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Why did the Renaissance end?

 
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Jul, 2009 12:30 am
@Eva,
I think that "proto-Renaissance" is a term only used in art history. You find it mainly in Tuscani, partly in the Provence and in central Italy. (The term was coinde in late 19th century by a Swiss art historian, if I'm not wrong.)

Interestingly, some of the protorenaissance buildings are considered by others still as romanesque art.

Gothic never was a main art style in Italy, it is found, however, all over the countries north of the Alps - from around 1500, we've got here both Gothic as well as Renaissance buildings and arts for example.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Jul, 2009 12:42 am
@Walter Hinteler,
There were tidbits of gothic in Italy. No, don't ask, my data bank is asleep.
Italy was a blanket for adventurers.
Actually, it still is.
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iamsam82
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Jul, 2009 03:07 am
OK so if we are all agreeing there are more or less distinct periods in history of which the people living during them are fairly aware, why did the Renaissance end (or peter out rather - I realise it wasn't from one day to the next - between the mid 16th and 17th C)?
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Jul, 2009 03:43 am
@iamsam82,
Certainly depends again what region/country you've in mind.

The last "real renaissance" king died with Charles V in 1558.

In central (and northern) Europe, the renaissance period ended with the end of the 30-years war in 1648. (Though it took still quite some time until art styles changed ... to baroque, here.)
iamsam82
 
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Reply Wed 29 Jul, 2009 05:05 am
@Walter Hinteler,
Italian Renaissance. When did the Italian Renaissance end?
iamsam82
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Jul, 2009 07:48 am
@iamsam82,
Sorry not when, why.
farmerman
 
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Reply Wed 29 Jul, 2009 08:57 am
@iamsam82,
ALSO, It was a dumb idea to start with.
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Eva
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Jul, 2009 09:38 am
The Renaissance was not really a well-defined era at the time. History doesn't work that way. People didn't wake up one morning and say, "Whew! Thank God the Middle Ages are over now, it's the Renaissance!" Nor did it end at one decisive point. History flows.

The Italian Renaissance, as we now define it, was a transition period. The city-states began the transformation from medieval to modern society. Their medieval economy was based on agriculture, and virtually all intellectual pursuit was governed by the Church's teachings. During the years we now call "Renaissance," commerce and capitalism began to change the economy. This was combined with increasing political consciousness, as the city-states competed and fought against each other. Naturally, these economic and political changes impacted the Church, which lost its control over many areas of society. The process started slowly, but gained momentum.

I think you may be looking for a simple answer to a complex question. The socio-economic changes that started during the Renaissance continued to evolve, eventually resulting in the modern society we have today.
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Jul, 2009 10:12 am
@Eva,
Eva wrote:
Their medieval economy was based on agriculture, and virtually all intellectual pursuit was governed by the Church's teachings. During the years we now call "Renaissance," commerce and capitalism began to change the economy.


In many if not most parts of Italy, sure. But we've got the "thalassocracies", the Repubbliche Marinare ("Maritime Republics") and here especially Amalfi, Venice, Genua and Pisa Wink (These, and the some dozen smaller as well, were all city states living on commerce, with the merchant class as main power.) Time period would be 10th until 13th [perhaps even early 14th] century.


But generally, I agree of course with your above!
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joefromchicago
 
  2  
Reply Wed 29 Jul, 2009 10:43 am
In American universities, the renaissance is defined as the period from roughly 1300 to either 1494 (the beginning of the Italian Wars) or 1517 (Luther's 95 Theses). From then on until 1648 is the Reformation, followed by the Early Modern period, which lasts until 1789 (the French Revolution).

So, the reason why the renaissance ended is because some other professor had to teach Reformation Europe.
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Shapeless
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Jul, 2009 11:14 am
@Eva,
Quote:
I am more knowledgable about art history, and the style of this period is now termed "International Gothic."


In music history, one convenient marker for the waning of the Italian Renaissance is 1605, when Monteverdi's Fifth Book of Madrigals was published. The book's introduction includes a defense against charges made against the composer five years earlier by Artusi. Having been accused of ignoring traditional rules of counterpoint, Monteverdi claimed his music represented a new style, a "second practice" in contrast to the "first practice" of Palestrina. It doesn't always work when tested against the musical evidence and it shows how rarely different aspects of culture move in sync with each other, but in the historiography of music the term seconda prattica has stuck around, implying a stylistic break between two periods.
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Eva
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Jul, 2009 01:17 pm
Everyone's answers are very interesting!

