cultural developments in the Early Renaissance; and, second, using a Diffusion approach, the impact that this age had on subsequent periods, including our own.
I. The Renaissance: Schools of Interpretation A.Burckhardt and his critics B.Phases of the Renaissance II.Early Renaissance History and Institutions A.Italian citystates during the Early Renaissance 1. Wars, alliances, treaties 2. Trade and commerce 3. The role of the family B. Florence, the center of the Renaissance 1. Phases of governments 2. The Medici family
C. The resurgent papacy, 14501500 1. Popes caught up in pursuit of power 2. Patrons of Renaissance culture 3.Three powerful popes III. The Spirit and Style of the Early Renaissance A.Humanism, scholarship, and schooling 1. Humanistic studies a)Textual criticism b)Civic humanism 2. Educational reform and curriculum B. Thought and philosophy 1. Platonism in Florence a)Ficino b)Pico della Mirandola 2. Relation to Classicism C. Architecture, sculpture, and painting 1. Artistic ideals and innovations a)Classical influences b)Late medieval influences c)Types of perspectives d)Secular values in art 2. Architecture a)Brunelleschi b)Alberti 3. Sculpture a)Donatello b)Verrocchio c)Ghiberti 4.Painting in the Florentine and Venetian schools a)Changes and innovations in painting b)Florentine school (1)Masaccio (2)Fra Angelico (3)Piero della Francesca (4)Botticelli (5)Leonardo da Vinci c)Venetian school (1)Bellini D.Music 1. Influences on Renaissance music 2. The leading composers a)John Dunstable b)Josquin des Prez IV. The Legacy of the Early Renaissance
NONWESTERN EVENTS (See Chapter 10 for nonWestern events.)
To learn: 1. The various schools of interpretation of the Renaissance 2. The phases of fifteenthcentury Italian politics and diplomacy 3. The phases of Italian economic trends during the fifteenth century 4. The role of Florence as the center of the Early Renaissance 5. The impact of the Medici family in Florentine history 6. The nature of the Renaissance papacy, its leaders, and their contributions 7. The characteristics of the Early Renaissance 8. The characteristics and evolution of Renaissance humanism 9.The development of Renaissance scholarship and learning, including its leaders and their contributions 10.The characteristics of Early Renaissance architecture, including the chief architects, their innovations, examples of their works, and their influence 11.The nature of Early Renaissance sculpture, including its origins, the major sculptors, and their influence 12.The characteristics of Early Renaissance painting and its impact on later styles, with references to specific painters and their innovations 13.The differences and similarities between the Florentine and Venetian schools of painting 14.To compare and contrast selected works of Early Renaissance architecture or sculpture or painting, noting the artists, what influenced them, and their contributions 15.The changes in music--types of works and new techniques and other innovations 16.The cultural changes in the areas of the arts and how these changes, including the revival of Classicism, affected the arts until modern times 17.Historic "firsts" of Early Renaissance civilization that became part of the Western tradition: textual criticism, realistic painting based on mathematical perspective, the educational ideal, called the "Renaissance Man," and the drive to individual fulfillment 18.The role of Early Renaissance civilization in transmitting the heritage of earlier civilizations: rediscovering Classical art styles and redefining them, reviving GrecoRoman humanism and restoring it to the primary place in the educational curriculum, reinvigorating humanistic studies, freeing painting and sculpture from their tutelage to architecture in imitation of the Classical tradition, and making skepticism a central part of the consciousness of the educated elite as had been characteristic of ancient Greece and Rome
SUGGESTIONS FOR FILMS, VIDEOS, CDROMS
The Beginning: The Emergence of the Renaissance. Films for the Humanities, 60 min., color. Civilization: Man and the Measure of All Things. TimeLife, 52 min., color. Great Artists. Films for the Humanities, CDROM, Windows only. An Introduction to the Italian Renaissance. Films for the Humanities, 29 min., color. Journey of the Magus: Artists and Patrons in Renaissance Italy. Films for the Humanities, 60 min., color. Masterworks of Western Art. Films for the Humanities, 8 videos. The Medici. Films for the Humanities, CDROM, Windows and Macintosh. Piero della Francesca. Films for the Humanities, 61 min., color. The Power of the Past: Florence. PBS, 90 min., color. The Pure Radiance of the Past: The Revival of Ancient Architecture. Films for the Humanities, 60 min. The Renaissance. Films for the Humanities, 60 min., color. Renaissance and Resurrection. ABC News, 55 min., color.
Renaissance Art. Films for the Humanities, CDROM. The Renaissance of Florence. Films for the Humanities, CDROM, Windows.
