Make your own free website on

Renaissance 1300-1600

Main Idea: In the 1400s, northern Europeans began to adapt the ideas of Renaissance.


II.             Northern Europe

A.   Background

1.    Monarch’s sponsor the arts: England, France

2.    Italian ideas mingle with northern European traditions

3.    development of distinctive features

B.   Art

1.    Flanders—artistic center of northern Europe

2.    Jan van Eyck: realistic details in individuals & worldly pleasures

a      Used oils

3.    Pieter Bruegel: realistic details in everyday peasant life

a      Peasant Wedding (1568)

4.    Albrecht Dürer: realism in painting, woodcuts & engravings

a      Adoration of the Trinity

b      Also wrote books on geometry & artistic theory

5.    Hans Holbein: portraits

C.   Writers

1.    Christian humanists: adopt Renaissance ideas with religious slant: express social & religious concerns

a      Desiderius Erasmus: The Praise of Folly (1509)

b      Thomas More: Utopia (1516)

c       François Rabelais: Gargantua & Pantagruel

2.    William Shakespeare: dramatic human nature; considered the greatest playwright of all times

3.    Elizabethan Age: Renaissance in England; named for Queen Elizabeth I

D.  Spreading Ideas

1.    Adaptation of Chinese technology—block printing

2.    Johann Gutenberg (Germany) reinvented movable type 1440

a      printing press: machine that presses paper against a tray full of inked movable type

b      Gutenberg Bible (1455) new ideas spread quickly & cheaply

E.   Connection to Democratic Ideas: belief in the dignity of the individual