An introduction to the history of the northern renaissance

He carved the latter by hand from an enormous marble block; the famous statue measures five meters high including its base. Not only did the chain of being concept provide a rationale for the authority of such rulers; it also suggested that there was ideal behavior that was appropriate to their place in the order of things.

Arguing that such chance seems improbable, other historians have contended that these "Great Men" were only able to rise to prominence because of the prevailing cultural conditions at the time.

Introduction: what was the Renaissance?

The text in the back of the image identifies the date and Jan van Eyck as the artist. The growth of centralized monarchy claiming absolute sovereignty over its subjects may be observed in other places, from the England of Henry VIII on the extreme west of Europe to the Muscovite tsardom of Ivan III the Great on its eastern edge, for the New Monarchy was one aspect of a more general phenomenon—a great recovery that surged through Europe in the 15th century.

It is used to describe this phase of European history because many of the changes experienced between the 14th and 16th centuries were inspired by a revival of the classical art and intellect of Ancient Greece and Rome.

Renaissance art continued to be celebrated, however: The implication was that civil rebellion caused the chain to be broken, and according to the doctrine of correspondences, this would have dire consequences in other realms. Holding both Church and Empire at bay, these city republics were devoted to notions of liberty.

Arab logicians had inherited Greek ideas after they had invaded and conquered Egypt and the Levant. Visit Website Did you know? It was the intellectual movement known as Humanism that may have expressed most fully the values of the Renaissance and made a lasting contribution to our own culture.

Renaissance literature dealt much more with human characteristics and behaviours, shifting away from the religious and metaphysical subjects of earlier Medieval books, poems and plays.

The field of study now referred to as the humanities history, social sciences, the arts, literature and languages is derived from the term humanism.

This new engagement with Greek Christian works, and particularly the return to the original Greek of the New Testament promoted by humanists Lorenzo Valla and Erasmuswould help pave the way for the Protestant Reformation. Their translations and commentaries on these ideas worked their way through the Arab West into Iberia and Sicilywhich became important centers for this transmission of ideas.

The proscription against trying to rise beyond one's place was of course useful to political rulers, for it helped to reinforce their authority. See animation one What was the Renaissance?

One of the greatest achievements of Renaissance scholars was to bring this entire class of Greek cultural works back into Western Europe for the first time since late antiquity. During the Renaissance, however, things started to change. This later revolution was known as the Enlightenment.

In agriculturethe shift toward commercial crops such as wool and grains, the investment of capital, and the emancipation of servile labour completed the transformation of the manorial system already in decline. Renaissance Art in Practice Many works of Renaissance art depicted religious images, including subjects such as the Virgin Mary, or Madonna, and were encountered by contemporary audiences of the period in the context of religious rituals.

Some writers date the Renaissance quite precisely; one proposed starting point iswhen the rival geniuses Lorenzo Ghiberti and Filippo Brunelleschi competed for the contract to build the bronze doors for the Baptistery of the Florence Cathedral Ghiberti won.

The world was thought to consist of only three continents, and the Earth, not the Sun, was considered to be the centre of the solar system. From the 11th to the 13th century, many schools dedicated to the translation of philosophical and scientific works from Classical Arabic to Medieval Latin were established in Iberia.


Much of the art produced during the early Renaissance was commissioned by the wealthy merchant families of Florence, most notably the Medici. Gradually, this decreased the dominance previously held by the Catholic Church.

On the interior above we see such holy figures as the Virgin, Christ, saints and angels. Once more, growing numbers of people, burgeoning cities, and ambitious governments were demanding food, goods, and services—a demand that was met by both old and new methods of production. Until the Renaissance, most Europeans followed the teachings of Catholicism because they had little exposure to any form of education beyond this.

Was there more than one renaissance in Europe? Human beings, for example, were pictured as placed between the beasts and the angels. It was a period characterised by innovation, imagination and creativity.

Though Renaissance writers seemed to be quite on the side of "order," the theme of "disorder" is much in evidence, suggesting that the age may have been experiencing some growing discomfort with traditional hierarchies.

Arab logicians had inherited Greek ideas after they had invaded and conquered Egypt and the Levant. Portrait of a Young Woman c. In addition to studying classical Latin and Greek, Renaissance authors also began increasingly to use vernacular languages; combined with the introduction of printingthis would allow many more people access to books, especially the Bible.

It was a period characterised by innovation, imagination and creativity.

Northern Renaissance Art (1400–1600)

Italian Renaissance View of Florencebirthplace of the Renaissance Many argue that the ideas characterizing the Renaissance had their origin in late 13th-century Florencein particular with the writings of Dante Alighieri — and Petrarch —as well as the paintings of Giotto di Bondone — For this reason, some historians speak of a series of renaissances in Europe.

The most notable changes experienced during the Renaissance were in the fields of art and architecture, literature, philosophy and science. Yet it remains much debated why the Renaissance began in Italy, and why it began when it did. Breakthroughs in engineering also paved the way for many of the world's most significant inventions, such as telescopes, clocks and spectacles.

Italy did not exist as a political entity in the early modern period.Introduction. The period of European history referred to as the Renaissance was a time of great social and cultural change in Europe.

Generally speaking, the Renaissance spanned from the 14th to the 16th centuries, spreading across Europe from its birthplace in Italy. When we speak of northern Europe, we are not speaking of a single nation-state but regions which eventually become distinct nations and which, to a degree, were already separate kingdoms prior to the 15th century.

Renaissance Art

There is also a three-part BBC series from on the Northern Renaissance that offers sixty-minute artist-specific videos on Jan Van Eyck, Albrecht Dürer (in parts 1, 2, 3, and 4), and Hieronymus Bosch (in parts 1, 2, 3, and 4).

Jul 22,  · World History Online: Ep. 3 - Northern Renaissance Danielle DuHadway. Introduction to World History - Duration: Otis Art History 18 - Iconography in Northern Renaissance Art.

Introduction. There are several reasons why the Renaissance came later to Northern Europe. First, it was further removed from the centers of trade and culture in the Mediterranean.

An introduction to the Northern Renaissance in the sixteenth century

the two most famous Renaissance musicians associated with the introduction of polyphonic music, Guillaume Dufay and Josquin des Prez, were from the Netherlands.

Also, northern artists were the first to experiment with oil-based paint.

An introduction to the history of the northern renaissance
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