Great Artists of the Italian Renaissance
Italy and the Renaissance
The Italian Renaissance began the opening phase of the Renaissance,
a period of great cultural change and achievement in Europe that
spanned the period from the end of the 13th century to about 1600,
marking the transition between Medieval and Early Modern Europe. The term renaissance is in essence a modern one that came into currency in the 19th century, in the work of historians such as Jacob Burckhardt.
Although the origins of a movement that was confined largely to the
literate culture of intellectual endeavor and patronage can be traced
to the earlier part of the 14th century, many aspects of Italian
culture and society remained largely Medieval; the Renaissance did not come into full swing until the end of the century. The word renaissance (Rinascimento in Italian) means â€œrebirthâ€, and the era is best known for the renewed interest in the culture of classical antiquity after the period that Renaissance humanists labelled 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.