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Renaissance Essay Topics & Paper Examples

The Renaissance & Erasmus

The Renaissance was a period of great change, characterized by a revision of many concepts and the birth of many ideas. One of the greatest scholars of this time was Desiderius Erasmus. He was born in Rotterdam, Holland. His birth name was Gerrit . He attended the school of the Brothers of the Common Life at Deventer after which he joined a monastery, the Augustinian college of Stein near Gouda where he stayed for six years. He was ordained to the Catholic priesthood at Steyn at about the age of 25, but he did not last in the priesthood for long. Later, he became a personal secretary of the Bishop of Cambrai. His experience working for the church made him…

Women in the Renaissance

“What was life like for Renaissance women? ” “If you were a woman in that time, would you have liked it? ” and “How was the treatment towards women? ” Questions like these keep pestering my mind as I research about the Renaissance. It is preposterous at how little freedom women were given compared to this day and age. Not only that, it is clear and obvious that men in the 14th to 16th century in England were given special privileges, while females were not. This is absurd. Women should have been treated as equals with men and without inferiority. The English Renaissance was a period of time filled with great injustice, harsh treatment, and unfair consequences. The life that…

Analysis of “The School of Athens” by Raphael

Raphael, the youngest of the three great artists who defined the Italian High Renaissance, was born in the small yet artistically significant Central Italian city of Urbino. It seems that Raphael attained his natural gift of creativity from his father who was a poet and a painter. Orphaned at an early age, Raphael was sent to be an apprentice to the distinguished painter Perugino, and by the tender age of twenty-one had flourished into an impeccable artist with talent surpassing that of his mentor. Over the course of the next four years, Raphael lived and worked in Florence alongside Leonardo DaVinci and Michelangelo. Raphael could not escape the imminent influence of these two legendary artists. By 1508, Raphael’s reputation had…

What Changed During the Renaissance and Reformation?

Many things changed during the Renaissance and reformation. The peoples’ prospective changed due to the major changes that came about. The three main things that changed were art, religious views, and the printing press. Each one of these changes made a significant difference in shaping the future of the world. At that period of time people had conflicts on whether these changes were good choices. One of the first changes that happened was in art. Artist of that time started painting more of their feeling than doing paintings of relics. This started a new era in art. Leonardo Da Vinci and Michelangelo were well known artist of that time. Da Vinci was best known for the Mona Lisa and The…

The American Renaissance

One of the most prominent conflicts in the works of Edgar Allan Poe is that between the past, the present and the future. Almost all of his protagonists have to choose between adhering to and deviating from established practices and or face the consequences of past crimes or sins. In The Fall of the House of Usher (1839), Roderick Usher is torn between letting his sister be entombed alive and setting her free (Smith, 2002, p. 225). The first wife of the unknown narrator of Ligeia (1838) refuses to accept her impending demise from a lingering illness, as she believed that doing otherwise was a mark of weakness (Poe, 1991, p. 4). A guilty conscience prompts the unidentified main character…

Oration on the Dignity of Man

“Oration on the Dignity of Man” by Pico Mirandola offers its readers and interesting and innovating for those times look into the mind of the praised Renaissance period. In the oration Mirandola is willing to show that human quest for knowledge is important, especially if it is framed in neo-Platonic views. Mirandola assumes that it is the God who has created all creatures and that the God also needs someone to appreciate his works. Sentient beings have quest for knowledge as they are interested in who has created them, for what person and what the sense of human being is. Mirandola says that the God has created a human in such a way that he has had no specific shot…

Birth of Venus

The work that I have chosen from Chapter 19 is Thomas Cole’s The Oxbow (Connecticut River near Northampton) (1836) on page 462. Principles of Design: • The focal point of the painting is the sun-drenched valley and river. The emphasis comes from the diagonal of the tree to the left that directs the view of the scene down the valley toward the farmland. • Vertical balance can be seen with the firm horizon line that separates a bleak landscape with a bleaker sky, where most of the visual weight in the composition occurs in the lower half of the painting. Formal Elements: • The artist uses lines to outline forms and evoke movement. In this painting, firm lines carve out…

Mad Blood Stirring: Vendetta in Renaissance Italy

Written by Edward Muir, this powerful microhistory analyses the events during 1511 in the town of Friuli, Italy at the time of the carnival. Muir’s thesis for his book, Mad Blood Stirring comes together in separate parts throughout his introduction. Firstly, Muir attempts to establish the importance of the Venetian rule over the province and people of Friuli and its capital city, Udine. Due to its geographical location, this part of Italy was essential to the country to protect due to risk of invasion and trading posts. Muir emphasises Friuli’s larger place in the politics of Italy, as well as an important part of the European principalities developed in the early modern period. The population of Friuli faced many obstacles…

