The RenaissanceThe Renaissance was a period of European history, considered by modern scholars as that between 1300 and 1600. Many dramatic changes happened during the Renaissance. The Renaissance was a period of new inventions and beliefs.
The Renaissance was drastically different from the Middle Ages. During the Middle Ages the church held most of the power and its economy were agriculturally based. Exploration and learning was almost put to a stop. During the Renaissance society was transformed into a society increasingly dominated by central political institutions with an urban commercial attitude. Also, people’s curiosity overcame their fear and many people started to venture out and explore. New schools and colleges became more and more common.The Renaissance was started by many rich Italian cities, such as Florence, Ferrara, Milan, and Venice. Because these cities were very wealthy, many merchants started to spend money on different things, such as painting, learning, new banking techniques, and new systems of government. These things gave rise to a new type of scholar, the humanist. Humanism was subjects concerned with humankind and culture. They studied various things such as Latin, Greek language, literature and philosophy. Music and mathematics were also studied as well.
The Renaissance gave way to new forms of painting, art and sculpture. During the Renaissance, artist were no longer regarded as mere artisans, as they had been to the medieval past, but for the first time emerged as independent personalities, compared to poets and writers. Many artisans merged mathematics with art, in order to become more precise in their measurements and to make sure an object was supported both rationally and proportionally. As a result painters tried and often succeeded into making their painting a window into the world. Artists also studied the way light hits objects and the way our eyes perceive light. A new kind of paint called oil paint was used. This allowed the artist to create texture, mix colors, and allow more time for corrections before it dried.
The printing press was probably the most important advance in technology. Europeans first used movable metal type to print a book. On small pieces of metal they engraved single letters of the alphabet. These could then be arranged and rearranged to form words and sentences.