The Birth of Renaissance Art


In the beginning of the 1300s, the poet Petrarch realised there was a cultural change taking place, moving from the focus on religious subjects to humans and the world around. The poet said that it was the revival of the classics, which is how the period became known later—as the Renaissance, which in French means “rebirth”.

Just like the Christian art of the Middle Ages, the art of the Renaissance quickly spread all across Europe, but one city, in particular, was at the centre of it. This city was Florence, in Italy. Unlike many other cities and parts of Europe in the 1300s, Florence had a booming economy and a stable political system.

During the same period of time, the Ottoman empire had conquered Constantinople and the Byzantine empire collapsed. Because of this, many of the scholars and artists who previously lived in Constantinople moved to Florence, bringing with them experience and Renaissance ideas that were hitherto dormant in Europe.

Another change that played an important role in the emergence of the Renaissance was the advent of the middle class. Art was no longer purely for affluent people and the church.