Technology 1450-1750

Technological advances during the period 1450-1750, or the Renaissance Era, were major influences to the way of life seen today. The ships, tools for traveling, especially the ones made Portugal and Spain all Impact society today, allowing for the age of exploration to emerge. All these tools proved prosperous but known more important than the printing-press independently developed in Germany by Johannes Gutenberg. Germany before this time was divided, in other words not a country yet, but divided into a city-state format, different provinces ruled by a king under an interregnum. Also, before this era Germany was still under the Holy Roman Empire, in other words Catholic in their Religion. The impact that this new technology produced in the World…

Comparing 600-1450 & 1450-1750

Periods of time have always been changing and evolving. The 600 to 1450 era had some similarities to the following era, the 1450 to the 1750; though as said before, there were the changes also. Many continuities and breaks occurred between both periods. There were the changes in their trading systems, the technology, their global interactions, urbanization, social systems, and their political government development. These events led to various inventions and some that are still used to this day. All the terms involving continuity during both time periods eventually changed and affected the era. Analyzing these ideas will help receive a better understanding of both periods. During the 600s to the 1450s, trading was mostly done by land. There were…

Leon Battista Alberti

Leon Battista Alberti, born in the 15th Century originally from Genoa was educated at Padua and Bologna in classics, mathematics and Church canon law. He was a typical Humanist and his education also made him well-versed in philosophy, science and the arts. In 1421, he attended the University of Bologna where he studied law, which he did not enjoy. Later on, he obtained a degree in canon Law which then led to his mathematical studies. His book, Della Pittura published around the year 1430 were written to influence both artists and patrons through a combination of technical detail and philosophical discussion on Florentine art. This book is divided into 3 parts, the first relates to perspective and mathematics. The second…

The Making of the Middle Ages

Personally, when thinking of the middle Ages, I tend to have the misconception that it is a period of darkness with no progress. However, R.W. Southern’s book, ‘The Making of the Middle Ages’, offers an in depth study of the development of history in the world today. Observing that this book was published during the 1950s, Mr. Southern’s interpretation of the ‘Middle Ages’ was very distinctive in comparison to other historians of his time. He explores the significance of the Middle Ages as a separate sector in the study of history by which the audience will notice that previous categories of studied history is set aside, as we are no longer focusing on the usual ‘Classical Greece’ and ‘Rome’ in…

From the Middle Ages through the Renaissance

The earliest monument of the High Gothic was the cathedral of Notre-Dame at Chartres, where flying buttresses were designed from the beginning so that the balconies were needless. This simplified the interior elevations to three partitions; the nave arcade, the triforium passage and the clerestory windows. In the process, the clerestory windows improved noticeably in size and vaulting shifted from sexpartite, over two bays, to quadripartite, over one bay. Chartres Cathedral has an additional complex chronology than the cathedral of Paris. The side had long been sanctified to the Virgin Mary and the church wealth included, along with other precious relics, a tunic thought to have been used or worn by Mary. Chartres turned out to be the core of…

From the Middle Ages through the Renaissance

Artists bringing designs, paintings, choreography and music to life shapes the history of the Middle Ages. Middle Ages began from the very earliest single digit centuries. Middle Ages and Renaissance Age’s culture centered around religion. Religion was the purpose of all art. Artists living during the Middle and Renaissance ages created paintings, sculptures, music and other designs that were unique to their interpretations, relying on craft and communication. “We should not assume that our priorities necessarily match those of the original patrons. ” (Goffen, 1999, p. 207) Two memorable Renaissance artworks are Michelangelo’s Pieta and Da Vinci’s Virgin of the Rocks. The marbled Pieta sculpture design is Mary holding her son Jesus, who passed away. This image immediately shocks the…

Humanism and the Renaissance + Protestant Reformation

The later Middle Ages is characterized as a time of great transition and advancement, especially pertaining to areas of politics, economics, art and intellect. A new trend towards the pursuit of new knowledge and ideas first emerged in fifteenth century Renaissance Italy. This new area of intellect marks the emergence of humanism, which essentially came to be the defining characteristic leading up to the Scientific Revolution in the eighteenth century. The Protestant Reformation can be seen as the second catalyst to the Scientific Revolution, which occurred around the turn of the fifteenth century. It was the combination of the expansion of humanism first witnessed during the Renaissance creating the desire for knowledge, greater meaning and ultimate truths, with the power…