Okay, so we've now proven that the "official" dates of the Renaissance vary greatly from source to source. But iamsam's question is, "WHY did the Renaissance in Italy end?" with a focus on socio-economic factors.




(Note to the class clown: "Because it was time for the Reformation" is not a complete answer, even if it is funny. Laughing )
joefromchicago
 
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Reply Wed 29 Jul, 2009 01:29 pm
@Eva,
Well, we might as well ask: "why did this artificial construct end?" Artificial constructs are the creations of people, so they end when people agree that they end. Historians invented "the Renaissance." So it ended when historians agree that it ended, and that agreement is the reason why it ended. In other words: why did the Renaissance end? Because historians say that it ended.
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Jul, 2009 01:34 pm
@joefromchicago,
Nothing to add to the above.



Well, just a bit: because all historians want to get mentioned in encyclopedias, and "said the same" isn't really good for an academic reputation, Renaissance ends in various countries at different times.
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Eva
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Jul, 2009 01:45 pm
@joefromchicago,
joefromchicago wrote:

Well, we might as well ask: "why did this artificial construct end?" Artificial constructs are the creations of people, so they end when people agree that they end. Historians invented "the Renaissance." So it ended when historians agree that it ended, and that agreement is the reason why it ended. In other words: why did the Renaissance end? Because historians say that it ended.


Much better!
(umm, I think...)
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George
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Jul, 2009 02:04 pm
The Renaissance was abruptly ended by Pope Leo X on June 26, 1523,
by the Papal Bull De Renato Satis, which is translated: "Enough Already
With The Rebirth".
Eva
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Jul, 2009 04:06 pm
@George,
I didn't know the Pope was Jewish. Laughing

I suppose after the Borgia popes, though, nothing should surprise me.
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iamsam82
 
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Reply Wed 29 Jul, 2009 05:59 pm
Thank you Joefromchicago.

That's pretty clear stuff and makes sense. I can see how having to spend money on damage control after Luther meant that one of the biggest patrons of the arts, the catholic church was taken out of the game. Also the focus of society was once more on religious schism - let's not forget all the problems England had with Cromwell and chums immediately following this period. And wars between Germany and the holy roman empire.

And the Italian Wars obviously means other states in Italy, and their princes, were now also channeling funds out of the arts they once funded.

All makes sense.

And I still maintain historical periods are not invented in the present by historians. Their names are, and the transitions between periods are obviously wide and blurred, but movement between periods in socio-historic terms is attested to by people living at the time too, eg the Petrarch example earlier and, I'm sure, many others.
Eva
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Jul, 2009 09:56 pm
@iamsam82,
iamsam82 wrote:
...I can see how having to spend money on damage control after Luther meant that one of the biggest patrons of the arts, the catholic church was taken out of the game....


It was hardly taken out of the game! Actually, the Reformation caused a huge new wave of art patronage by the Catholic Church in an attempt to retain the faithful and reinforce its position as the "true church." Many of the artistic geniuses of the Italian Renaissance (Michelangelo, Titian, and Veronese among others) worked on major commissions from the Church in the years following Luther's 95 Theses.

The rebuilding of St. Peter's in Rome, considered by many to be "the crowning glory of Renaissance architecture," began in the early 1500s and continued with stops and starts for over a century. (Although the basic design is essentially Renaissance, Baroque elements were added later.) St. Peter's required massive amounts of cash, so much in fact that the Church sold indulgences to raise the funds, triggering protests by Luther and others. Many of the new Protestant churches (especially Calvinist) held iconoclastic views, so not much early Protestant art was commissioned by churches. But the Catholic Church remained the major patron of the arts for at least a century.


Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Jul, 2009 10:17 pm
@iamsam82,
iamsam82 wrote:
I know the Renaissance ended in the mid 17th C, but why?

It was so decreed by the Rennaissance Abolition Act of 1666, passed by the House in December 1665, and ratified by the Senate in January 1666.

Seriously though, nothing relevant in world history ended in the 17th century. The rennaissance only ended because in retrospect, that's how historians happened to classify their epochs of world history.
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