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Why did the Renaissance end?

 
 
Reply Mon 27 Jul, 2009 05:36 pm
I know the Renaissance ended in the mid 17th C, but why?
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Type: Question • Score: 9 • Views: 19,102 • Replies: 43
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dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Mon 27 Jul, 2009 05:43 pm
my guess would be the sacking of Rome by the Germans and the Spanish May 6, 1527
Sglass
 
  1  
Reply Mon 27 Jul, 2009 05:52 pm
@dyslexia,
Is that when the church began to lose its power and the Age of Reason began?
dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Mon 27 Jul, 2009 05:55 pm
@Sglass,
my guess, with the papacy in ruins from the Italian wars, the funding for arts and sciences dried up and the Renaissance turned sour.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 27 Jul, 2009 06:01 pm
@dyslexia,
The church began to lose its power in a lot of places in different times. Quite the resilient institution, though.
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dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Mon 27 Jul, 2009 06:08 pm
@Sglass,
Sglass wrote:

Is that when the church began to lose its power and the Age of Reason began?
I would opine that the age of reason really starts with Descartes, 17th century.
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iamsam82
 
  1  
Reply Mon 27 Jul, 2009 06:41 pm
@dyslexia,
Hi, thanks for your reply - could you tell me more about this sacking of Rome?
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 27 Jul, 2009 07:30 pm
@iamsam82,
It had gone on quite long enough.
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Eva
 
  2  
Reply Mon 27 Jul, 2009 08:02 pm
@dyslexia,
dyslexia wrote:

my guess would be the sacking of Rome by the Germans and the Spanish May 6, 1527


May 6, huh? Okay, I'm impressed!

The Renaissance occured at different times in different places throughout Europe, but generally from the early 1400s through the mid-1500s. In order to answer this question, we'd have to know which specific part of Europe you're concerned with, and whether you're focusing on art, architecture, philosophy, science, religion or another facet of civilization.

There were several major factors at play...not one single, simple answer.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 27 Jul, 2009 08:03 pm
@Eva,
Bingo.
0 Replies
 
Eva
 
  1  
Reply Mon 27 Jul, 2009 08:20 pm
Bingo has raised enough money for Native American tribes around here that they're now building casinos at breakneck speed, and there's no end to that renaissance in sight. Laughing Laughing Laughing
0 Replies
 
iamsam82
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Jul, 2009 04:04 am
@Eva,
You're right, Eva - I was referring to the traditional Italian Renaissance. And rather than one single dicipline - like art, sculpture, architecture, etc, - I am more interested in the socio-economic conditions that allowed gifted individuals (in whichever dicipline) to flourish. When and why did those socio-economic ends come to a halt?
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Jul, 2009 05:28 am
The renaissance only exists in a retrospective view. To the extent that France and Spain fought over a fragmented Italy, in which no one power, including the papacy, was able to dominate the others, referring to those wars as the end of the renaissance is somewhat naive. The renaissance only exists in the minds of people in more recent times, and attempting to put a discrete beginning and end to such a period of time is an exercise in a bemused speculation without a real reference to the reality of the times.

The influences on art, architecture, perspective, optics, medicine, classical literature, engineering and a host of other disciplines began well before any date which people customarily assign to the beginning of the renaissance. The crusades and the reconquista of the Iberian peninsula brought to the attention of scholars in Europe thousands of works which had previously been unknown, or which had moldered in church and monastic libraries. Direct contact with Muslims and Jews also had its affect. Modern historical cant has gunpowder arriving in Europe in the 15th century, or the 14th at the earliest. But there were treatises of recipes for gunpowder, and the specific uses of each type of gunpowder, in Arabic, as early as the 11th century, well before the crusades began. Two Englishmen observed Muslims from Andalusia using cannon to great effect against Christians (whom we might call Spaniards, although that would be an anachronism) in the 13th century, and reported in detail on it to King Henry III. It didn't make much of an impression on him, but it did on his son, Edward. It was Edward's grandson, Edward III, who began the Hundred Years War with France in the 14th century, and gunpowder and cannons were used by both sides throughout that war.

