33 Facts About Italian Renaissance


Italian Renaissance was a period in Italian history covering the 15th and 16th centuries.

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Proponents of a "long Italian Renaissance" argue that it started around the year 1300 and lasted until about 1600.

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Italian Renaissance began in Tuscany in Central Italy and centred in the city of Florence.

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Italian Renaissance has a reputation for its achievements in painting, architecture, sculpture, literature, music, philosophy, science, technology, and exploration.

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The Italian Renaissance peaked in the mid-16th century as domestic disputes and foreign invasions plunged the region into the turmoil of the Italian Wars.

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However, the ideas and ideals of the Italian Renaissance spread into the rest of Europe, setting off the Northern Renaissance from the late 15th century.

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Italian Renaissance'storiographers have proposed various events and dates of the 17th century, such as the conclusion of the European wars of religion in 1648, as marking the end of the Renaissance.

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Famous vernacular poets of the Italian Renaissance include the epic authors Luigi Pulci, Matteo Maria Boiardo (Orlando Innamorato), Ludovico Ariosto (Orlando Furioso), and Torquato Tasso (Jerusalem Delivered, 1581).

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The rediscovery of Vitruvius meant that the architectural principles of Antiquity could be observed once more, and Italian Renaissance artists were encouraged, in the atmosphere of humanist optimism, to excel in the achievements of the Ancients, like Apelles, of whom they read.

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The trade routes of the Italian Renaissance states linked with those of established Mediterranean ports and eventually the Hanseatic League of the Baltic and northern regions of Europe to create a network economy in Europe for the first time since the 4th century.

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One of the greatest achievements of Italian Renaissance scholars was to bring this entire class of Greek cultural works back into Western Europe for the first time since late antiquity.

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Italian Renaissance launched a long series of wars, with Milan steadily conquering neighbouring states and defeating the various coalitions led by Florence that sought in vain to halt the advance.

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In Naples, the Italian Renaissance was ushered in under the patronage of Alfonso I, who conquered Naples in 1443 and encouraged artists like Francesco Laurana and Antonello da Messina and writers like the poet Jacopo Sannazaro and the humanist scholar Angelo Poliziano.

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Italian Renaissance launched a dramatic rebuilding effort that would eventually see much of the city renewed.

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The Italian Renaissance ideal was fully adopted by the ruling classes and the aristocracy.

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Italian Renaissance was not a period of great social or economic change, only of cultural and ideological development.

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Especially in poetry, major changes in Italian literature had been taking place decades before the Renaissance truly began.

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Italian Renaissance authors were not content to rest on the laurels of ancient authors, however.

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Literature and poetry of the Italian Renaissance was largely influenced by the developing science and philosophy.

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Italian Renaissance wrote poetry in Latin, notably the Punic War epic Africa, but is today remembered for his works in the Italian vernacular, especially the Canzoniere, a collection of love sonnets dedicated to his unrequited love Laura.

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Italian Renaissance was the foremost writer of Petrarchan sonnets, and translations of his work into English by Thomas Wyatt established the sonnet form in that country, where it was employed by William Shakespeare and countless other poets.

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The Decameron in particular and Boccaccio's work, in general, were a major source of inspiration and plots for many English authors in the Italian Renaissance, including Geoffrey Chaucer and William Shakespeare.

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Italian universities such as Padua, Bologna and Pisa were scientific centres of renown and with many northern European students, the science of the Renaissance spread to Northern Europe and flourished there as well.

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Italian Renaissance published "Introduction to Analytical Methods" in 1591, systematically sorting out algebra, and for the first time consciously using letters to represent unknown and known numbers.

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Italian Renaissance was not the only Medieval artist to develop these ideas, however; the artists Pietro Cavallini and Cimabue both influenced Giotto's use of statuesque figures and expressive storylines.

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Period known as the High Italian Renaissance of painting was the culmination of the varied means of expression and various advances in painting technique, such as linear perspective, the realistic depiction of both physical and psychological features, and the manipulation of light and darkness, including tone contrast, sfumato and chiaroscuro (contrast between light and dark), in a single unifying style which expressed total compositional order, balance and harmony.

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Mannerist artists, who consciously rebelled against the principles of High Italian Renaissance, tend to represent elongated figures in illogical spaces.

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In Florence, the Italian Renaissance style was introduced with a revolutionary but incomplete monument by Leone Battista Alberti.

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Some of the earliest buildings showing Italian Renaissance characteristics are Filippo Brunelleschi's church of San Lorenzo and the Pazzi Chapel.

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Soon, Italian Renaissance architects favoured grand, large domes over tall and imposing spires, doing away with the Gothic style of the predating ages.

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Rather than see this as a distinct cutoff between eras of history, the rejuvenated approach to studying the Italian Renaissance aims to look at this as a catalyst that accelerated trends in art and science that were already well developed.

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Haskins was one of the leading scholars in this school of thought, and it was his belief that the building blocks for the Italian Renaissance were all laid during the Middle Ages, calling on the rise of towns and bureaucratic states in the late 11th century as proof of the significance of this "pre-renaissance.

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Many historians after Burckhardt have argued that the regression of the Latin language, economic recession, and social inequality during the Italian Renaissance have been intentionally glossed over by previous historians in order to promote the mysticism of the era.

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