When hard-working merchants gained an immense amount of economic power they also acquired political power to match their economic relevance which allowed them to explore a more luxurious lifestyle. Their new luxurious lifestyle allowed them to pursue the social system of patronage where they commissioned art and written works. Political leaders were so fond of these commissions, patronage became wildly popular and works such as those of patronages, became the inspiration of the Renaissance. Italy was the location of the emergence of the Renaissance because merchants gained economic power from trading in Venice which led to merchants growing wealthy and being able to commission specific works and those works spread over Italy, initiating the Renaissance.
The main characteristics of the Italian Humanism are the revival of Greco-Roman knowledge and culture, individualism and the belief of potential of humans, interest in non-religious topics and the rise of secularism, studying ancient languages such as Greek and Latin, rejecting the observations of Aristotle, and belief in a liberal arts style broad education.
The beliefs of Italian Humanists differ from medieval scholasticism in that scholasticism is aimed to teach one certain profession and humanism is used to teach a broad series of subjects and to excel at several different subjects. Italian humanists were so interested in Classical civilization because they thought that the written works, art, and culture of the past Greek and Roman societies reached a level of refinement that was not leveled with the latest ideas and creations.
Explain using key examples, how art began to reflect Humanism and Renaissance ideas.
Art began to reflect Humanist and Renaissance ideas by being specific commissions. Humanism is reflected within art when it is commissioned by humanists. An example of a type of humanist art piece might be an art piece that recreates one of the ancient Rome or Greek sculptures, which does not pertain to religion. Another example of a specific art piece from a commission is from the Papal states, how they might want a painting that pertains to religion such as Da Vinci’s The Last Supper.
Christian Humanism is a humanism group from Northern Europe (countries such as Germany and France) who understood Greco-Roman antiquities in their own way of religious usage and developed humanism to be applicable to Christians. The main goals of Christian Humanism were to bring about change to their Church from this new lifestyle by aiming to conjoin classic culture and Christian culture for a new understanding to Christianr’s spiritual side. The leading spokesmen of Christian Humanism include English lawyer and author of Utopia Thomas More and Dutch writer and translator Desiderius Erasmus .
When historians reference the term Renaissance humanism, they are referring to a rebirth of Greco-Roman culture accompanied by the practice of learning multiple subject matters with an emphasis of Greek and Latin. The promotion of humanism came along with the Renaissance so when they are being referred together, it alludes to the study of humanism in the time of the Renaissance because they both promote Greco-Roman culture which is the cornerstone of humanistic Renaissance studies.
Petrarch became aware that a rebirth of classical learning was necessary in his time because he believed that the antiquities of the past were superior and glorious and that they could bring his time period out of the darkness and delusion of the future. He was made aware by this from the ignorance of the people who do not understand the need for Greco-Roman culture in their lives.
Leonardo Bruni abandoned his studies of Civil Law to pursue the study of Greek literature because he did not care for the rhetoric and dialectic studies of his course and when a man named Chrysoloras visited Florence and he felt the need to pursue his true passion of Greek literature. Although he deemed it to be a crime to abandon studies of the law, he could not take it upon himself to miss this great opportunity. Brunir’s final decision was made by thinking how there were many doctors of civil law in Italy, yet the number of experts in Greek literature was sparse so he could use his new knowledge to his advantage to the knowledgeable.
Machiavellir’s advice to princes is a break from the teachings of medieval political and moral philosophers because Machiavelli did not connect his entire book with following religious policy but instead directed his readers to a world of ruthlessness where one could follow their own political path without breaking ethical or moral rules. Most medieval political and moral philosophers emphasized the need to follow the influence of the Church and the ethical rules they produce, however Machiavelli hardly mentions religion which reveals a lot of inner truth of the world of governments, politics, and war which had not been discussed yet.
Machiavellir’s image of human nature compares to that of Pico della Mirandolar’s to be much more cynical, yet honest. Machiavelli views human nature as that humans are naturally greedy, scared, self-centered, liars and focuses on human flaws rather than strengths. Pico della Mirandola saw human nature with hope that human beings have the choice from God to make the right choices in order to shape their destiny and he believes the best in humans. The perspective of Machiavelli is pessimistic, yet useful for leaders, while Mirandolar’s perspective is optimistic yet slightly unrealistic.
The Renaissance in Italy is different from the Renaissance in Northern Europe because the Italian Renaissance is more focused on individualism and humanistic studies within literature while Northern Europe focuses on Christianity and how to expose the corrupt parts of it in their literature. Italian art is based on commissions and the commissions come from the pope often therefore art is mainly focused on Christianity whereas Northern European art is less focused on religion and more focused on the portraits of the rulers
Although Italy and Northern Europe are different, the questioning of natural ideas and authority was promoted in both areas and it helped to set up different events around the continent such as the Reformation and the Age of Exploration.
The role of the artist has changed because it became a serious occupation where people were (and still are) believed to have a gift. In the Middle Ages, it was thought that God had a path for everybody he created therefore only he could create however, this view changed in the Renaissance because humanists and artists came to believe that pieces of art are creations of the artist who executed them. Artists were thought to be geniuses in the Renaissance, while artists in the Middle Ages were thought to be just fulfilling Godr’s creations with their art.
The impact of women on the Renaissance was how the women started to defend themselves and therefore started a whole new movement for womenr’s rights and feminism. Women such as Christine de Pizan started to compile works that proved the worth of womenr’s role in society. The impact of the Renaissance on women was that the promotion of questioning authority and the usual way of life inspired Europeans to debate about the role of women and allowed women to be able to try and fight for equality. The Renaissance impacted women because it brought opportunity for justice within gender roles.
The social hierarchy in the Renaissance was slightly based off of the medieval social hierarchy system, however there were major reforms in the hierarchy about class, race, and gender. Social hierarchy in the Renaissance is like that of the medieval times because the peasants of the Renaissance can relate to the serfs of Manorialism. The social system was based on wealth, such as when merchants became powerful and wealthy and reigned in some areas of Italy. Although the Renaissance is fairly rigid within social systems, it is fluid compared to the different roles in the medieval times (knights, vassals, etc..). The overall society of the Renaissance has more room for social mobility through gaining wealth and other means with the social classes, while medieval social roles remain rigid and strict.
Christine de Pizan defends a womanr’s ability to learn by stating that although evil women do evil, there are women who do good and accomplish several good deeds (especially the learned ones) and they offer so much that it overrides the evil in some women. These women who share their knowledge and showcase their intelligence benefit the world therefore women should be educated for the greater good of societyr’s growth according to de Pizan
De Pizan gives the example of Hortensia, the daughter of Quintus Hortensius a skilled rhetorician and orator, who was educated by the permission of her father (because he was impressed with her wit) and she managed to do many good things and even her father could not surpass her in her studies. Another example of a woman in de Pizanr’s work was the daughter of Giovanni Andrea, a law professor, Novella who took her fatherr’s place occasionally when he was busy. She lectured students in an advanced law course and the authenticism of her teaching was real because her face was covered by a curtain which prevented students from being distracted by her beauty. The women that Christine de Pizan showcase in her writing support the idea of how women should be educated because they would further benefit the world with their ideas and teachings.
De Pizan offers the idea that certain men restrict learning and all aspects of education because the opinions of men are not all based on reason and therefore are wrong opinions or because they dont want women to learn for it would ruin their mores. Another reason why men do not want to see women educated is because they were afraid women would be more knowledgeable than themselves and the women would outshine them.
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