SUGGESTIONS FOR MUSIC
The Castle of Fair Welcome (fifteenthcentury courtly songs). The Gothic Voices. Hyperion CDA66194. Josquin des Prez. La Deploration sur la mort de Johannes Ockeghem. New London Chamber Choir. Amon Ra CDSAR24. ------. Missa Gaudeamus. Capella Cordina. Lyr. 7265. Guillaume Dufay. Hymns (with Introductory Gregorian Chants from the Cambrai Antiphonal). Schola Hungarica. Hungaroton HCD12951. John Dunstable. Motets. Hilliard Ensemble. Angel CDC49002. ------. Sacred and Secular Music. Ambrosian Singers. EA S36E. Medieval English Music (from the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries). Hilliard (Vocal Ensemble). Harmonia Mundi HMA190.1153.
SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER READING
Baron, H. In Search of Florentine Civic Humanism: Essays on the Transition from Medieval to Modern Thought. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1988. Readable essays that root the ideal of civic humanism within the reality of Florentine politics. Burckhardt, J. The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy. New York: Harper Torchbooks, 1958. The mid nineteenthcentury classic that first described the Renaissance for the modern world and that scholars have debated since its publication. Burke, P. The Italian Renaissance: Culture and Society in Italy. Rev. ed. Cambridge: Polity, 1987. A study of Renaissance Italy's educated and wealthy urban society that expressed its new attitudes through the arts, literature, and styles of life; findings partly based on computerized data. Cole, A. Art of the Italian Renaissance Courts. Virture and Magnificence. London: Everymans Art Library, 1995. An illustrated study of the art of five of Italy's princely Renaissance courts: Naples, Urbino, Milan, Ferrara, and Mantua. Cole, B. The Renaissance Artist at Work. New York: Harper & Row, 1983. A pioneering work that focuses on the social world in which Renaissance artists worked. Edgerton, S. The Renaissance Rediscovery of Linear Perspective. New York: Basic Books, 1975. In this thought provoking work Edgerton links the revival of linear perspective with contemporary religious beliefs. Goldthwaite, R. A. The Building of Renaissance Florence: An Economic and Social History. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1980. An enlightening study of the social and economic background to the birth of Renaissance architecture in Florence. Henry, D. The Listener's Guide to Medieval & Renaissance Music. New York: Facts on File, 1983. A brief, masterly introduction with an annotated guide to some of the best available recordings. Herlihy, D., and KlapischZuber, C. Tuscans and Their Families. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1985. A brilliant work of social and economic history that uses the tax returns of 1427 in Tuscany as the basis for an analysis of the region's families.
Hibbert, C. The House of Medici: Its Rise and Fall. New York: Quill, 1999. Extensive, wellwritten study sympathetic to the Medicis. Jensen, D. Renaissance Europe: Age of Recovery and Reconciliation. 2nd ed. Lexington, Mass.: Heath, 1992. A comprehensive history of Renaissance Europe that takes into account the findings of the new social historians. King, R. Brunelleschi's Dome: How a Renaissance Genius Reinvented Architecture. New York: Penguin, 2000. Brief, readable, informative, and entertaining. An ideal supplemental text for students who want more depth. KlapischZuber, C. Women, Family, and Ritual in Renaissance Italy. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1985. Translated by L. Cochrane. A volume on Florentine social life and customs.McCarthy, M. The Stones of Florence. New York: Harvest, 2002. Entertaining personal tribute to Florence's past and present, combining history, artistic description, and social observation. Murray, P. The Architecture of the Italian Renaissance. Rev. ed. New York: Schocken, 1986. A knowledgeable overview of Italian Renaissance architecture with many helpful illustrations and drawings. National Gallery of Art, ed. Tilman Riemenschneider: Master Sculptor of the Late Middle Ages. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1999. Exceptional introduction to this littleknown and innovative wood sculptor's work, with articles by seven medieval scholars and beautiful illustrations. Turner, R. Renaissance Florence: The Invention of a New Art. Arlington Heights, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1999. Superb study that places artistic innovations in religious, political, and economic context.
KEY CULTURAL TERMS
Renaissance studia humanitatis Early Renaissance style vanishing point pilaster relief chiaroscuro sfumato mass chanson a cappella
PERSONAL PERSPECTIVE BACKGROUND
Laura Cereta, Defense of the Liberal Instruction of Women In this letter, Laura Cereta defends women's rights against a critic whom she addresses as "Bibulus," or "drunkard." "Bibulus" may have been an actual person or simply an epithet to describe those men who denigrated women. In particular, she aligns herself with other women and refuses to cast herself as superior to them simply because of her education.
