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But if some Classical elements were 'reborn,' other aspects of medieval culture ... Lots of patronage for artists, scholars, composers, etc. Renaissance Humanism ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Early%20Renaissance

Early Renaissance
  • Literally, re-birth
  • 1400-1494
  • Renaissance values emerge in different places at
    different times.

Renaissance Culture
  • Rebirth Implies some dead cultural element
    is reborn
  • Classical learning
  • Humanism and humanistic values
  • Scientific method
  • Classical forms of literature (epic poetry)
  • Public theatre (secular comedy and tragedy)
  • Classical forms of sculpture
  • Classical orders of architecture

Renaissance Culture
  • But if some Classical elements were reborn,
    other aspects of medieval culture doubtless
    continued into the Renaissance
  • Christianity
  • Social class hierarchy
  • Patriarchal values

Renaissance or Early Modern?
  • Scholarly debate over whether the period is
    characterized by a re-birth of ancient values, or
    by the appearance of modern values.
  • Rise of the nation-state
  • Rise of early capitalism
  • Rise of the rule of law
  • Rise of a paid military
  • Rise of secularism

Renaissance Literature
  • Baldassare Castiglione (1478-1529)
  • The Courtier (1528)
  • Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1527)
  • The Prince (1513)

Castiglione, The Courtier
  • a guide to courteous behavior or conduct book
    for the upper classes
  • composed as a set of after-dinner conversations
    between ladies and gentleman
  • a continuing debate over the traits that define
    the ideal courtier and lady

Castiglione, The Courtier
  • The gentleman
  • education in the arts and humanities
  • skill in horsemanship and swordplay.
  • a man of letters
  • proficient in music, drawing and dance.
  • ready for war / athletics

Castiglione, The Courtier
  • The Lady
  • a civilizing influence
  • consummate hostess
  • charming, witty, graceful
  • physically attractive, utterly feminine
  • well versed in the same areas as men, except for
    athletics and arms
  • --p. 323

Castiglione, The Courtier
  • Question Whats missing from these lists of
    attributes of the ideal gentleman and lady?
  • status as faithful Christians
  • Is Christianity assumed? Yes, somewhat but no
    longer a central item of emphasis.

Castiglione, The Courtier
  • Question Who is the audience for this text?
    That is, who needs a guide to the characteristics
    and appropriate behaviors of the aristocracy?
  • The upwardly mobile mercantile class.

Machiavelli, The Prince (1513)
  • the first modern text of statecraft and
    political science
  • a kind of guidebook for princes, or anyone
    leading a state
  • primarily concerned with pragmatic leadership,
    not with ideals
  • See Readings, pp. 17-20.
  • See p. 323-324 in text.

Machiavelli, The Prince
  • Famous (or infamous) advice
  • It is better to be feared than loved.
  • Rulers should cultivate a public image and
    reputation suggesting their virtue, but should be
    prepared to act otherwise when necessary.
  • If it were possible to change ones character to
    suit the times and circumstances, one would
    always be successful.

Machiavelli, The Prince
  • Real truth, rather than imagination
  • gulf between how one should live, and how one
    does live.
  • A man who wants to act virtuously in every way
    necessarily comes to grief among so many who are
    not virtuous.

Machiavelli, The Prince
  • Since ecclesiastical principalities are
    controlled by a higher power, which the human
    mind cannot comprehend, I shall refrain from
    discussing them. Since they are raised up and
    maintained by God, only a presumptuous and rash
    man would examine them. Nevertheless, one might
    ask how it has happened that the temporal power
    of the Church has become so great.

