Renaissance is an important topic for UPSC IAS Mains exam in World History. Here we are giving the important details about Renaissance.
- The term Renaissance means “revival” or “rebirth”.
- It also denotes to the noteworthy modifications that took place in Europe during the transition period between the medieval and modern.
- Growth of science, art, architecture, sculpture, painting, literature, geography and religion were seen in this period.
- Spirit of humanism and individualism has developed.
- Religious makeover was signified by the Reformation.
- All these changes in Europe were collectively referred to as Renaissance.
Renaissance in Italy
- The birth place of Renaissance is Italy
- Italy is the cradle of the Latin language and ancient civilization.
- The city states in Italy like Venice and Florence patronized literature and art.
- The publication of the ‘Divine Comedy’ by the greatest Italian poet Dante (1265-1321) triggered the Renaissance movement in the city of Florence.
- Later, the Renaissance spread to other parts of Europe and reached its peak in the 16th century.
Revival of Classical Literature
- The most significant contribution of the Renaissance was the revival and learning of ancient Greek and Latin literature.
- The pioneer in this effort was Petrarch (1304 –1374), who collected and compiled the works of Platoand Aristotle.
- His disciple Boccaccio had also stimulated the classical learning.
- Many Greek scholars who came from Constantinople spread the ancient Greek literature in Florence.
- Pope Nicholas V founded the Vatican Library in the 15thcentury.
- Erasmus edited the New Testament in the Greek language.
Role of printing press
- The invention of printing press by John Gutenberg.
- It had influenced the Renaissance literature.
- The first book published by John Gutenberg was The Bible.
- William Caxton was the first to set up a printing press in England.
- Later many printing presses set up throughout Europe
- These Printing Presses provided a motivation to the Renaissance movement.
- Geoffrey Chaucer is known as the father of English literature
- He wrote the Canterbury Tales in English.
- Machiavelli wrote History of Florence and The Prince.
- Cervantes authored the famous Don Quixote.
- Utopia was written by Sir Thomas Moore in Latin.
- The Elizabethan era marked the commencement of the English Renaissance.
- The period also seen the rise of William Shakespeare, Christopher Marlowe, Edmund Spenser, Sydney and Ben Johnson etc.
- Montaigne against the authority and the dictatorship of the past and made the title “the first modern man”.
- Martin Luther translated the Bible in the German language.
Renaissance of Art
- Paintings and art in the middle Ages was dominated by the Christian religion but in Renaissance period importance was given to the love of nature and human body.
- Leonardo da Vinci known as the “Renaissance Man”.
- His famous paintings were the the ‘Last Supper’ and the‘Mona Lisa’.
- Michelangelo was both a sculptor and painter.
- His painting, ‘The Last Judgement’ is considered the best in the world.
Renaissance of Sculpture
- The pioneer of the Renaissance sculpture was Lorenzo Ghiberti (1378-1455) and the magnificent doors at the Baptistery of Florence were his master piece.
- Michelangelo made the statue of David in Florence.
- Donatello molded the statue of St. Mark at Venice and St. George in Florence.
Development of Science
- Francis Bacon is regarded as the father of modern science.
- The heliocentric theory was given by Nicolaus Copernicus.
- Sir Isaac Newton established that the movements of all celestial bodies were controlled by gravitation.
- Laws of planetary motion were stated by Johannes Kepler.
- Galileo Galilei invented the telescope brought new evidence to support the Copernican theory.
- Cordus made ether from alcohol and sulphuric acid.
- Carbon dioxide was discovered by Helmont.
- Vesalius wrote a treatise on human anatomy.
Results of the Renaissance
- The Renaissance was considered as the symbol of the beginning of the modern age.
- The spirit of enquiry has developed among people.
- The subsequent scientific inventions created significant changes in the life of humanity.
- The invention of the Mariner’s Compass led to several Geographical discoveries.
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