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The Renaissance


The Renaissance 1350-1600 The School of Athens- Raphael – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Renaissance

The Renaissance 1350-1600
The School of Athens- Raphael
Emerging from the Middle Ages The period
preceding the Renaissance is known as the Middle
Ages. This time period was one in which the
Roman Catholic Church weighed heavily in the
daily lives of individuals. The Church largely
controlled education and heavily policed the
conduct of individuals. Fear of eternal
damnation for committing sins and public
executions kept the people in line.
Illustration of Hugh the younger Despensers
execution from a manuscript of Froissart, circa
Poor Hugh
Hugh was judged a traitor in England and
sentenced to public execution by hanging and
drawing and quartering. He was hanged from a
gallows, but cut down before he could choke to
death and tied to a ladder, in full view of the
crowd. A man climbed up beside him, and sliced
off his private parts. These were then burnt
before him, still alive and conscious.
Subsequently, the executioner plunged his knife
into his abdomen, and cut out his entrails and
heart, which were likewise burnt before the
crowd. Finally, he was beheaded, and his body cut
into four pieces, and his head was mounted on the
gates of London.
Medieval language Rule of thumb one could not
hit ones wife with a stick thicker than a thumb.
Bathing was considered an occasion of sin, so
not much of it took place. To hide body odor,
brides carried a bouquet of flowers. Hence, the
custom exists today of carrying a bouquet when
getting married. Baths consisted of a big tub
filled with hot water. The man of the house had
the privilege of using the nice clean water, then
sons, daughters, wife, and finally the baby used
the same water. By then the water was so dirty,
one could actually lose someone in it. Therefore,
the saying, "Don't throw the baby out with the
bath water." Houses had thatched roofs - thick
straw-piled high, with no wood underneath. It was
the only place for animals to get warm, so cats
and other small animals (mice, bugs) lived in the
roof. When it rained, the roof became slippery
and sometimes the animals would slip off the
roof. Today we have the saying, "It's raining
cats and dogs." For serfs, warmth was afforded
in their huts by bringing animals in on cold
nights and huddling next to them. Hence, on a
very cold night, it could be a three dog
night. For upper class people, in the bedroom,
bugs and other droppings could mess up a nice
clean bed. Hence, a bed with big posts and a
sheet hung over the top afforded some protection.
That's how canopy beds came into existence.
Lead cups were used to drink ale or whisky. The
combination would sometimes knock the imbibers
out for a couple of days. Someone walking along
the road would take them for dead and prepare
them for burial. They were laid out on the
kitchen table for a couple of days and the family
would gather around and eat and drink and wait to
see if they would wake up. Hence the custom of
holding a "wake." In reburying people, 1 out of
25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on
the inside and there was a realization that
people had been buried alive. So Medieval people
would tie a string on the wrist of the corpse,
lead it through the coffin and up through the
ground and tie it to a bell. Someone would have
to sit out in the graveyard all night (the
"graveyard shift") to listen for the bell thus,
someone could be "saved by the bell" or was
considered a "dead ringer. The wealthy had
slate floors that would get slippery in the
winter when wet, so they spread thresh (straw) on
floor to help keep their footing. As the winter
wore on, they adding more thresh until when you
opened the door it would all start slipping
outside. A piece of wood was placed in the
entranceway. Hence the saying a "thresh hold."
Sometimes Medieval serfs or peasants could
obtain pork, which made them feel quite special.
When visitors came over, they would hang up their
bacon to show off. It was a sign of wealth that a
man could "bring home the bacon." They would cut
off a little to share with guests and would all
sit around and "chew the fat."
The Renaissance The period of the Renaissance is
viewed as a re-birth in the minds of the great
thinkers that fueled the transformation of
society. A great shift occurred emphasizing the
secular over the sacred and a focus on the
worldly life replaced the medieval fascination
with the spiritual world. The medieval period
was largely rejected in place of a rekindled
study of ancient Greek and Latin classics.
Palazzo Vecchio, Florence, Italy The birth of the
  • Italian city-states
  • Shift away from castles in the countryside
  • New republics where power rested in the hands of
    merchants and artisans

  • Humanism
  • Inspired by the classics
  • Stressed living in this world, human dignity, and
    being a responsible citizen.
  • Did not abandon Christianity- God created humans
    with the ability to shape their own lives.
  • Questioned human nature
  • Glorified the accomplishments of man

Pico della Mirandola, Oration on the Dignity of
Sir Thomas More, Utopia
The Renaissance Man The ideal of the period was
the individual who excelled in all matters, who
strove beyond the ordinary in learning,
craftsmanship, and civic life.
  • Leonardo da Vinci
  • Painter
  • Author
  • Mathematician
  • Scientist

  • Vitruvian Man by Leonardo da Vinci, Galleria
    dell' Accademia, Venice (1485-90)
  • Attempt to depict the perfectly proportioned man.

  • Niccolò Machiavelli
  • Historian
  • Political Scientist
  • Philosopher
  • Poet and Playwright

  • Renaissance Art
  • Breaks away from the medieval belief in religion
    and church authority.
  • Themes are religious but expression is based upon
    interpretations of humanity
  • Art and architecture emphasized proportion,
    order, harmony, symmetry and ideal themes
  • Artists are well compensated and their work is
    valued as having the potential to change
  • Desire to depict the beauty of nature and a
    revived interest in the human form.
  • Painters developed techniques, studying light,
    shadow and human anatomy.

Michelangelo, The Creation of Man
  • Donatello- Bronze Statue of David
  • Symbolic of the victory of justice over might

  • Michelangelo- Statue of David marble
  • Symbolized the defense of civil liberties
    embodied in the Florentine republic.
  • Originally erected in the public square of the
  • The eyes of David, with a warning glare, were
    turned towards Rome

Michelangelo- The Ceiling of the Sistine Chapel
Leonardo da Vinci, The Last Supper
Sandro Botticelli, The Birth of Venus
Leonardo da Vinci, Mona Lisa
Detailed background over Mona Lisas shoulder
Detailed view of Mona Lisas hands. Note the
lack of a wedding ring- likely to enforce her
virtuous nature.
The Northern Renaissance- Christian Humanism
  • Were grounded in Religious themes.
  • Attempted to apply logic and reasoning to sacred
    texts of the Catholic Church.
  • Challenged institutions and dogmatic teachings.
  • Remained loyal to the Catholic Church and often
    called for a return to early Christian ways.
  • Thomas More (1478-1535)
  • Challenged King Henry VIII who claimed to be the
    Supreme head of the Church of England. A move
    the King orchestrated in order to marry Anne
  • Published Utopia in 1516- a fictional description
    of an island that does not exist, yet it is an
    imaginary perfect place. (Utopia translates to
    no place)
  • Attacked the notion of private property and
    condemned the enclosure movement occurring in
  • He is beheaded by order of Henry VIII for treason

Erasmus (1466-1536)
  • The Prince of Humanists
  • Dutch scholar that emphasized education and the
    study of the classics and the Bible
  • Wrote Praise of Folly, which satirized the flaws
    of the Church and society.
  • Despite criticisms of the Church he did not side
    with the Reformers- his work did influence this
    movement though.
  • asserted that all humans possessed free will, and
    that the doctrine of predestination was not in
    accord with the teachings contained in the Bible.
    He argued against the belief that God's
    foreknowledge of events was the cause of events,
    and held that the doctrines of repentance,
    baptism and conversion depended on the existence
    of free will
  • "In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is