The Italian Renaissance

What was the Italian Renaissance? Here are a few things...

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What Was the Renaissance?

  • The word 'renaissance' means re-birth.
  • The renaissance was a re-birth of interest in the ideas of the Classical Greeks and Romans.
  • EG: In the Middle Ages, people thought that the Bible was the best way to understand the world.



All theses changes happened within 1300-1600.

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Italy in the 15th Century

  • Italy split up into different states, which where all ruled by different rivalling families. These were:
  • Milan - ruled by the Sforza family.
  • Venice - ruled by the Doge family.
  • Mantna - ruled by the Gonzaga family.
  • Florence - ruled by the Medici family.
  • The Papal States - ruled by the Pope.
  • Naples - ruled by the King of Aragon.
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What Started the Renaissance?

What started the Renaissance was this:


One day the Turks started to invade Constantinople, so the wimpy scholars fled to Italy with ancient manuscripts. The reading of these manuscripts led to experimenting with classical ideas...

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Improvement in Science

  • Galileo was an astronomer who re-discovered that the Earth was indeed round.
  • Smart people made new weapons.
  • Leonardo DaVinci checked out the foetus shape after just feeling pregnant women's bumps and watching births!
  • Dissection of human bodies allowed.
  • More detail of the human body in art (really! It helps in science!!). 
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Comparing Middle Ages Art to Renaissance Art

Bring up a picture of The Wilton Diptych, these are the tell-tale signs of a Middle-Ages piece of art!

  • No real background: detail was not important, as pictures were used to tell a story, not to look good.
  • Mary. Because she is the second most important person (baby Jesus is the first most important, but he's a baby!), she is the largest. Mary is also wearing blue, which was only saved for special people, it being so hard to produce.
  • Angels - their faces are very similar because they are not very important. However, they are wearing blue, which shows some significance.
  • Halos - ultra-religious people had a plate-shaped circle over their head.
  • Saint's faces are similar, but still different to the others.
  • Angel's height and badge - short, and the badge signified what they worshipped.
  • St. Edmund is wearing blue and gold - two very expensive colours (they used real gold).
  • Richards III is kneeling: praying towards baby Jesus (he is short because he's kneeling!!).
  • The flowers of the floor by Mary and the angels show that even though they are highly important... they are still female (stupid sexist rules!!).
  • Jesus is a baby, yet he can fully support himself! Magical!
  • English flag: the artist tells the world that God loves England!
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