The Northern Renaissance: The Humanistic Movement

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Renaissance literally means ‘rebirth’, and is the name for a great cultural movement that had its inception in Italy during the early 1300s. It had a large focus on classical antiquity, which is reflected in the visual arts and architecture made under this period of time. The two primary renaissances were the Italian renaissance, the ‘original’ renaissance, and the Northern renaissance, the renaissance that formed through cultural diffusion from Italy. The Northern renaissance occurred in Europe north of Italy; France, Germany, the Netherlands, England and Spain. Due to the contrasting cultural and geographical differences between these two areas, the Northern renaissance evolved into quite a different movement. This paper is intended to explore…show more content…
Although Roman Catholicism was still relevant, humanism inspired people to look beyond god and religion. This way of thinking allowed for further scientific research, with inspiration from historic figures such as Leonardo da Vinci along with his anatomical research. Even ancient philosophy was revived, for ex. Neoplatonism. Neoplatonism blends classical thought with Christian belief. There is also a theory of oneness, where the One or the Good is the source of everything which every soul desperately wants to return to, similar to the theory of oneness behind everything in Buddhism and Hinduism(Brahman). The avid studying of the Greek language and classical Latin that humanism brought along came to revolutionise education. Language was influenced and ancient texts were discovered and translated. Many newly discovered ancient texts combined with the questioning spirit of the renaissance meant that historical criticism became meaningful, and still is to this day. Last but not least humanism did clearly affect the style of the arts and…show more content…
First of all, although the rest of Europe admired Italy’s classical antiquity, they had no similar history for themselves to be inspired by. This meant that they held on to the Gothic style of the Middle Ages much longer, which is prominent in their art and architecture. Without the complete understanding for the interest in science and humanism the north held a stronger connection to Christianity, believing that Italy had strayed too far away from its values. This led to a Christian influenced form of humanism dubbed Christian Humanism becoming popular. The significance of Christianity only grew stronger when Gutenberg’s printing press was invented in 1455 and religious literacy was spread to the
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