Rome Wasn’t Built in a Day

The great masters of the Renaissance — da Vinci, Michelangelo, et al. — if asked by the House of Medici, the Holy Father or any other influential patron of the visual arts to put a “rush job” on their masterpieces, would’ve probably dropped their palettes, chisels and other tools of the trade and wryly replied, “Rome wasn’t built in a day. ” Ever wonder who cleverly arranged those six words into the powerhouse catchphrase that it is today? As it turns out, nary a Roman, sandal clad or otherwise, first coined the locution. Shockingly, it was a 12th century cleric in the court of Phillippe of Alsace — the Count of Flanders — who gets the credit for dreaming up…

Josquin Des Prez

In the following paper, I will prove that Josquin’s Miserere is that of “typical” sixteenth century piece. While the Miserere has been noted as anything but typical, for use in this paper “typical” will be defined as “possessing all the qualities” of a sixteenth century five-voiced motet. I will demonstrate that Josquin adhered to the “typical” counterpoint rules in the sixteenth century. Josquin’s life For all of his musical fame, Josquin des Prez still remains a “surprisingly elusive historical figure.”[2] Because there are many periods in Josquin’s life where his specific activities and involvement cannot be traced exactly, there is dispute between historians about the exact chronology of Josquin. The most recent research into the life of Josquin reports that…

Leonardo Da Vinci

Leonardo da Vinci was inarguably a great mind of the Renaissance, a period of European civilisation where revival of classical learning and wisdom took place after a long period of cultural decline and stagnation. He was an Italian painter, draftsman, sculptor, architect, and engineer whose talents reflected the diversity of achievements of the Italian Renaissance. With his outstanding versatility, Leonardo has often been described as a universal genius of the Renaissance, the fame that has remained undimmed as a result of his great desire for knowledge. His Last Supper and Mona Lisa are among the most widely popular and influential paintings of the Renaissance, and they gained worldwide fame only after his death. However, he was far from prolific, as…

Giovanni Boccaccio

Im going to write an essay on Giovanni Bocccaccio and tell about him and his works and their affect to the middle-age literature and the literature today. As my sources Im going to use the illustrated history of Europe, wikipedia, http://www.middle-ages.org.uk/giovanni-boccaccio.htm and http://www.encyclopedia.com/topic/Giovanni_Boccaccio.aspx. Who was Giovanni Boccaccio? When did he live? What is he known of? How did he affect the late middle-age literature and the literature today? Who was Giovanni Boccaccio? Giovanni Boccaccio was an Italian Renaissance humanist, author and a poet. He lived during the years 1313-1375. Giovanni Boccaccio was born near Florence in Italy. His father was a successful banker, who wanted him to have a practical education and to follow his footsteps as a wealthy businessman….

Philosophy “Divergent Currents of Humanism”

The nationalities rooted in different traditions and perhaps owed something to old trunks differences Latinos and barbarians, took shape especially the divergence of economic interests and natural conditions of Italy and Germany. Italian Humanism meant more than a break with the past, Italy was consumed in glorious extravagance and soon returned to agriculture and to the spirit of medieval life. Life essentially offered the Italian humanist enjoyment and creation, the Christian scheme gave way to a Greek morality, in which life was an art, freed from any sense of obligation. The religious interest was not very present at least we want to talk about a religion of beauty. His ideal was universal man fully rounded personality of a Leonardo. I…

Modernist and Harlem Renaissance

The Modernist movement in American literature was a movement which reached its peak around the turn of the nineteenth century and through to the nineteen forties. The attributes which defined Modernist literature were those which formed a notable departure from realist modes in fiction and resulted in deeper, more introspective — and often eccentric — literary themes and styles. The use of meta-narrative, that is: a narrative paradigm which attempts to provide a comprehensive paradigm regarding history, culture, and human experience. Modernist literature remained deeply concerned with affecting and inciting social catharsis and cultural change. Unlike other schools of literature, Modernist literature was only loosely defined and adhered to by its practitioners. An example of the departure from strictly objective…

Times Roman and World Cultures

Self-Portraits. Journal. The Renaissance artists Titian, Rembrandt, and Durer have each painted self-portraits. Imagine yourself as one of these artists (or another artist of your choice that has painted a self-portrait) and write a journal expressing your thoughts on “your” art (in other words, the journal entries the artist would probably write.) (1) Explain “your” primary reason for painting a self-portrait. (2) Describe “your” artistic choices in composition: use of color, space, etc. (3) Explain what the portrait represents about “you” (as the artist.) (4) Explain “your” choices of subject with regard to at least three other specific pieces “you” have painted. The Project Paper will be graded on: 1. The level to which the instructions were followed.  2. The…

