Italian and Northern European Renaissance

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Updated: Dec 02, 2022
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The Renaissance shapes Europe and helps Europe become the superpower they are now. The renaissance leads to new inventions and new lifestyles centered around enjoying life. The Italian renaissance and the northern European renaissance are both very difference but influence each other. One example of influences, in Flanders, where the northern Europe renaissance began, oil paint is invented and becomes very popular among Italian painters. Both renaissances have many differences, but it is their similarities that make them both a rebirth of Europe.

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Some of the major differences of the two renaissances are in the art. Both had very intricate and amazing pieces created, but the focus was different. In Italy the art mostly focuses on idealism and realism, where in northern Europe they also focused on realism, but it was natural realism. Ideal Realism is when the figures represented in the art are perfect. Natural realism is where the figures represented are created how they are with their flaws and shortcomings. Art in Italy was mainly patronized by the church, unlike in northern Europe where the art was patronized by political leaders like princes and kings. In Northern Europe the art created was most commonly portraits and landscapes, in Italy it focused more on religious figures.

Northern Europe was driven during the renaissance by religious reform and they looked back to the writings of plato. Italy on the other hand was driven by the revival of classic values and looked back at their roman and greek heritage and the writings of Aristotle. Although they were driven by different forces they both had many similarities. Both focused on art, writing, inventions, and celebrating life more fully. The trials earlier including the black plague and war, led to both being unhappy with the authority of the church.

While the two renaissances have many differences and different driving forces, they still are very similar. They influence each other and share many developments. They help lead to the advancement of Europe and we can still see evidence of the renaissance in our own lives and culture. The art styles might have been different and the writings studied were not the same. Still it was the common themes in both led to the rebirth and advancement of both societies.

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Italian and Northern European Renaissance. (2019, Dec 29). Retrieved from