Chapter 11-The Italian Renaissance

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A period of re-birth of classical society from 1350-1550

"The Prince"

An explanation of how an ideal leader should act; dedicated to the Medicis and written by Machiavelli


(1386-1466) He translated the classical styles into more naturalistic forms, revived the free-standing statue, and used linear perspective

Linear Perspective

The use of geometry to create an illusion of depth and dimension on a flat surface


One of the five Italian powers; its prosperity was built on wool and banking; was in debt after the plague, so it turned to the wealthiest banking family (the Medicis) for help

Sandro Botticelli

(1444-1510) Mixed Gothic grace with fleshy classicism; his figures have a pure, direct, yet dreamy quality


Chief magistrate of the Venetian Republic who served for life

Michelangelo Buonarroti

(1475-1564) Was considered to be the greatest sculptor of his day; painted the Sistine Chapel; the Church was his main patron

Peace of Lodi

1454 Was established in order to balance the alliances between Florence and Milan and the other alliance between Venice and Naples; it only held off the decline of the Italian city-states for 40 years

Pico della Mirandola

(1463 - 1494) Wrote "Oration on the Dignity of Man" in 1486; believed that people could perfect their existence on earth because humans were divinely endowed with the capacity to determine their own fate

Cosimo de' Medici

(1389-1464) Florentine banker that built his party carefully and ensured that he was supported well


A humanistic study of of the origins of words, their meanings, and their proper grammatical usage


Self-governing political units centered upon an urban area; during the 15th and 16th centuries, they took on various forms of government, including republics such as Venice and oligarchies such as Milan

"The Courtier"

1528 Explains how the perfect courtier is just as much born as made and is a book on etiquette


(1377-1446) An architect that by basing his ideas on geometric principles, he reinroduced planes and spheres as dominant motifs


One of the five Italian powers; under the Visconti family and later the Sforza dukes, this Italian city-state prospered from trade and an efficient tax system

Leon Battista Alberti

(1404-1472) He was the outsanding Florentine architect and writer; he demonstrated how classical forms could be applied to traditional living space and compared a building to a body

Papal States

One of the five Italian powers; these territories under the nominal control of the Church were largely independent

Leonardo da Vinci

(1452-1519) He typifies the well-rounded "Renaissance man;" he was a painter, sculptor, engineer, musician, and scientist; used the laws of perspective in paintings


A mercenary military leader who sold his services and that of hs private army to the highest bidder; used in the wars between the Italian city-states


The study of classical texts


The Signoria of Venice was the supreme body of government of the Republic of Venice

Leonardo Bruni

(1370-1444) He translated Plato and Aristotle and did much to advance mastery of classical Greek and foster the ideas of Plato in the late fifteenth century

Wars of Italy

(1494-1529) Began when Naples, Florence, and the Papal States united against Milan; Milan had France intervene, Papal States & Venice asked King Ferdinand and HRE for help

Niccolo Machiavelli

(1469-1527) Wrote "The Prince;" was a statesman in Florence


(1304-1374) A Tuscan poet known as the "father of humanism" because he inspired other humanists with his love of classical texts and criticism of the intellect of the times he lived in


One of the five Italian powers; small ports and farming; hereditary monarchy

Masaccio Leon

(1401-1428) Used light and shadow to depict depth and drama, portrayed objects receding into the distance


One of the five Italian powers; had one of the most effective governments in Europe, oligarchy; located on the Adriatic sea

Lorenzo de' Medici

(1449-1492) grandson of Cosmo de Medici; helped in the development of the Florentine Renaissance culture; was a great diplomat

Francesco Sforza

(1401-1466) He conquered the city of Milan and became its new Duke after the last Visconti ruler of Milan died

Lorenzo Valla

(1407-1457) He proved that the Donation of Constatine was false with his philological knowledge; was in the service of Alfonso I, the King of Naples


government by an elite few; ex. the Republic of Venice

Baldesar Castiglione

(1478-1529) Directed his writing to the public life of the aspiring elite; wrote "The Courtier"

Mehmed II

(1451-1481) Seized Constantinople; Byzantine Emperor


A ruler with absolute power or tyrannical control over a group of people

Northern Renaissance

More concerned with theology and personal morality, Cultural and intellectual movement of northern Europe; began later than Italian Renaissance c. 1450; centered in France, Low Countries, England, and Germany; featured greater emphasis on religion than Italian Renaissance

Italian Renaissance

A new era of thought and feeling, by which Europe and its institutions were changed from their forms in the Middle Ages. 15th Century Italy is where the era rose from, and eventhough it pertained to high culture, the changes in literature, the arts, education, and morals spread across a whole area, influenced by the Italians.

Civic Humanism

humanism with the added belief that one must be an active and contributing member to one's society

High Renaissance

Centered in Rome and the Popes provided tremendous patronage to the arts. It featured classical balance, harmony, and restraint

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