Renaissance Notes

The 15th century artistic developments in Italy matured during the 16th century. The 15th century is thus designated the “Early Renaissance” and the 16th century the “High Renaissance”. Although there is no single style that defines the period, there is a distinct level of technical and artistic mastery that does. This is the age of Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Michelangelo, and Titian, artists whose works exhibit such authority, that later generations of artists relied on these works for instruction. These exemplary artistic creations further elevated the prestige of artists. Artists could claim divine inspiration, thereby raising visual art to a status formerly only given to poetry. Painters, sculptors, and architects were elevated to a new level and they claimed for…

Ideal Renaissance Man

An ideal renaissance man or woman in the fourteenth and fifteenth century, a time when people aspired to be skilled in numerous areas and humanistic education was customary, meant you would have to stand out from the rest. Pico della Mirandola theories in Oration on the Dignity of Man sum up the ideal Renaissance man. He proclaimed that individuals face no limits to their development except those that are self-imposed (Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia). In theory only one can hinder their own success. The ideal renaissance man had a broad base in knowledge or was highly skilled in the arts, music or literature. Some lived up to being ideal just because they were bold or unique. The ideal renaissance man was…

Music Appreciation

1.What were the three forms of English madrigals? Describe each type. – Madrigal Proper, in this form, the madrigal was through-composed. It used quite a bit of word-painting, which is the matching of music to the words in the text. There also is The Ballet, which is a piece in which dancers tell a story through their movements and the music. Lastly, there is The Ayre, with is a form of madrigal that is performed in a number of different ways, including with or without accompaniment. 2. What were chorales? Why were they popular? – Easy to sing melodies, often based on traditional folk songs. They were popular because the printing press allowed for the publishing of hymnbooks. 3. What…

Renaissance

We mark Italian society’s rebirth from the medieval period with the changes that occurred during the Italian Renaissance. Civilization was changing and what we consider the modern world was about to begin. The renaissance activity that happened in Europe outside of Italy is called the Northern European Renaissance. Italy’s humanist ideas and values moved out of Italy and throughout Europe, which spurred on the Northern European Renaissance. The Renaissance period began in the early 14th Century and lasted until the late 16th Century. Renaissance” comes from the French word that means “rebirth. ” This time period is named and studied because of its unique art, literature, and music. It is also known as society’s modern age. The Renaissance was a…

Comparing Medieval Art to Renaissance Art

Medieval art period Medieval art covers a large scope of time. The period covered over 1000 years of art in Europe, Middle East and North Africa. The period was characterized by major art movements based on national art and regional art. There was also the aspect of revivals and artists crafts. Art historians have been successful in classifying medieval art into major periods and styles. This is often characterized with significant difficulty. The major periods of art in medieval period include, the early Christian art, the migration period art, the insular art, the Pre Romanesque art, and lastly the Romanesque art. Gothic art was also a prominent period on medieval art. In addition to these periods, each region which later…

Alessandra Strozzi Letter Analysis

Alessandra Strozzi wrote many letters to her children which can convey to us the importance of family in Florence during the Renaissance. Alessandra’s husband Matteo died, and so these letters are written from the perspective of a widow, not a married woman. In Women of the Renaissance by Margaret L. King, it states that widows of the Renaissance could dispose of the family wealth themselves and were also able to carry on their husband’s trade. In this case, Alessandra took on the responsibility of finding spouses for her children. The following letter is written from Alessandra to her son Filippo concerning finding him a wife and shows how much thought was put into finding a spouse during this period. Alessandra…

Medieval Europe’s Influence on the Renaissance

In the Middle ages of Europe there were many factors that helped lead to the beginning of the renaissance. For instance the creation of universities that let people study latin literature and art, which lead to new establishments of middle age sculptures and paintings. With the availability of knowledge for the study of basic wisdom and the relationship between nature and god, people began to question the churches ideas, this lead to people creating new religious beliefs. Also the feudal system began to fall apart do to Norman invasions of England and fighting between the king and churches power, this caused city states to emerge and monarchical systems to be restored. In the middle ages people began to study the…

The Cultural Context of the Proto-Renaissance

The period before the Renaissance period, also known as the Proto-Renaissance happened in the northern Italy, under a relatively stable political structure in the 12th century. This event was very crucial: the place where it happened, the thinking of the people who existed at this period, and how it transformed into the Renaissance period. In terms of the socio-political events, the Feudal structure of the government was diminishing, unlike anywhere else in Europe, which involves well-defined boundaries not under the danger of invasion or attack. For the economic sphere, the trade flourished all throughout the region, where there is a prospering economy for a more contended population. Also, a huge number of merchant families who “ruled” these Republican places were…