The Modern World is Another Term for the Renaissance Period
Between the fourteenth and the seventeenth 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 countless intellectuals exchanging ideas about a multitude of subjects, these subjects included but were not limited to; culture, politics, and science. The Renaissance laid the groundwork and 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 powerful bankers and wool merchants in Italian society influenced the Renaissance because of their support of the arts and humanism. The Medici family were inspired by the civilization of Ancient Rome and Greek. 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.
The Renaissance was known for its art. Artists during this time period 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 uncovered a way to fabricate depth by creating an invisible point on a canvas. The first known art work that utilized linear perspective is Masaccio’s “”The Holy Trinity.”” Artists also began paying more attention to illumination, silhouette, and human anatomy. Human anatomy was depicted in Leonardo da Vinci’s legendary painting Vitruvian Man in the 1490s. Architecture was also beginning to take on a new form. 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 musical compositions, Renaissance artists focused on integration of different sounds and making them 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 many of them were humanists. 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 contributing members of society. The humanists during this time were Francesco Petrarca, Giovanni Boccaccio, Coluccio Salutati, Poggio Bracciolini.
Technology was important during the Renaissance as well. It was critical for the spread of information. The creation of the printing press was revolutionary for human history. People wanted to be able to produce exact 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 another important part of the Renaissance. 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 was circular and very large, larger than people had ever presumed.
Science was very impactful 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; however, 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 pave the way for other scientists such as 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 Medieval time period. 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 printing press. The Renaissance in many ways laid the foundation for the modern world.