The Renaissance was a cultural , economicand political movement that emerged in 14th century Italy, consolidated itself in the 15th century and extended to the 17th century throughout Europe.
Inspired by the values of Classical Antiquityand generated by the structural modifications of society, it resulted in the total reformulation of medieval life, beginning the Modern Age .
Origin of the Renaissance
Florence, the Italian city considered “Cradle of the Renaissance”
The Renaissance originated in Italy , due to the flourishing of cities such as Venice, Genoa, Florence, Rome and other
They enriched themselves with the development of trade in the Mediterranean, giving rise to a rich mercantile bourgeoisie, which in its process of social affirmation devoted itself to the arts, along with some princes and popes.
Renaissance culture had four striking features, namely:
- Rationalism – Renaissance people were convinced that reason was the only way to reach knowledge, and that everything could be explained by reason and science.
- Experimentalism – For them, all knowledge should be demonstrated through scientific experience.
- Individualism – born of the need of man to know himself, seeking to affirm his own personality, show his talents, achieve fame and fulfill his ambitions, through the conception that individual law was above collective law.
- Anthropocentrism – placing man as the supreme creation of God and as the center of the universe.
Humanism was a movement of glorification of man and human nature that emerged in Italy in the mid-fourteenth century.
Man, the most perfect work of the Creator, was able to understand, modify and even dominate nature. Humanistic thinking has led to a reform of university teaching, with the introduction of disciplines such as poetry, history and philosophy.
Humanists sought to interpret Christianity using writings by ancient authors such as Plato.
The study of ancient texts aroused a taste for historical research and knowledge of classical languages such as Latin and Greek.
From the fourteenth century, while the Renaissance devoted themselves to the study of classical languages, different dialects gave rise to national languages.
Born at this time, humanism became a reference for many thinkers in the following centuries, including the 18th century Enlightenment philosophers.
The Renaissance gave birth to great geniuses of literature, among them:
- Dante Alighieri : Italian writer author of the great poem ” Divine Comedy “.
- Machiavelli : author of ” The Prince “, precursor of political science where the author gives advice to the governors of the time.
- Shakespeare : Considered one of the greatest playwrights of all time. He approached in his work human conflicts in the most diverse dimensions: personal, social, political. He wrote comedies and tragedies, such as ” Romeo and Juliet “, ” Macbeth “, ” The Tamed Shrew “, ” Othello ” and several others.
- Miguel de Cervantes : Spanish author of the work ” Don Quixote “, a scathing criticism of the medieval cavalry.
- Luís de Camões : featured in Renaissance literature in Portugal, author of the great epic poem ” Os Lusíadas “.
In the 16th century, the main center of Renaissance art became Rome. The main artists of the Renaissance were:
Leonardo da Vinci : Mathematician, physicist, anatomist, inventor, architect, sculptor and painter, he was an absolute genius. The Mona Lisa and The Last Supper are his masterpieces.
Rafael Sanzio : was a master of painting, famous for the sweetness of his madonas. TheMadonna of the Prado was considered the most perfect.
Madonna of the Meadow
Michelangelo : Italian artist whose work was marked by humanism. Besides painter was one of the greatest sculptors of the Renaissance. His works include Pietá , David , The Ceiling of the Sistine Chapel , The Creation of Adam and The Last Judgment .
The Renaissance was marked by important scientific discoveries, notably in the fields of astronomy, physics, medicine, mathematics and geography.
Polish Nicholas Copernicus , who denied the church’s geocentric theory, saying that “the earth is not the center of the universe, but simply a planet revolving around the sun.”
Galileo Galilei discovered the rings of Saturn, the sunspots, the satellites of Jupiter.Persecuted and threatened by the Church, Galileo was forced to publicly deny his ideas and findings.
In medicine the knowledge advanced with works and experiments on blood circulation, cauterization methods and general principles of anatomy.