1. Italian artists and writers in the fifteenth century believed that they were living at a time of the rebirth of civilization. Using the work of one artist and one writer of this period, show how this belief influenced the way that they created. This essay will require you to explain both what these artists and writers were reacting against as well as what was affecting their outlook. 2.Trace military and diplomatic developments in the Italian peninsula from 1400 to 1494. What impact did these events have on society and culture? 3.Who were the signori? Discuss their roles and impact on the Italian citystates and small principalities. 4.In what ways did the changes in the Italian economy influence social and family patterns and habits and the status of women? 5.In what ways did the history of the Medicis reflect broader political trends in the early Renaissance? 6.Was Pope Pius II representative of the Renaissance popes of the fifteenth century? Explain. 7.What were the intellectual characteristics of the Early Renaissance? How did the chief ideas common in Early Renaissance intellectual life manifest themselves the arts? Use two examples from painting, sculpture, architecture, or literature to support your arguments. 8.What is meant by "humanistic studies"? What were its origins? 9.What was civic humanism? What were its ultimate goals? 9.Was Leonardo Bruni an ideal example of a civic humanist? 10.Was there a radical break between the Early Renaissance and the Middle Ages? your Explain answer. 11.Discuss the impact of NeoPlatonism on the Italian Renaissance. Who was the major voice of this movement? What were his contributions? 12."Pico della Mirandola is the personification of Early Renaissance thought and life." Write a defense or rebuttal of this assertion. 13.How did Brunelleschi change the direction of architecture during the Early Renaissance? Use one of his buildings as an example. 14. How did Donatello use Classicism to revive sculpture in the Early Renaissance? Refer to at least two examples of his work. 15.What did the painter Masaccio contribute to the Early Renaissance? Use at least one of his works in your essay to illustrate his innovations. 16.What was Botticelli's contribution to Early Renaissance painting? Compare and contrast his style with that of Masaccio. 17.Discuss how painting and sculpture became free of architecture during the Early Renaissance. What were the reasons and who were the leading advocates for this change? 18. What were the developing new ideals for architecture in the Early Renaissance, and how were they different from the arhitectural principles of the High Middle Ages 19.What were the most common themes of Early Renaissance painting? Trace how they changed from Masaccio to Leonardo. 20.What brought about the changes that led to Renaissance music? Who were the leading composers of the Early Renaissance, and what were their contributions?
1.Historians of the Renaissance: a. agree about the general nature of the movement b. agree that the movement made a complete break with the Middle Ages *c. have recently concluded that it was a very complex cultural movement (pp. 293294) d. accept Burckhardt's interpretation
2.The Peace of Lodi signed in 1454: a. ended the Hundred Years' War between England and France *b. brought on several decades of peace in the Italian peninsula (p. 295) c. resulted in the expulsion of the French from Italy d. made the papacy the most powerful state in Italy 3.The signori in Early Renaissance Italy were the: a. paid soldiers of fortune who operated independent armies b. advisers to the popes at his court in Rome *c. autocratic rulers in the local citystates and small principalities (p. 294) d. begging monks in the mendicant holy orders 4.The most significant consequence of Renaissance warfare was the: a. introduction of cannon b. use of mercenary soldiers c. creation of alliances *d. development of diplomacy as an alternative to war (pp. 295) 5.The status of women during the Early Renaissance in Italy: a.declined significantly as they lost financial power *b.probably improved with increased opportunities for education (p. 296) c.changed dramatically as they won new political rights d.improved socially as they were allowed to marry whomever they chose 6.Federico da Montefeltro, the Duke of Urbino, can be described as: *a. a typical Renaissance ruler and patron of the arts (caption for Fig. 11.2, p. 296) b. the most loyal of the proHoly Roman Emperor supporters c. a ruthless and uncultured despot d. the Renaissance prince responsible for the Treaty of Lodi 7.The center of the Early Renaissance was: a. Venice b. Rome *c. Florence (p. 296) d. Siena 8.The Medici family in Florence can be described as a family: a. that used its wealth to back the pope *b. with a keen political sense and a love of the arts (p. 297298) c. led by men more interested in war than in peace d. dominated by women more interested in peace than in war 9.The latefifteenthcentury popes: a. initiated a series of reforms aimed at improving the morals of the clergy b. supported the conciliar movement
