Renaissance & Reformation in Europe

1400-1600: In part, the Renaissance was a rebirth of interest in ancient Greek and Roman culture. It was also a period of economic prosperity in Europe—particularly in Italy and in Northern Europe. In 1517 a German theologian and monk, Martin Luther, challenged the authority of the Pope and sparked the Protestant Reformation. By challenging the power of the Church, and asserting the authority of individual conscience, the Reformation laid the foundation for the value that modern culture places on the individual.
Community Questions

Late Gothic art in Italy

The art of Giotto and Duccio was once known as primitive, and useful only as a prelude to the Renaissance. However, recent scholarship allows us to study the brilliant artists of Florence and Siena in their own right.

Northern Renaissance: 1400s

Northern Europe’s wealthy merchants and nobles supported the art of van Eyck, Bosch, Dürer, Bruegel, and Holbein; art that invites us back to their world.

Early Renaissance in Italy: 1400s

The engineering of Brunelleschi's dome, the naturalism of Donatello’s David, and the humanism of Botticelli’s Birth of Venus each help define the Early Renaissance in Italy.

High Renaissance: Florence and Rome

Michelangelo's Sistine Ceiling, Leonardo’s Last Supper, and Raphael's Stanza frescos shape our understanding of Western culture even today.

The Renaissance in Venice

Petrarch called Venice a "mundus alter”—another world. Here Bellini, Giorgione, and Titian made art as brilliant as the light that plays off the city's canals.

Reformation and Counter-Reformation

Why are there so many Protestant denominations (Baptist, Presbyterian, Pentecostal, etc.)? The early 16th century, a time when the Roman Catholicism was largely unchallenged in Western Europe, holds the answer.

Northern Renaissance: 1500s

Discover Grünewald, Bosch, Dürer, Bruegel, Holbein and other extraordinary artists from the Renaissance in England, German, Flanders, etc.

Late Renaissance and Mannerism

The Mannerist style developed in the courts of the Italian elite. It built on Renaissance naturalism but distorts and deceives to delight its highly educated audience.
Renaissance & Reformation in Europe: Questions

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