TheRenaissance is described as the period of time in which there was a developmentof Western European civilization that marked a transition from medieval tomodern times, from the 14th century to the 17th century. (Credo Reference). Several events thatoccurred at the end of the Middle Ages, including a decrease on the influence bythe Roman Catholic Church and the fall of the Western Roman Empire, the rise ofnew empires and city-states, the development of languages such as Italian, andthe breakup of the feudalism, led the way to the beginning of the Renaissanceera.
This era is primarilycharacterized by a great revival of interest in the classical learning and valuesof ancient Greece and Rome, and this interest was showed in the arts in areaslike literature and painting. (CredoReference). While theRenaissance ultimately was able to express itself in a variety of forms, it wasprimarily express by a new intellectual movement called humanism that wouldlater serve as the starting point for all the subsequent changes brought bythis time period. In this research paper itwill be studied how the Renaissance’s intellectual basis on humanism influencedartistic interpretations in literature and painting.In order to understand what influenced avariety of artworks from the Renaissance, it is necessary to describe whathumanism is and point out how its principles were different from the ones thatexisted during the Middle Ages.
Humanism was aphilosophical movement that originated in Europe during the Renaissance era. Ithelped characterize the Renaissance by being influential in the arts, sincesome of the arguments made by humanism were expressed in artistic expressionslike literature and painting. The way this movement evolved is what makes it sointeresting and important when studying about the Renaissance.
Humanism focuseson the importance of human beings; although its philosophy in general differsfrom the one characteristic of the Middle Ages, its medieval culture rootsallowed it to evolve into what we know today. Although both the Middle Ages andthe Renaissance humanism based their principles in classical studies, humanismwas able to drift the focus of the ideas expressed from mainly God and thechurch to human beings. It is also important to point out how humanism broughtthe classics out of the religious institutions and spread it to other sectorsof society. Humanism was able to blend both humanistic and religious studiestogether. It was considered to be a self-fulfilling faith, developing a new rhetoricand learning with new moral, values, and civic perspectives. (Grendler 2017). What is so significantabout humanism is that it gave people the opportunity to develop their ownideals and be more in touch with their thoughts and desires without feelingthey were going against the pre-established rules imposed by a particularreligion.