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Interesting facts - Renaissance

Renaissance means 'rebirth'. The Renaissance began as a revival of the art and ideas of Greece and Rome. It took place between 1300 and 1600, first in Italy and then spreading slowly northwards. Scholars began to learn Greek so that they could read the plays and philosophy of Aeschylus and Plato. Universities began to teach the language to their students. From these studies people gained a new attitude to life. They were more curious about things around them and about other people. They began to experiment and try out new ideas.

Interesting facts Renaissance - Erasmus

Interesting facts Renaissance - Titian

Interesting facts - Renaissance

Erasmus, the Dutch humanist and intellectual, was one of the greatest Renaissance scholars

Renaissance painters, such as Titian, brought a new realism to religious subjects

Italian writers, such as Dante (1264-1321) and Petrarch (1304-1374), wrote poetry in their own language. Previously Latin was considered the only suitable language for such work. French and English writers followed this example and wrote in their own languages.

Architects started to build palaces (Doges' palace, Venice) and cathedrals (Milan, Florence) more like buildings of ancient Greece and Rome. Sculptors and artists became more expert. They went to hospitals to study anatomy so that their figures would look life-like. They also studied the laws of perspective to give their paintings 'depth'. New subjects were thought worth painting.

Interesting facts Renaissance - cathedral of Florence

The Italian Renaissance architect Brunelleschi designed the famous cathedral of Florence. It probably served as a model for St Peter's Church in Rome

Before the Renaissance, nearly all paintings were made to beautify the walls of churches. Their subjects were taken from Bible stories. Now artists drew on the legends of Greece; they painted portraits of real people. Nothing was too small or too unimportant to paint. A German artist called Durer (1471-1528) made beautiful studies of a hare and of wild plants. The Flemish painter Pieter Brueghel (1525-1569) painted homely scenes of village life. The artists and sculptors of the Renaissance usually worked for rich men who were their patrons. Such men wanted to be famous after their death. The Medici, the most powerful family in Florence, ordered from Gozzoli (1420-1497) a painting showing the journey of the Wise Men. In this picture we can identify most of the famous men of Florence at that time, including the artist himself. Pope Julius II (1503-1513) persuaded the great sculptor Michelangelo (1475-1564) to design and make his tomb. This artist, together with Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) and Raphael (1483-1520), are considered to be the three greatest artists of the Renaissance.

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