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The Renaissance did not spring suddenly from an alleged night medieval warning s
igns exist in previous centuries. In turn, tired of hearing praise, the artists
of the twentieth century downplayed the role. Despite the nuances recent histo
ry through science and the response of contemporary artists, the Renaissance is
a period founder of Western civilization. It develops a new sense of beauty and
order the world to the extent of man.
ouvement art born Italy at the end of the fourteenth century that has million
across Europe auxetXV etenXVI common in centuries, 1448, humanism spread rap
idly throughout Europe to the Netherlands, where taught Erasmus (Praise of Folly
, 1511). Humanists imposed the idea that the fall of the Roman Empire in 476 res
ulted in a decline of thought and art, and a Dark Ages ("Gothic") ended with the
arrival of a "renaissance" cultural and artistic. The migration of Byzantine sc
holars and artists after the fall of Constantinople (1453) formed a convenient m
arker to date the beginning of this movement. In fact, art historians have long
dismissed the idea of a sudden revival. They have thus highlighted the existence
of a similar period in the eighth century (the "Carolingian Renaissance"). Th
ey also stressed continuity with the art of the XIII and XIV centuries, espe
cially the works of Cimabue (c. 1240-1302) and Giotto (1266-1337). But the notio
n of a "Middle Ages" barbarous separating antiquity from the Renaissance was to
remain deeply rooted in our conception of history.

Details of the north portal of the Baptistery of Florence, Ghiberti. Florence wa
s the cradle of the Renaissance. / Scala - Archive Photeb

in association with the rise of humanism, the Renaissance was supported by inten
se social and political changes. It began in the late fourteenth century in Fl
orence, where sculptors (Lorenzo Ghiberti, Donatello), architects (Filippo Brune
lleschi) and painters (Masaccio) broke with the International Gothic to create a
new art. It spread first in northern Italy, reached Venice in the 1470s, then R
ome and throughout Italy. He knew, between 1480 and 1525, a golden age, illustra
ted by three exceptional figures: Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael and Michelangelo. T
he decade of 1520 marked the end of the innovative momentum of the Renaissance.
While it penetrated into France and the countries of Central Europe, Italy sank
in fact, in anarchy. The sack of Rome by German mercenaries of Bourbon (1527) an
d the failure of the last Florentine Republic (15,271,530) symbolized this oblit
eration of primary outbreaks of the Renaissance. Art in Europe changed then to a
different style: Mannerism, illustrated in particular by the Venetian school.
¡The principles of Renaissance art

The idea of humanism and the Renaissance

Painting attributed to Paolo Uccello. It represents the busts of great artists o f the Florentine Renaissance: Giotto, Uccello, Donatello, Manetti and Brunellesc hi. / Hubert Josse - Archive Photeb

The Renaissance art is inseparable from humanism. This intellectual movement app eared in Italy in the entourage of Petrarch (1304-1374). It was characterized pr imarily by a desire to break with the scholastic Latin to regain the purity of c lassical Latin. Then the philologist Lorenzo Valla (1407-1457) was the initiator of a modern reading of elders who allowed a break with the medieval spirit. At the end of the fifteenth century, Hebrew and Greek were also mostly rediscover ed. Marsilio Ficino (1433-1499), translator of Plato and Plotinus, and Pico dell

a Mirandola (1463-1494) founded a Platonic Academy in Florence, which was to inf
luence Michelangelo and Raphael. With the development of printing by Gutenberg

Humanists formulated, based on ancient writings, a conception of man and his rel ationship with nature that has upset the arts. This is the man who was taken as an example of perfection from which artists should work. The canons of beauty be came more and more precise because the reproduction of reality was a basic princ iple that summed Giorgio Vasari: "The imitation of nature allows an artist to be come more perfect he s 'approach to it "(Lives of the greatest architects, paint ers and sculptors from Italy, 1550). Painters and sculptors sought therefore to introduce their works in the reality of life. They enriched the details, express ions and backgrounds.€Particular attention was paid to the anatomy, which grew w ith the progress of the dissection. In 1509, De Luca Pacioli divina proportione explained the results of


Pliny. De re aedificatoria the architect Leon Battista Alberti (1404-1472), insp
ired by Vitruvius, influenced the whole architecture of the Renaissance. As Leon
ardo da Vinci (1452-1519), he was the archetypal Renaissance man. A pupil of Ver
rocchio, he introduced the aerial perspective in painting and the process of sfu
mato. The veil that binds the character to the landscape that surrounds it gives
her paintings a unique mystery. His sketches and cartoons to show that his theo
retical treatises universal spirit shone both in anatomy, music, mathematics and
¡The European Renaissance and sponsorship

Detail of the Vision of St. Augustine (1502), Carpaccio. The Bishop of Hippo hum anist is represented in his study. The sacred inspiration is evident in the atti tude of the saint who remains the pen suspended and face turned towards the wind ow. / Scala, Florence - Archive Photeb

