Renaissance Thinkers

Renaissance take over man’s view of man. Back in Renaissances’ time in Europe around the 1400’s through the 1700’s the Middle Ages were focused on God, the Catholic Church, and the sinfulness of man was seen as full of sin. How did the Renaissance change man’s view of man? In other word, How did the Renaissance change the way people thought about themselves? Renaissance thinkers were interested in man’s real nature and his place in the real world. Three good examples of this can be identified in Renaissance painting, literature, and astronomy.

One area where Renaissance artists expressed their interest in human nature was in painting. Document A: “The clearest evidence if the break with medieval comes from the visual arts. In the Mona Lisa picture is well-defined landscapes, natural folds in drapery, and three-dimensional figures” Renaissance painter’s focuses on expression, & great structure. She’s more realistic, verses the Madonna Enthroned between Two Angels that looks less realistic. The baby the woman is holding looks like a grown man. It also have an 2-dimenional figures.

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Leonardo da Vinci began painting the Mona Lisa in 1503 or 1504 in Florence, Italy. Madonna between two angels was done in the late 1200’s by Duccio di Buoninsegna. The view of art changes was the beauty of God to the Beauty of man. A second area where the Renaissance thinkers expressed their interest in human nature was in literature. Document B: “Both strength, pleasure, and beauty, Will fade from thee as flower in May. How infinite in faculty! In form and moving how express and admirable! In action how like an angel! What a piece of work is a man? Back then when you were young you nor did anybody else think about you to hell verses when your older. As they grow they stop all the sin and do what’s right. To everyone at first they were just horrible people because of all the sinning. Then they turned around and became clear thinkers and physically attractive. Men are imperfect because of sinning and changes to how men are wonderful and perfect. Still another area where Renaissance thinkers influenced how Europeans in the 15th and 16th century thought about man’s nature was Astronomy.

Document C:” Ptolemy was a Roman astronomer who lived in Alexandria, Egypt about 100 years after the time of Jesus. He developed a theory of the universe that was adopted by most scholars during the middle ages. , The sun-centered model of the universe introduced by Copernicus challenged the earth-centered ideas of the catholic church. This changed how man thought about man because Astronomy languished for centuries after the fall of Rome. Much of the astronomical knowledge of the ancient Greeks was lost, apart from Aristotle’s concepts about a spherical Earth and its location at the center of the universe.

Everything moved around the earth. The sun was the 4th orbit around the earth on the geocentric universe of Ptolemy. The sun was at the center on the heliocentric universe of Copernicus. Copernicus also made the people think about where they really stood, they questioned themselves. The Renaissance ideas about the nature of man and how they changed from medieval times can be found in several areas including Art, Literature and Astronomy. A new understanding about the nature of man was emerging.

Unlike in medieval days, man now understood to be as a coherent system functioning under divinely established laws that could be comprehended in the light of reason. This study continued through the Early Middle Ages, and with the Renaissance of the 12th century, interest in this study was revitalized through the translation of Greek and Arabic scientific texts. Scientific study further developed within the emerging medieval universities, where these texts were studied and elaborated, leading to new insights into the phenomena of the universe.

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Renaissance Thinkers. (2016, Nov 11). Retrieved from