The Renaissance – Junior Cert History

The Renaissance – Junior Cert History

The Renaissance is the rebirth of learning. The learning of ancient Greece and Rome was rediscovered and new discoveries made.

Humanism is showing great interest in human nature rather than religion. Writing in the vernacular became popular.

Artists were craftsmen like other tradesmen.

Why Italy?

  • Wealth cities provided patrons of the arts.
  • Fall of Constantinople.
  • Competition between city-states.
  • Ruins of Ancient Rome.

Differences between Medieval and Renaissance art:

  • Religion a theme but other themes important also.
  • Movement and emotions became important.
  • Realism.
  • Perspective.
  • Sfumato.
  • Oils and canvas became popular but egg tempera and frescoes still used.
  • Architecture moved from Gothic to Romanesque.

Important people of the Renaissance:

a) Patrons of the Arts:

Lorenzo de Medici: family ruled Florence. ‘The Magnificent’ collected ancient Greek and Roman manuscripts. Michelangelo was a pupil at the Platonic Academy. Spent a fortune on art.

The popes Leo X (Lorenzo’s son) and Julius II (Sistine Chapel)

b) Johannes Gutenberg.

He was a goldsmith from Mainz in Germany. Invented the movable metal type printing press. His bible is very valuable.

Invention of printing press important because:

  1. Books more plentiful and cheaper.

  2. Literacy and education spread.

  3. Spread ideas of Renaissance and Reformation.

c) Leonardo da Vinci.

Renaissance man (wide range)

Apprenticed to Verrochio. He was the first to use sfumato. Painted the Last Supper (falling apart) and the Mona Lisa (Louvre). Dissected more than 30 bodies. Used mirror writing.

Designed planes, parachutes, cannon and tanks. Died in France.

d) Michelangelo.

Attended Platonic Academy. Loved sculpture. White marble. The Pieta (optical illusion). David was the biggest statue of the time and showed mastery of anatomy.

Julius II ordered him to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. It took 4 years.

He designed the dome of St. Peter’s. He was a poet also.

e) Durer.

From Nuremberg. Trained as an engraver. Famous for self-portraits and pictures of plants(Large Clod) and animals (Young Hare). His engravings could be printed. Very scientific approach.

f) Galileo.

The Father of Modern Science.

Invented the pendulum clock and a powerful telescope. Discovered that all solid objects fall at the same speed. He proved Copernicus was right when he said the Earth moved around the sun, but had to say he was wrong in front of the Inquisition.

g) Shakespeare.

Stratford on Avon. Married Anne Hathaway. Moved to London without the family. Worked in the Globe Theatre (open air, no women actors). Wrote 35 plays (Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet) and many sonnets. His plays are comedies, tragedies and histories.

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