*c. were patrons of the Renaissance (p. 296) d. held aloof from Italian politics 10.Pope Pius II is remembered as: a. the pope who reformed the monastic orders b. the patron of arts for Florentine painters *c. a scholar and clever political leader (p. 298) d. the leader of a plot to unseat the Patriarch of Constantinople 11.True or false? Italian humanists expanded their interests by looking beyond official Christian dogma. (T, p. 298) 12.What was a civic humanist? a. a civil servant loyal only to the ruling family of an Italian citystate b. a hired soldier of fortune in charge of the civilians in an Italian citystate *c. an employee of an Italian citystate dedicated to serving the government (p. 299) d. a member of a pope's inner circle of advisers 13.The Early Renaissance can best be described as: a. a period that made a complete break with the Middle Ages b. an age of great scientific advances *c.an age when emerging secular values threatened longaccepted religious beliefs (p. 299) d. a stagnant period with little cultural innovation 14.Early Renaissance scholars were especially attracted to the writings of: a. Aristotle b. the Stoics *c. Cicero (p. 299) d. Greek dramatists 15.Laura Cereta, in her own defense, claimed that she: a.was superior intellectually to other women b.thought just as a man does *c.was a typical woman in that she is capable of learning (Personal Perspective, p. 300) d.could outthink any man 16.Among its other definitions, the term studia humanitatis means: a. practical guidelines for taking care of the socially disadvantaged b. humane studies in military warfare c. a curriculum for monks who are searching for interpretations of the Bible *d. the study and comparison of ancient texts to determine which are authentic (p. 299) 17.The earliest humanistic scholars were convinced that: a. the scholastic method was the path to truth *b. language and writing changed as society changed (pp. 299) c. the purpose of education was vocational preparation d. medieval church Latin was the language of scholarship
18.Which of the following resulted from the rise of textual criticism in the Renaissance? a. A general skepticism developed regarding the authenticity of ancient texts. b. Forgeries were now uncovered, such as the Donation of Constantine. c. Many medieval documents were now subjected to close scrutiny. *d. All of the above (p. 299) 19.The early humanists thought that an educated person ought to: *a. spend time in government service (pp. 299) b. live in isolation from society c. live solely for personal pleasure d. take orders in the church 20.Lorenzo Valla contributed to the Early Renaissance as a: a.painter who first used linear perspective *b.literary scholar who studied comparative texts (p. 299) c.sculptor who reintroduced contrapposto d.founder of a school for humanistic studies 21.Ficino, the leader of Florence's Platonic Academy: a. reconciled Greek and Byzantine thought b. harmonized Platonic and Aristotelian thought c. wrote a treatise on painting *d. developed a spiritualized interpretation of love (p.301) 22.Early Renaissance NeoPlatonism: a. was essentially the same as Late Roman NeoPlatonism b. could not be made compatible with Christianity *c. taught that Platonic love was superior to erotic love (p. 301) d. failed to capture the attention of many thinkers and artists 23.Pico della Mirandola was a: a. modest individual who refused to speak out for his views b. monk who denounced the Florentine art movement *c. scholar trained in philosophy, language, and history (pp. 301302) d. follower of mystical and pietistic learning 24.Underlying much of Pico della Mirandola's writing was the assumption that: a. All people share basic truths. b. Christianity is only part of a totality of truthful knowledge. c. The individual is of primary importance. *d. All of the above (p. 302) 25.Central to the thought of Pico della Mirandola was the belief that: *a. Individuals have free will and thus can raise or lower themselves. (p. 302) b. All human beings are morally imperfect. c. All human beings must trust in God's mercy for salvation.