For the people who lived through those times, for a period of several centuries beginning in the 11th century, new ideas filtered throughout Europe. Additionally, renaissance, or "re-birth," implies that something had died previously. The people of those times saw a continuity in their lives and in the institutions of their cultures which isn't readily folded up and packed into boxes labeled "High Middle Ages" or "Renaissance."
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Jul, 2009 05:43 am
@Setanta,
It should be noted additionally that the actual term "renaissance" wasn't used before 19th century for this period.
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iamsam82
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Jul, 2009 06:08 am
Ok, fine, the term may not have been invented until the 19thC, but I firmly believe the people alive in that period, at least at its onset, were aware that something new was happening. They may not have termed it Renaissance, but Petrarch refers to the end of what he terms the Dark Ages, in the 1330s.

So there was, I insist, an awareness of the shift from spiritual to more secular, from ignominy to the celebration of gifted individuals. Look at the sheer quantity of art produced - paid for from private and public coffers - in that period. That had never happened before. In fact, what we mean when we use the word art now is basically based on what they invented then. Before that there was only religious ornament.

The Renaissance had art for art's sake and it was based, no longer on gothic standards, but classical ones. When a building gets erected with columns, pediments, and corinthian capitals all over it, rather than with spires and crenellations as have been erected for the past 300-400 years, you notice it.
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Jul, 2009 08:14 am
@iamsam82,
iamsam82 wrote:

You're right, Eva - I was referring to the traditional Italian Renaissance. And rather than one single dicipline - like art, sculpture, architecture, etc, - I am more interested in the socio-economic conditions that allowed gifted individuals (in whichever dicipline) to flourish. When and why did those socio-economic ends come to a halt?

http://www.empireonline.com.au/images/image_index/150x180/1000004712.jpg
"Don't be so gloomy. After all it's not that awful. Like the fella says, in Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love - they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock. So long Holly."
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  2  
Reply Tue 28 Jul, 2009 08:47 am
@iamsam82,
iamsam82 wrote:
They may not have termed it Renaissance, but Petrarch refers to the end of what he terms the Dark Ages, in the 1330s.


Petrach wrote about the Dark Ages in the 1330's - but that period (namely the Dark Ages) ended already some centuries earlier: the Dark Ages are that time of the Medieval Ages, between the fall of Rome and the appearance of vernacular written documents, where we don't have written documents of. (Or at least those living in the High Medieval Ages, like Petrach - thus it was [is] a "dark" age.)
iamsam82
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Jul, 2009 01:56 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
Yeh but his reference to it in the past tense implies it had ended and that, in his view at least (though I believe the view was undoubtedly more widespread) he was living in a new age. A "light age" had begun.
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Jul, 2009 02:09 pm
@iamsam82,
Right, that's what people thought during the High Medieval Age - and what we still can e.g. in Gothic cathedrals or what Frederick II of Hohenstaufen did (in 13th century).
0 Replies
 
Eva
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Jul, 2009 04:41 pm
Different scholars use different terminology, but the 1300s are frequently termed "proto-Renaissance" nowadays. These years were a kind of transition phase, in many ways, between medieval and Renaissance society. Because trade routes had become well established throughout Europe, artists and scholars were on the move, traveling widely and bringing new ideas back to their home countries. It would take a while for these ideas to be assimilated, but change was definitely in the air.

I am more knowledgable about art history, and the style of this period is now termed "International Gothic." It resembles medieval art at first glance, but the figures are looser, more intimate. Rounded (rather than pointed) arches are common, gold backgrounds are still used, and you can start to see some faces of individuals instead of stylized ideals. Cultural influences from all over Europe are melded. You see Italian artists painting in France, and German artists working in Italy. It was an interesting period.
 

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