Notable Figures of the Renaissance

An Italian painter and sculptor famous for bringing his subjects "to life". Some of his most famous works include his 17 foot tall sculpture of David and painting the Sistine Chapel ceiling (inside the Vatican) with Bible scenes.
An Italian painter famous for using colorful blobs of paint and loose, lively brushwork to make his paintings appear to be alive. While he painted many classical myths and Bible stories, he made many portraits of the royalty and was knighted by Charles V.
Albrecht Durer
A German artist known for his paintings, drawings, prints, and writings on art. He encouraged artists to study measurement and geometry, and wanted to show the human body in ideal proportion. He is especially famous for his engravings and woodcuts.
Nicolaus Copernicus
A Polish scientist who based his thinking on what he observed, rather than what he thought he should see. He argued that the earth was not the center of the universe, and instead proposed a heliocentric theory, that the earth and other planets revolve around the sun.
Andreas Vesalius
A Belgian scientist who was determined to observe things for himself instead of relying on the works of ancient Greek physicians. He is known for dissecting human bodies, and changing what people knew about human anatomy. He published a book with drawings and research that is considered the first modern medical textbook.
Queen Isabella I
A Spanish queen known for unifying her country as a Catholic kingdom, forcing Jews and Muslims to convert or leave (Spanish Inquisition). She is also known for sponsoring Christopher Columbus (Italian) to find a new sea route to Asia.
Queen Elizabeth I
An English queen who never married because she feared a husband would take her power. She said she was "married to the people of England" and during her reign, England experienced a Golden Age. She encouraged the arts, education, trade and commerce. At at the time of her death, England was one of the strongest and richest countries in the world.
William Shakespeare
An English poet and playwright known for his deep understanding of human behavior and emotions. He wrote both comedies and tragedies. Two of his most popular plays include Romeo and Juliet, and Hamlet.
Miguel Cervantes
A Spanish writer known for his novel Don Quixote, a comedic satire that makes fun of romantic stories of heroic knights as well as Spanish society.
Leonardo da Vinci
An Italian "Renaissance Man" meaning he was gifted in many fields. He was an accomplished painter, sculptor, architect, engineer, and inventor. His notebooks show sketches of people, animals, plants, as well as machines like tanks and helicopters. One of his masterpieces is the Mona Lisa which displays perspective, emotion, light and shade.

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