Renaissance Europe:
The Rebirth
Renaissance
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“Rebirth”; begins in Florence, Italy
Classical culture revival (Greco-Roman)
Emphasis on the individual
Focus on humanism (study of Classical
texts and an emphasis on human potential)
• Economic Recovery (banking – Medici
Family of Florence, trade, manufacturing)
• Emerging Middle Class (Castiglione’s Book
of the Courtier to teach manners)
• Political Thought: Machiavelli’s The Prince
New Literature & Interests
• Written in vernacular languages (NOT
Latin!)
• Italian Writers = Dante (Divine Comedy);
Boccaccio (Decameron); Petrarch
(Sonets); books written about regular
topics, not religious
• Civic Humanism = people should be
involved in political life
Italian Renaissance Art
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natural human forms
Idealistic
Realistic perspective
Balance
Contrapasto
– standing on one leg
• Chiaroscuro
– use of shading to create depth and a 3-D look
Italian Artists: The Ninja Turtles
• Leonardo da Vinci
– Last Supper, Mona Lisa,
Vitruvian Man
• Raphael
– School of Athens
• Michelangelo
– The Sistine Chapel, Pieta, David (the manly
one)
• Donatello
– David (the boy one – first sculpture in the
round since Roman period)
Da Vinci,
Vitruvian Man
Uses of Art
• Patronizing art helped rulers and elites
solidify and legitimize their power
• Glorious art and impressive architecture
impressed people with the rulers’ power
Renaissance begins in Italy 
Spreads to the rest of Europe
?
How did technology allow ideas to
spread?
The importance of being Gutenberg
• Circa1440, Gutenberg
developed movable
type
Characteristics of Northern
Renaissance Art
• Painting in OIL
• detailed
• Realistic [less emphasis on the
“classical ideal”]
• middle-class, peasant life, portraits
• Patron = person who pays for art
(Kings, Clergy, nobles)
Giovanni
Arnolfini and
His Wife
(Wedding
Portrait)
Jan Van Eyck
1434
Jan van Eyck - Giovanni Arnolfini &
His Wife
(details)
The Writers of the North
• Erasmus of Rotterdam
– most important humanist
– Wrote In Praise of Folly
– Desire to reform the
church; study of ancient
Greek/Hebrew texts
To be or not to be that is the
question…
• William Shakespeare
– Primary example of
the development of
use of vernacular
Can you quote
Shakespeare?
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The Merry Wives of Windsor
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"Why, then the world 's mine oyster" - (Act II, Scene II).
"This is the short and the long of it". - (Act II, Scene II).
"I cannot tell what the dickens his name is". - (Act III, Scene II).
"As good luck would have it". - (Act III, Scene V).
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King Henry IV, Part I
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"He will give the devil his due". - (Act I, Scene II).
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Taming of the Shrew
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"I'll not budge an inch". - (Induction, Scene I).
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Julius Caesar
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"But, for my own part, it was Greek to me". - (Act I, Scene II).
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Macbeth
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"There 's daggers in men's smiles". - (Act II, Scene III).
"what 's done is done".- (Act III, Scene II).
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Cymbeline
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"The game is up." - (Act III, Scene III).
"I have not slept one wink.". - (Act III, Scene III).
• Eaten out of house and home
• Pomp and circumstance
• Foregone conclusion
• Full circle
• The makings of
• Method in the madness
• Neither rhyme nor reason
• One fell swoop
• Seen better days
• It smells to heaven
• A sorry sight
• A spotless reputation
• Strange bedfellows
• The world's (my) oyster
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How did ideas travel from Italy to the rest of the world?