Italian Renaissance and the Northern Renaissance
Differences Between The Two
The Renaissance was a period of great cultural and technological changes that swept Europe from the end of the 13th century. It was integral in developing Europe into a powerhouse. Although, each part of Europe was subjected to different changes, there were two primary renaissances, which were most notable. They were the Italian and the Northern renaissance. Both of these renaissances had a profound impact on Europe. But they also had some typical differences among them and each was unique in its own way.
The Italian Renaissance was a period of great cultural changes and achievement throughout Europe. It spanned from the end of the 13th century up to about the 1600’s. It marked the transition of Europe from the medieval period to the Early Modern Europe. The term renaissance is a modern term that was coined by historians many years after the Renaissance had already ended.
Although the origins of the Italian Renaissance can be traced to many different locations, it is important to note that different aspects of Italian culture and society remained largely medieval during the time of the Renaissance; the Renaissance did not come into full swing until the end of the century. The word Renaissance means “rebirth”, and the era is best known for the renewed interest in the culture of classical antiquity (Greece and Rome) after the period that Renaissance humanists labeled the Dark Ages. These changes, while significant, were concentrated in the elite, and for the vast majority of the population life was little changed from the Middle Ages.
The Italian Renaissance is best known for its cultural achievements credited to writers, poets, artists, sculptors, and “Renaissance Men” (or women!). Figures such as Petrarch (The “Father of Humanism”), Leonardo da Vinci (The ideal Renaissance Man known for the Mona Lisa, the Vitruvian Man, and many more creations!), Raphael (known for his painting, The School of Athens.), Dante Alleghri (known for his work, The Divine Comedy.), and many more are significant characters of this era and movement that contribute significantly.
The Northern Renaissance is the term used to describe the Renaissance in northern Europe, or anywhere in Europe outside of Italy. Before 1450, Italian Renaissance humanism had little influence outside Italy. From the late 15th century (1400s) the ideas spread around Europe. The resulting German Renaissance, French Renaissance, English Renaissance, Renaissance in the Netherlands, Polish Renaissance and other national and localized movements moved forward with different characteristics and strengths.
In France, King Francis I imported Italian art, commissioned Italian artists (including Leonardo da Vinci), and built grand palaces at great expense, beginning the French Renaissance. Trade and commerce in cities like Bruges (Belgium) in the 15th century and Antwerp (Belgium) in the 16th...