Renaissance is one of the most important events that contributed to the development and evolution of arts and philosophy in modern Europe. European art Renaissance was more significant in Western Europe than in any other region. However, the Italian city of Florence had the largest contribution to the movement (Kleiner 47).
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The city’s sculptors, painters, writers, philosophers, and architects contributed heavily to the movement. Renaissance originated in Florence in the 15th century before spreading to other regions of Western Europe. The city is considered the “ birthplace of Renaissance.” Most of the great scholars, artists, painters, and philosophers came from Florence (Kleiner 59).
The attitude of “ Man rather than God is the measure of all things” originated from Florence. The rediscovery of classical ideas, skills, and knowledge changed the face of Europe. This analysis seeks to address the questions “ why did Florence play the most important and the greatest role in a renaissance in terms art, culture, philosophy, and science?” and “ Why is Florence City considered the cradle of renaissance?”
To address these questions, it is important to consider the political, social, cultural, and economic aspects of Florence at the time. For instance, scholars have argued that the primary reason for Florence’s status as the “ cradle of European Renaissance” is due to its patronage and prosperity. Like the rest of the Italian cities and towns, Florence was experiencing an economic boom.
For instance, it was the “ home of European wool trade”. Considering that wool was an important raw material in the Italian booming textile industry, Florence attracted thousands of traders. Most of the city’s residents were wealthy merchants. For instance, the Medici family, one of the most wealthy and powerful families in Florence, controlled the city and its economy.
Giovanni de Medici, one of the members of the wealthy family, was the banker in the Papal Court, which required him to fund the city’s art culture through patronage. Also, he had received education in the principles of humanism, which provided him with the idea of supporting the arts culture in his city.
Apart from the Medici family, the increasing number of wealthy and high profile individuals and families in Florence contributed a lot to patronage. In what it appears to be a competition between millionaires in Florence, different wealthy persons funded and commissioned different public and private works. Each of them was trying to outdo the others by commissioning magnificent portraits, buildings, sculptures, and paintings.
For instance, Michelangelo, Botticelli, and Leonardo da Vinci are said to have been sponsored by Lorenzo de Medici. Lorenzo commissioned one of the largest art studios in his palace, which saw the works of Botticelli, da Vinci and Michelangelo installed in his palace.
The “ Orange Dome of the Cathedral” was a made by Brunelleschi, a famous architect commissioned and sponsored by the Medici family. The famous Mona Lisa painting, the work of da Vinci, serves as a good example of how patronage contributed to the Renaissance in Florence.
Quattrocento period, which spread over the 15th century (and the first phase of Renaissance), was initiated by the Medici Family in Florence. The period emphasized on quality concerning Trecento. For instance, the element of perspective was attached to paintings, while architectural designs received ancient Roman and Greek element of lines (Kleiner and Gardner 87).
It also emphasized on small size and simplicity of artworks. The first half of Quattrocento emphasized on gold backgrounds based on religious features as shown by the work of Gentile da Fabriano.
The second half of Quattrocento brought complicity in artistic style. For instance, it brought an emphasis on dynamics, the inclusion of many details and elements of everyday life.
Kleiner, Fred and Helen Gardner. Gardner’s Art Through the Ages: A Global History. Mason, OH: Cengage learning, 2009. Print.
Kleiner, Fred. Gardiner’s Art through the Ages Global History. Mason, OH: Cengage learning, 2010. Print.