Renaissance : the Legacy

Renaissance began with vehemently criticizing the church. Yet, the greatest Renaissance artists, LEONARDO DA VINCI and MICHELANGELO BUONAROTI at the height of their career worked for the pope. The Renaissance did not achieve any visible changes in the political landscape. The Renaissance altered our concept of the world.
A major term of the Renaisance is VIRTU, the essence of human existence by showing one's abilities. Thus, the Renaissance emphasized INDIVIDUALISM.
Church control over how people, especially the intellectuals, thought, loosened. Both artists and scientists had gained freedom, which was limited by institutions such as universities deciding if a book was permissible or had to be placed on the INDEX (of forbidden books). Despite the index, the threat posed by the Inquisition, the arts and sciences developed.
It is difficult to determine the 'end' of the Renaissance period. In protestant regions, Renaissance art was succeeded by ICONOCLASM - church walls were whitewashed, and artists were reduced to non-religious motives such as PORTRAITS and STILL LIFE. In Catholic regions, Renaissance art developed into the styles of BAROQUE and ROCOCO.


This page is part of World History at KMLA
Last revised on May 30h 2001