The Renaissance is one of the most interesting and culturally exciting period of European history. This period in European civilization soon follows the Middle Ages and conventionally held to have been characterized by a surge of interest in Classical scholarship and values. The Renaissance had also witnessed the discovery and exploration of new continents, substitution of the Copernican for the Ptolemaic system of astronomy, the invention and the use of paper, printing, and compasses. Compared to the middle ages the Renaissance was a time of change and prosperity, the Middle Ages were many years of ignorance and superstition. The Renaissance men were leaders in an era of rebirth .”What was being “reborn” was the ancient Greek and Roman art and learning-knowledge that could help people understand an expanding world and support the rights of secular individuals to exert power in it.
” (WTWA pg.402)The Renaissance changed the world in just about every way one could think of. It had a very massive effect at the time, with each new intellectual advance paved the way for further advancements. Exploring the sea and sailing to other countries became a very important goal during this time. Sailors now had better equipment and maps, ships were being built so that they could endure longer journeys.
Soon after the printing press was invented, this allowed the printing of books in masses that led to a new way of thinking. Scholars of the Renaissance began returning to the works of the ancient Greek and Roman philosophers of there time. These writings are called the “classics”.Now more and more scholars learned to read Greek and Latin and studied old manuscripts on topics like science, art and life. “One had to go back to the original, classical sources in order to understand the human condition.
This in turn required the learning of languages and history. Scholarship that attempted to return to Greek and Roman sources became known as humanism.” (WTWA pg.402)The Renaissance had many artists and architects like Leonardo da Vinci, Botticelli, Michelangelo, Raphael and Donatello who used mathematics to plan their great masterpieces and inventions.
They discovered that many objects in nature have a certain proportion, That they called the golden mean. It is often found in the shape of a leaf or in the form of buildings and even in the shells of snails. Many of these artist and mathematicians found out that the human body also displayed proportions. Renaissance architects built new buildings that were symmetrical. These artists of the Renaissance began to experiment with how adding a new perspective in their works changed things.
They learned that if they made a smaller picture and put it in the background of a picture it appeared farther away or if they made something hug and hazy it the back it increased the distance a painting created. They also painted with more realism than earlier artists. Many great artists of that time started their studies or worked in Florence. Michelangelo was the most famous artist of the Renaissance. “He studied painting and sculpture in Florence, where he created his sculpture of David for the Florence cathedral.
While later in his life he painted the ceiling of the Sistine chapel which is still there to this day.” (notes pg.53) The European Renaissance was a unique point for the transition of the old world into the modern one, it provided the stepping stones for the age of enlightenment. With the developments in art, science, and mathematics the European Renaissance will have and still has lasting effects in our and many other societies.