Machiavelli, The Prince
  • As a work of history, the emphasis is on
    causation, and it does not look to the workings
    of Providence.
  • As a work of philosophy, it assumes that mankind
    cannot live up to the stated ideals of virtue and
    right behavior.
  • Anticipates late-Renaissance Skepticism
    (Montaigne, Shakespeare)

Secularism in Renaissance lit.
  • Castiglione
  • Concerned with ideals of courtly behavior
  • Concerned less with religion than with social
    class and accomplishments.
  • Machiavelli
  • Concerned with pragmatic rules of governing
  • Little concerned with religion, except to dismiss

Origins of the Renaissance
  • Medieval crusades had been launched from Venice
  • development of Venetian naval power, shipping
    routes (and wealth!)
  • Finance for the crusades was done in Florence
  • development of banking (and wealth!)

Origins of the Renaissance
  • Rome, Florence, Venice (to a lesser extent other
    Italian cities)
  • Engaged in a rivalry for prestige.
  • Each wants to be known as a city of art, culture,
    and learning.
  • Each governed by non-feudal oligarchy or
  • Lots of patronage for artists, scholars,
    composers, etc.

Renaissance Humanism
  • Humanism the revived Classical notion of the
    value and dignity of mankind chief
    characteristic of the Renaissance
  • Reflected in the studia humanitatis
  • A response to the growing interest in and
    availability of Classical texts.
  • Revived interest in Greek, as well as Latin.
  • Educational curriculum grew beyond the medieval
    liberal arts to include such fields as history
    and poetry.

Renaissance Humanism
  • One of the chief philosophical pursuits of
    Renaissance humanism was Neo-Platonism (Ficino,
    the leading voice of Florentine Neo-Platonism
    his student Pico della Mirandola)
  • Brings Plato in line with Christianity, including
    Platos idea of the immortality of the soul
  • The importance of mankinds free will (dignity)
  • The notion of Platonic love All love on earth
    is an echo of the divine idea of love. Images of
    beauty (visual, musical, poetic) are pleasing to
    the senses. But the soul also associates those
    images with a higher level, with the beauty of
    divine love. So all beauty, all love, becomes a
    metaphor for divine love.

Renaissance Humanism
  • Great Chain of Being
  • A means of understanding how humanity fits into
    the plan of Gods creation.

Aesthetic Principles
  • A return to Classical principles balance,
    symmetry, control, thought, simplicity
  • In architecture
  • Revival of the Greek architectural orders
  • Use of mathematics to determine harmony and

Aesthetic Principles
  • In sculpture
  • revival of free-standing figures
  • revival of the contrapposto stance,
  • nudes
  • equestrian statues

Aesthetic Principles
  • In painting
  • invention of perspective the illusion of
    creating a three-dimensional space in a
    two-dimensional artwork. Giving depth to a
    two-dimensional work.
  • Linear perspective as objects move away (toward
    the horizon) size gets smaller objects tend to
    converge at a vanishing point.
  • Atmospheric perspective as distance increases,
    clarity and color decreases.

Renaissance Architecture
  • Architecture Filippo Brunelleschi (1377-1446),
    representing the Early Renaissance style, wanted
    to make a complete break with the Late Gothic
    style. Leone Batista Alberti was the theoretician
    of the Early Renaissance style who wrote about
    the mathematical aspects of painting.
    Brunelleschi also invented linear perspective
    (achieving the illusion of depth on a two
    dimensional surface, by organizing the picture
    space around a center point, or vanishing point).

Renaissance Architecture
  • Brunelleschis studies led to the concept of the
    Renaissance space (the notion that a composition
    should be viewed from one single position). After
    four hundred years, the renaissance space as well
    as linear perspective was challenged by Manet in
    the 19th century.

Renaissance Painting
  • The genius of the revolution in painting in the
    early Florentine school was Masaccio (1401-1428).
    In the history of Western painting, Masaccios
    Holy Trinity fresco is the first example of the
    Renaissance space.

Renaissance Painting
  • Another masterpiece by Masaccio is The Tribute
    Money. In the 1480s, Florentine school was moving
    toward its culmination in the early works of
    Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519).
  • It is with Giovanni Bellini that Venice becomes
    another center of Renaissance art comparable to
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