Renaissance to the Modern Age

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Updated: Mar 28, 2022
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The modern world is another term for the renaissance period. Between the fourteenth and the 17th centuries, the renaissance occurred in Europe. It was a critical period for human evolution. During this time period, many scientific discoveries were made. There were a significant number of intellectuals exchanging ideas about a multitude of subjects, these subjects included but were not limited to; culture, politics and science. The renaissance shaped the world into what it is today.

The renaissance began in Florence Italy and rapidly spread across Europe. The black death caused a significant amount of fatalities and less inhabitants meant less workers were available, so subsequently the wages rose, and thus the citizens were making more money than they were prior to the black death. There is much speculation on how the renaissance began. Some believe that the Medici family, who were a powerful force in Italian society, fancied the civilization of Ancient Rome and Greek and they were inspired by them. Artists who relied on the Medici family for sponsorships also looked to these ancient civilizations for inspiration. The renaissance was also linked to Greek scholars who had relocated to Italy subsequent to the fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Turks.

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The renaissance was known for its art. The artists during this time fancied realistic art. They wanted to make their art as naturalistic as possible. They began using linear perspective as a way to achieve life like art work. Linear perspective is when an artist fabricates depth on a flat surface. Artists such as Giotto, Brunelleschi, and Alberti were some of the first to test out linear perspective and they laid the foundation for succeeding renaissance artists. Brunelleschi created one invisible point on a surface, he uncovered a way to commute depth. The first known art work that utilized linear perspective is Masaccio’s “”The Holy Trinity.”” Artists also began trying different a approach. They paid more attention to illumination, silhouette, and human anatomy. Human anatomy was depicted in Leonardo da Vinci’s legendary painting Vitruvian Man in the around the 1490s. Renaissance architecture focused on symmetry, proportion and geometry. The three most important men in renaissance architecture were Filippo Brunelleschi, Leon Battista Alberti, and Andrea Palladio. Music was another important form of art during the renaissance. There was a clear contrast between medieval music that came prior and the music that was created during the renaissance. Medieval music focused on dissimilarities in different parts of his compositions , renaissance artists focused on integration of different sounds and making them sound seamless. Prior to the 16th century, artists were not focused on instruments they believed that the voice was the most important instrument, at the start of 16th century they began utilizing instruments and writing music for instruments. These instruments included the lute, racket, viol, trumpet, crumhorn, and an earlier trombone referred to as sackbut.

Aside from art work, many scholars emerged from the Renaissance and they utilized the humanist technique. Humanism emerged because many people grew tiresome of the formalism that was associated with Utilitarianism. These humanists were convinced that the Greek and Latin works possessed all the instructions to live a virtuous and beneficial existence. They believed that the earth is the only place where they were given the gift of comprehension. They believed that humans should use their insight to make the world a more suitable and desirable place. It was also very important to these humanists’ scholars that the people were literate and persuasive with their speech in order for them to be a contributing member of society. Of the humanists during this time were, Francesco Petrarca, Giovanni Boccaccio, Coluccio Salutati, Poggio Bracciolini.

The creation of the printing press was revolutionary for human history. People wanted to have multiple perfect copies of texts. Johannes Gutenberg invited the printing press in Europe in 1440. This invention permitted texts to reach a wider range of people. Bibles, non-religious books and sheet music were produced in large quantities and became readily available to a larger audience.

Explorers were anxious to travel to other countries and thus many set sail, some with the intention to polish old trade routes, while others longed to explore the world. One of the most famous explorers was Christopher Columbus and he discovered the New World in 1492. Another famous explorer was Ferdinand Magellan. He was Portuguese, and he led the first voyage to encircle Earth in the 1500s. His main priority was to find a Western trade route to the spices in Indonesia. Rather than find a trade route, he ended up confirming that the world is circular and very large, larger than people had ever presumed.

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Science was very important in the renaissance period as well. One of the most important discoveries was made by Polish mathematician and astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus. He believed that the sun was the center of the universe and not the earth. This was called a heliocentric solar system. This discovery was monumental; in the world of science but his book was banned by the catholic church. Galileo was another famous scientist who was harassed because of the content of his work. He discovered other things in our solar system such as the four moons of Jupiter, upgraded the telescope and found evidence to support a heliocentric solar system. He also orchestrated experiments on gravity which helped paved the way for other scientists like Isaac Newton. He was placed on house arrest for the final nine years of his life because of the surrounding controversy over theology, astronomy and philosophy. He was found guilty of blasphemy.

The Renaissance was the evolution from the ancient times. People became free thinkers and despite the consequences, they were not afraid to be nonconformists. Scientists began conducting their own experiments to prove their theories. Artists began creating realistic works of art. Critical inventions were being made, such as the orienting press. The renaissance lay the foundation for the modern world.

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Renaissance to the Modern Age. (2019, Jul 19). Retrieved from