Portrait of Erasmus (1523), Holbein the Younger. This famous portrait immortaliz es the figure of the humanist. This work focused on his face is perfectly confid ent man in his intellectual resources and the opportunity to understand the univ erse. / Hubert Josse - Archive Photeb

mathematical research on the harmonious proportions of the human body (the "gold en rule"). Above all, the Renaissance proclaimed a return to aesthetic principle s of antiquity, without it ever was reduced to a slavish copy. Gothic survivals, foreign influences (Byzantine,

Flemish) and the genius of masters who were able to reconcile tradition and inno vation, gave birth to an art truly original. The artists were often theorists. L orenzo Ghiberti (1378-1455) wrote, around 1450, Commentary about ancient sculptu res and works

The emergence and growth of the Renaissance owed much to the transformation of t he notion of statehood. The small Italian principalities in the early fifteenth century, then the kingdom of France and the Hapsburg Spain in the early sixtee nth century, enjoyed a first experience of administrative centralization. The power was there strengthened by the existence of a broad national consensus and the emergence of reason of state (Machiavelli, The Prince, 1516). The financial resources of the princes were increased tenfold by taxes and borrowing. Patronag e became a means for them to satisfy their passion for beauty (collections, gall eries) and their desire to posthumous fame. The two main centers of the Renaissa nce were the Florence of the Medicis and the popes of Rome, Alexander VI (1492/1

503), Julius II (1503/1513) and Leo X (1513/1521). Lorenzo the Magnificent (1469 /1492) was long the symbol of the patrons, even when he did not pay its artists. Most courses in Northern Italy and favored sustained inspiration. The Gonzaga i n Mantua attracted artists such as Andrea Mantegna, who ended his days, or the a rchitect Giulio Romano (1492-1546), who built the Palazzo Te. The Republic of Ve nice, Montefeltro, Duke of Urbino, the Visconti, masters of Milan and Lombardy, the Este in Ferrara and the Malatesta in Rimini had a similar artistic policy an d encouraged local masters. In Florence itself, the patrician families (Strozzi Pitti) rivaled the Medici. The traditional role of the Church and religious brot herhoods remained important. So, for the Scuola di Sant'Orsola the Venetian Carp accio (c. 1465-1525) executed his masterpiece, the cycle of the History of St. U rsula. In the early sixteenth century, the king's courts of France and Emperor assumèrent the essential role of the patron. Italian ambitions of Francis I and hegemonic dreams of Charles Quint, master of the Netherlands, King of Spain (1516) and Emperor (1519), also had repercussions in the arts. Francis rece ived in Touraine a Leonardo da Vinci age. Titian Charles V conferred the title o f Count Palatine and invited him twice to his court of Augsburg. In this growth of philanthropy and private commissions also came in a change of status of the a rtist. It seems that his situation, long marked by a close dependence vis-sponso r, has gradually evolved to its advantage. Playing his celebrity and a powerful artistic competition between the princes, the artist could then, to some extent, €choose his own topics and embodiments of the works. The de-

Continuation of CASE

The Renaissance marks a shift in consciousness. The world was no longer perceive
d the same way, the ancient taboos and old fears fell. The nature became an obje
ct of observation and experimentation. The anatomy and physics appeared with art
ists studied the body of which they understood the operation, they discovered th
e principles that can give the illusion of space and volume. They figured most o
f ideograms, but the thickness, strength and weight of external reality.

Continuation of CASE

Study of a perpetual motion machine, by Leonardo da Vinci. The painting was to L eonardo da Vinci an illustration of his universal genius. His notebooks reveal a thinker, a scientist who was interested in mathematics as well as optics, anato my, mechanics and mapping. / Snark Archives - Edimedia

Picture Frames extracted optical (1551), Jacques Du Androuet Hoop. Very importan tly, the engraved work of this architect proposes a directory of architectural v ocabulary of the French Renaissance. / Library Jacques Doucet Study muscles of m an, engraving after Titian. The Renaissance experienced a profound transformatio n of knowledge that touched all areas. In the arts, the study of phenomena and t he observation of the real became the rule. / Collection Viollet

investments became frequent, especially between Florence and Rome. The municipal
corporation of the burst and the artists were organized in workshops (or botteg
he in Florence). It was both schools and companies specializing in cultural site
s. A teacher will be instructing apprentices and divided the work, with the disp
arities in performance that led the organization. Padua and became a center of n
ew art through the studio of a minor painter F. Sequarcione, which adopted Andre
a Mantegna (1431-1506). The son of a master of gothic courteous, Gentile Bellini
(c. 1429-1507) introduced the Renaissance in Venice. He formed Indeed, in his s
tudio, his half-brother, Giovanni (1430-1516) and Titian, and he received Manteg
na, who became his brother.

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