d. God helps those who help themselves. 26.The visual arts of the Classical era had a strong impact on Early Renaissance Italy because: *a. In Italy the ruins of ancient Rome survived. (p. 302) b. The Italians often traveled to nearby Greece for study. c. The church in Italy kept the Classical tradition alive. d. The Italian monasteries were built in a Classical style. 27.The visual arts of the Early Renaissance followed the Classical ideals of: *a. balance and harmony (p. 302) b. grandiosity and flamboyance c. abstraction and subjectivity d. sentimentality and prettiness 28.The fourteenthcentury painter who most inspired Early Renaissance artists was: a. Cimabue *b. Giotto (p. 302) c. Masaccio d. Pisano 29.Linear perspective in painting means: *a. a way to create a sense of three dimensions on a twodimensional surface (p. 303) b. how to put more than four objects in a painting c. what the artist does when he uses lines to define an object on the canvas d. that lines will always run horizontally in a painting 30.True or false? According to Alberti's theory of art, the Classical tradition is outdated and should be discarded. (F, p. 303) 31.Brunelleschi's most lasting work is the: a. dome on the Santa Croce church *b. dome on the Florentine cathedral (p. 303) c. bell tower next to the Florentine cathedral d. city hall of Florence 32.Brunelleschi solved the problem of the dome for the Florentine cathedral by: a. constructing a dome of wedged stones as in the Pantheon in Rome *b. employing sets of diagonal ribs based on the pointed arch (p. 302) c. using reinforced rods and a new type of concrete d. borrowing the Classical postandlintel model 33.In building the Pazzi chapel, Brunelleschi: a. put a Gothic spire on the chapel b. turned to Gothic sculpture for decorations *c. adhered to Classical design and proportions (p. 303) d. copied the basilica floor plan
34.Which of the following applies to the sculptor Donatello? a. He embraced the principles of realism. b. He drew inspiration from Classical ideals. c. He revived the ancient practice of contrapposto. d. All of the above. (p. 307) 35.In his sculpture of David, Donatello was able to: a. imitate the mysticism of Gothic sculpture *b. capture the latent power of the male figure (p. 307 and caption for Fig. 11.11, p. 306) c. demonstrate the expressive properties of marble d. represent the biblical hero precisely as described in the scriptures 36.Ghiberti's panels for the east doors of the Florentine Baptistery: a. depict scenes from the New Testament b. were cast so as to fit inside Gothic quatrefoils *c. show his debt to Classicism (p. 305) d. are known as the "Gates of Hell" 37.According to Ghiberti in his Commentaries, regarding his doors on the Florentine Baptistery, he: a. wanted to create a highly illusionary work of art *b. hoped to make a clear presentation of a biblical story (p. 309) c. cared very little as to how the public would react d. felt indebted to the medieval styles of sculpture 38.In comparison to the changes occurring in architecture and sculpture, those that transpired in Early Renaissance painting were: *a. more radical and far reaching (p. 309) b. less innovative c. about the same in terms of styles and techniques d. less influential on later artistic developments 39.Masaccio's paintings were influenced by the perspectival experiments of: a. Botticelli, the painter *b. Brunelleschi, the architect (p. 310) c. Pico della Mirandola, the philosopher d. Cosimo de' Medici, the patron of arts 40.True or false? The mystical subject matter of Masaccio's The Holy Trinity painting was depicted in a supernatural way. (F, p. 310) 41.Which is true of Masaccio's The Tribute Money? a. It depicts each figure in precise, mathematical space. b. It represents human figures realistically, fully modeled in the round. c. It uses chiaroscuro. d. All of the above. (pp. 310311)
42.Fra Angelico painted with a sense of the new style Renaissance as evidenced by his: *a. treatment of realistic space (p. 311) b. use of drab colors c. inclusion of gold foil in the painting d. depiction of swaying human figures 43.Botticelli's early paintings were influenced by: a. Aristotelianism *b. NeoPlatonism (p. 312) c. Epicureanism d. Stoicism 44.Botticelli's early paintings are famous for their: a. Christian themes *b. chaste female nudes (p. 312) c. realistic landscapes d. chiaroscuro effects 45.Leonardo da Vinci is called a Renaissance Man because: a. He was a model of courtly behavior. *b. He was intellectually curious about nearly every subject. (p. 313) c. He was deeply influenced by NeoPlatonism. d. He was a strict Classicist. 46.Which is a distinctive aspect of Leonardo's The Virgin of the Rocks? a. Its four figures are composed into a pyramidal design. b. It depicts a religious subject in a very natural setting. c. Expressive hand movements by the figures create internal tensions within the painting. *d. All of the above. (p. 314) 47.The Venetian school of Renaissance painting: a. was concerned with lines and the balance of figures on the canvas b. was clearly influenced by the Persian miniature paintings *c. wanted to explore the effects of light and air (p. 315) d. was not interested in religious or biblical subjects 48.Innovations in Early Renaissance music came from the influence of: a. rediscovered Classical compositions *b. the seductive harmonics of English music (p. 315) c. the tradition of Byzantine music d. the use of mathematical proportion in composition 49.The Early Renaissance was marked by: *a.changes in the arts and architecture, based on Classical ideals (p. 2316) b.an integration of painting and sculpture into architecture c.a decline in the popularity of painting
d.the emergence of a fully secular art 50. Which of the following began with the Early Renaissance? a.rise of textual criticism b.drive to individual fulfillment c. origin of the idea of the "Renaissance Man" *d. all of the above (passim)
PRIMARY SOURCES IN READINGS IN THE WESTERN HUMANITIES, VOL. I
Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, Selections from On the Dignity of Man Leon Battista Alberti, Selection from On Painting