The Renaissance Was a Flourishing of Art, Culture, and Science
by Valeria Moreno Lopez, age 15
After the Middle Ages, a new era arose in Europe that prompted new and unique cultural, political, artistic, and scientific views. This era is known as the Renaissance, an influential and golden era for many people.
The Renaissance started in the beginning of the 14th century throughout the 17th in Florence, Italy. The city itself had a rich and cultural background, but Italy in general already had revolutionary impacts. The movement spread to other Italian cities at first, but later spread to western and northern Europe by the 15th century. In French, the word renaissance means “rebirth,” and refers to the rebirth of Europe after the end of the Middle Ages.
Years before the Renaissance, Europe went through a dark period of time called the Dark Ages. War, famine, plagues, illnesses, and death terrorized the continent, and awful hygiene and unhealthy lifestyles contributed to most of the Dark Ages. A heavily criticized way of thinking, called humanism, was introduced during the Renaissance, making traditional and religious beliefs questioned and disregarded. Instead, humanists focused on their own needs and desires, and created their own ethics and laws to live by rather than following a religion.
Renaissance philosophy, literature, and art included ancient Greek and Roman aspects. “Bringing art to life” was a popular concept, so many artistic works contained realism and naturalism styles, and religious figures. During this period, popular paintings such as ‘The Mona Lisa’ by Leonardo da Vinci, and ‘The Creation of Adam’ by Michaelangelo were created. Art, architecture, and science were often merged together as inspirations for new inventions. In 1450, an invention called the Gutenberg printing press enabled communication and ideas to travel quickly across Europe.
The history of Europe is known for a variety of things, and has changed the way of the world. Many discoveries and creations from hundreds of years ago are still being recognized and influencing today’s modern societies.