▬ The 16th century is commonly designated as the ‘Age of Renaissance’, also called the ‘Revival of learning.
▬ It is said to havestarted from the capture of Constantinople (now Istanbul) by the Turks in 1453 and the dispersal of the scholars throughout Europe, who sought asylum in Italy.
▬ Italy practically became the home of the Renaissance-and fundamental to the Renaissance was the revival of classical learning, art and architecture and the concept of the dignity of the man, which characterized Humanism. It resulted in the emancipation of the mind of man from the shackles of effete dogmatism, and in the creation of fresh intellectual atmosphere and ideals of life.
▬ Great writers of the Italian Renaissance included Dante, Petrare Boccaccio Machiavelli. Great painters of Italian Renaissance include Leonardo da Vinci (Famous Paintings: The Last Supper’ & ‘Monalisa), Michelangelo (‘The Last Judgement’ & ‘The Fall of Man’) & Rapha (“Madona’). Great astronomers of Italian Renaissance included Bruno and Galileo.
▬ The movement spread to other countries of Europe also, especially to France & Germany, and at last it reached the shores of England, where it manifested itself in the poems of Chaucer & Spenser, the plays of Shakespeare, the essays of Francis Bacon & utopianism of Thomas More and particularly in the courts of such rulers as Elizabeth I of England.
▬ The Renaissance movement was enormously, helped by the invention of the printing press (in 1454 by Gutenberg of Germany;’Gutenberg Bible 1456 – the first printed book); with the help of which old and classical books were multiplied leading to a great increase in knowledge and in the spirit of enquiry and experiment.
Great Litterateurs of Renaissance
Italian ▬ Dante (“Divine Comedy’), Petrarch (founder of Humanism & known as the ‘father of Humanism), Boccacio (‘Decameron’), Machiavelli (‘The prince’).
Spanish ▬ Cervantes (‘Don Quixote’).
Portuguese ▬ Cameos (‘The Lusiad’).
Dutch ▬ Erasmus (‘In the praise of Folly’).
French ▬ Rebelais (‘Pantagruel’ & ‘Gargantua’), Montaigne (‘Essais’).
German ▬ Thomas Kempis (‘The Imitation of Christ’).
English ▬ Chaucer (‘Canterbury Tales’), Spenser (‘The Faerie Queen’), Bacon (‘The Advancement of Learning’), Shakespeare (‘Romeo & Juliet, The Merchant of Venice’, As You Like It’, Julieus Caesar’, ‘Hamlet’, Macbeth), Thomas More (‘Utopia’).