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CHAPTER 14: THE RENAISSANCE AND REFORMATION THE RENAISSANCE IN ITALY 1. The Renaissance was a time of creativity and change in many areas – political, social, economic and cultural. Perhaps the most important change was the way people viewed themselves and their world. a. RENAISSANCE means rebirth. b. Unlike medieval thinkers who’s chief concern was the nature of life after death, Renaissance thinkers were eager to explore human experiences here and now. 2. The Renaissance began in Italy in the mid 1300’s and reached its height in the 1500”s. WHY ITALY ? a. classical learning b. reminder of Ancient Rome c. Italian merchants had the money to sponsor artists 3. In the 1400’s the MEDICI family of Florence, a prosperous city in northern Italy, organized a banking business and soon became one of the richest merchant and bankers in Europe. a. By 1434 COSIMO de’ MEDICI gained control of the Florentine government and the family continued as the uncrowned rulers of the city for years to come. b. They were generous PATRONS , or financial supporters of the arts. 4. At the heart of the Italian Renaissance was an intellectual movement known as HUMANISM , which focused on worldly subjects rather than on the religious issues that had occupied medieval thinkers. a. Humanist scholars hoped to use the wisdom of the ancients to increase their understanding of their own times. 5. The Renaissance reached its most glorious expression in its paintings, sculpture and architecture. a. Renaissance artists learned the rules of PERSPECTIVE by making objects smaller than those close to the viewer artists could paint scenes that appeared three-dimensional. They also used shading to make objects look round and real. b. One of the most brilliant of the Renaissance artists was LEONARDO da VINCI who is admired for his artwork like the MONA LISA as well as his amazing mind.
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c. He dissected corpses to have a better understanding of how the human body worked. His notes and sketchbooks were used in universities for the study of anatomy. d. He designed the first airplane, (flying machine), helicopter, submarine, movable bridges and scuba gear centuries before they were actually built. e. He was a RENAISSANCE MAN , meaning he had talents and interests in many things. f. Another Renaissance man was MICHELANGELO, a sculptor, engineer, painter, architect and poet. He sculpted the PIETA , painted the SISTINE CHAPEL and designed and built St. PETER”S BASILLICA in Rome. 6. NICCOLO MACHIAVELLI wrote a book called THE PRINCE , in which he describes the perfect ruler as one who uses whatever means are necessary to stay in power and achieve their goals.
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