Renaissance in Italy and in Northern Europe

Other factors that contributed to the development of renaissance include the texts brought to Italy when Constantinople fell to the hands of the Ottoman Turks ad the migration of Greek scholars. The following paragraphs provide an exploration of these factors and more. Some historians argue that renaissance had its origin starting from 13th century as depicted by the writings of Francenso Petrarca (1304-1374) and Dante Alighieri (1265-1321), and the painting of Giotto di Bondone (1267-1337). Those who support the view that renaissance started from 1401 point to the rivalry that existed between geniuses Filippo Brunelleschi and Lorenzo Ghiberti as the cause of renaissance. Jensen (1992) reveals that the two people competed to for a contract to construct the bronze doors of the Florence Cathedral’s Baptistery. Other historians hold the view that general competition between polymaths and artists like Masaccio, Ghiberti, Brunelleschi and Donatello for artistic missions caused the explosion of the creativity of renaissance (Jensen, 1992). The socio-political structures in Italy general had a good part to play in the emergence of renaissance. The socio-political structures in Italy general had a good part to play in the emergence of renaissance. This is because there existed a unique political structure in Italy during the Middle Ages. For example, the country did not exist as a political entity. Instead, it was divided into territories and states (Clare and Millen, 1994). Some of the states like the republic of Florence had remarkable merchant Republics for example the Venice Republic. This practice had some features of democracy and the states involved were responsive with belief in liberty and forms of participation in government. Therefore, these states enjoyed a relative political freedom, condition which created conducive environment for artistic and academic advancement. The emergence of renaissance can also be linked to the relative positions of some Italian cities like Venice. These cities were great trading centers and this made them intellectual crossroads. Merchants who came to these cities brought with them ideas from their countries spread over the globe, especially the Levant. Venice was a producer of glass and the gateway for trade between Europe and the East while Florence was the capital of textiles. This brought in much wealth which led to more private and public artistic commissions and people having more leisure time for study (Cronin, 1969). Between 1348-1350, Europe was hit by the Black Plague/Death in Florence. This resulted to a shift in the way the world viewed people and life in general in the 14th-century Italy. For example, familiarity with death caused thinkers to focus more on their lives on earth instead of spirituality and afterlife. The Black Death therefore led to the sponsorship of religious works of art (Clare and Millen, 1994). There was also an unusual social climate in Italy which motivated the development of rare cultural efflorescence. This situation was more pronounced in Florence because it had a unique cultural life which is though to have caused the emergence of renaissance as a cultural movement (Turner, 2005). In 1453, the Byzantine Empire fell and this was accompanied by the closing of higher learning institutions by the Ottoman Turks. This caused the immigration of many

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