The Renaissance produced an outstanding array of artists and painters, including the notable Leonardo da Vinci, the Italian painter, journalist, engineer (who famously devised a helicopter, and a few designs of a Calculator, whose method of painting--starting with dark undertones and then modeling features through light and shadow--is apparent in his famous painting, the Mona Lisa, the portrait of the wife of a Florentine merchant, Michelangelo, most famous for painting the Sistine Chapel--which depicts the biblical history of the world, from the Creation to the Flood and the coming of Noah's ark, and finally Raphael. The use of perspective gave the painting a new founded sense of depth, something that was absent from the often moralistic paintings of the medieval age.
Literature blossomed with the invention of the printing press by Johannes Gutenberg; a famous example would the Elizabethan age, where the likes of Marlowe, who famously renovated blank verse with "Tamburlaine", and Shakespeare, the so-called Bard, whose tragedies, histories, and comedies are still read today. One also has the advancements in the sciences that, with the humanistic values established by Petrarch, the so-called father of humanism, came with the Scientific Revolution which established, among others, the concept of a heliocentric universe in Copernicus' "On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres" that were confirmed by the astronomical data collected by the Danish astronomer Tycho Brache and Johannes Kelper, the establishment of the scientific method (which is, as many observe, is still used and taught in schools today--and is an important part of assessing whether a scientific field is a pseudoscience or not, for example--astrology), and was accompanied by the presence of some of the greatest minds in the history of science. We have Sir Isaac Newton, in the seventeenth century, who came up with the concepts of gravity and argued, for one of the first times, that every motion in the universe, can be connected and measured--something that would, in turn, revolutionize and impact the field of physics.
Yet, there is also another side of the Renaissance...The humanistic ideal of indulging in life brought about and worsened the corruption of the Church: one has several competition with the priests, direct negligence of the priest's vow of celibacy, which was fulfilled during his ordination, excess drinking and gambling on church's grounds, connections to organized crime, excess patronage of the arts and beautification of the churches, and perhaps the most serious--the selling of indulgences. For many Christian humanists, including the likes of Erasmus, who urged a return to the simpler ways of the older Christian Church, this was outrageous, for it represented the direct manipulation of the scriptures, and the concept of "purging purgatory" for exchange of money gifts and pay. One individual, Martin Luther would soon stand and his trial and story would soon lead to the division of the Catholic Church, but the rise of the Calvinistic church and theocracy and the Anglican Church that was created by the passing of the Act of Supremacy by King Henry VIII and his appointment of his own archbishop. This effectively represented the end of the church's unity, and propelled forth the Catholic reformation which, above all, was famous for its Inquisition, an institution built on torture and secret testimony to root out corruption. And, arguably with this as well, much of the humanistic values at the time might have also influenced the Age of Exploration as well, which began roughly at the same time as the Renaissance. The humanistic value of questioning the world might have done so, for with the rise of the Portuguese power, and the claiming of the African coast, came the period of colonization of especially Africa and East Asian powers, something that--even today---is still felt upon.
The Renaissance is thus a catalyst of both creativity and other, important, periods in European and world history, and therefore deserves to be recognized as being significant.
I hope I helped you.
My notes from my history class, textbook, and knowledge
· 8 years ago