Renaissance means revival or restoration or rebirth .The Italian Renaissance was a humanistic revival, of art, literature, architecture and learning that started in the late Middle Ages 1330-1550.This marked the transition from, medieval to modern times. Renaissance began in the city states of Italy. The most powerful city-states were The Papal State, Venice, Florence and Milan. The Italian renaissance was because of the birth of humanism philosophy. Humanism is all about the philosophy of renaissance, knowing the potential of individuals and their achievements. In humanism, human beings capable of doing good and being truthful.


The Italian Renaissance period helped in furthering of literature, poetry and arts. During this period the writers, poets, sculptors, painters and thinkers adopted “Humanism”. These early humanists studied the ancient Greeks and Romans for inspiration and ideology. They also used the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church for extracting ideas. One of the most famous humanists was Dante Alighieri commonly known as the poet. He wrote The Divine Comedy, he used the Tuscan vernacular for his writings, which was a departure from the medieval scholastic practices of the day. Dante’s’ establishment led to the flowering of humanism and renaissance.

Francesco Petrarch was an Italian scholar, poet and nearly humanist. He clarified that his era had emerged from the dark age. Petrarch encouraged the rebirth of classical scholarship and artistic mastery.He was responsible for bringing ancient Greek  and Roman mastery back to light.He was titled the Poet Laureate of Rome.He wrote the book “Africa”.All his poems were written in Latin.Another important Italian author and poet was Boccacio Giovanni. He is famous for his poem “De Casibus Virorom Illustrium”. He influenced Shakespeare. The art too adopted and exhibited the secular spirit. These combined forces led to invention of printing and the rise of literature. Italian writers, who included Niccolo Machiavelli, and Pico, distributed their books easily and at a cheaper price because of the rise of printed materials.The printing press helped to bring literal achievements to many audiences. The fact that people and the artistes became more open minded, they painted detailed, accurate sceneries of anatomy and nature. On the other hand, medieval artistes ignored such things; their paintings were only meant for the glory of God.


Renaissance philosophy refers to the increased interest in the ancient sources of Greek and Roman theories and ideology. These ancient sources where previously unknown and people had little knowledge about them. Pico was a well-known philosopher and a writer in the Renaissance. His famous work was the 900 philosophical treasities. He believed in the freewill of man and the ability of man to communicate directly with God. Pico encouraged humanism, according to him center of attraction and attention had shifted to the humans.

Pico’s philosophy strengthened humanism, secularism and individualism. The importance of individualism is that it granted freedom to those who embraced it. These included the geniuses and many artistes. The artiste’s paintings and their arts showed individualistic pride in their work.Leornado da Vinci lived up to his potential without being held back by the medieval society that discouraged innovation. Secularism means worldly. The medieval civilization was concerned about the religious world   and the next world that is the world after ones death. However, the urban civilization came along with the new   competitive economic and political horizons. New opportunities arose in the Western Europe, this made m any people interested in the world. The art too adopted and exhibited the secular spirit. People became open minded, artistes painted detailed, accurate sceneries of anatomy and nature. The newly educated people from the noble classes and the middle class wanted to get more enlightened, therefore they opted for more practical books .They wanted books and articles that enlightened them on secular education, business world and politics.


Towards the end of the 14th centuary Italian Philosophers, Scholars and Humanists declared the rebirth. The Renaissance period generated four new patterns of thought amongst the people, these are: Secularism, humanism, individualism and skepticism. In this period, the general thinking of man changed. There was new urban civilization came along with the new competitive economic and political horizons. New opportunities arose in the Western Europe,this made m any people interested in the world. Lorenzo de Medici who led Italy at that period supported the change. Michaelangelo who was a painter had a talent that was spotted at a tender age. Lorenzo de Medici spotted Michaelangelo’s talent, the boy was brought up in the palace carved the Pieta and painted walls and ceilings of the Sistine chapel.


Cultural climate

Renaissance literature began with Francesco Petrarch, an Italian scholar and poet. He was best known for his polished Vernacular writings “Canzoniere”.Many authors were inspired by Petrarch, many translations were made to Greek and Latin. Humanism was a major influence on cultural changes and accomplishments. Many people developed interest in ancient Greek and Roman classical works, history, politics and culture. The Humanists had very secular ideas despite the fact that they extracted theories from the Roman Catholic church. The Humanists and the Philosophers ideas spread into classrooms: learning became more secular.Learning was based on classical culture so classical writers and poets. The printing press boosted the ability of masses getting enlightened; this was a major cultural achievement.


The renaissance has been associated with secularism, humanism and individualism. This is contradicting as the source of theories and ideology was the church. Pico, Francesco Petrarch among other scholars and humanists used the church as inspiration. The religious Renaissance art was created to inspire humans. According the Roman Catholic church of the renaissance the ordained (especially the father and pope) may offer physical  and spiritual comfort to the distressed. Skepticism because of renaissance has led to controversies between the church and Renaissance Humanists. The controversies have led to Protestant Reformation. This led to more challenges by the Protestants. The Protestants Reformation   created room for new thoughts on social, political, economic and scientific affairs. The Protestants brought revolutionary change.


The Italian Renaissance led to economic, social and political improvement. It increased the freedom of expression amongst the people.That was a positive change because many people became knowledgeable. The Renaissance gave rise to new and improved type of music in the industry. Increased wealth and job opportunities boosted the economy and made people learn to value them selves. Renaissance thinkers decried medieval life as primitive and looked to the ancient times of Greeks and Romans for ideology and inspiration. It is a dilemma as the principles of humanism and individualism rival the doctrines of the church.


Works Cited:

Symonds, John A. Renaissance in Italy. New York: Modern Library, 1935. Print

Martines, Lauro. Power and Imagination: City-states in Renaissance Italy. New York: Knopf, 1979. Print.



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