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Renaissance [ rənɛˈsɑ̃s ] (the French word for "rebirth") describes the European cultural epoch in the transition from the Middle Ages to the modern age . It was characterized by the revival of the cultural achievements of Greek and Roman antiquity , which became standards for the subsequent Renaissance works of scholars and artists. Groundbreaking new perspectives arose compared to the Middle Ages, especially for the image of man , for literature, sculpture, painting and architecture. The epoch name itself has only been around since the 19th century.

The Renaissance metropolis of
Florence on the Arno

In art history, the 15th ( Quattrocento ) and 16th centuries ( Cinquecento ) are seen as the core period of the Renaissance . The temporal expanse of the Renaissance era , which originated in the rival city republics of northern Italy , is explained not least by the time-shifted expansion - each with different characteristics - in the countries north of the Alps. Book printing , which originated there first, is considered to be the most important technological achievement during the Renaissance . The epoch concept of the Renaissance in Protestant Northern Europe is superimposed on that of the Reformation . The late Renaissance is also known as Mannerism and was replaced by the Baroque in Italy at the beginning of the 17th century .

Dutch renaissance in Antwerp : the town hall (completed around 1564)

The pioneers of the Renaissance were humanistic scholars who opened up ancient writings, literature and other sources for their present day because they saw them as guiding models that needed to be linked. This resulted in a humanistic educational program which, for optimal development, relied on a combination of knowledge and virtuous activity or on a contemplative existence dedicated to research and knowledge - depending on individual possibilities and socio-political constellation. The diversity of individual development possibilities became characteristic of the image of man in the Renaissance. In the center of the humanistic reflections stood the human being with his language and history.

In the literary field, the span of the Renaissance extends from Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy to the works of William Shakespeare . Donatello , Michelangelo and Tilman Riemenschneider , for example , are known as outstanding sculptors . A newly developed design tool in painting was the use of the central perspective . The most important painters of the Renaissance include Botticelli , Leonardo da Vinci , Raffael , Titian and Albrecht Dürer . Big names in Renaissance architecture are in particular Filippo Brunelleschi , Leon Battista Alberti and Andrea Palladio . Niccolò Machiavelli stands out as a political theorist of timeless importance, and Erasmus von Rotterdam as a widely communicating, time-critical thinker . In music, the epoch is primarily associated with increased polyphony and new harmony, for example in Orlando di Lasso .

Conceptual and temporal classification

As an epoch designation in the sense of historical periodization , the Renaissance has only established itself since the middle of the 19th century. Jules Michelet , who gave the seventh volume of his Histoire de France the title Renaissance , published in 1855 , and was the first to portray the Renaissance, which he saw as the birth of modern thought, as a separate epoch, and Jacob Burckhardt , who contributed significantly to this, contributed significantly to this In 1860 he published his work The Culture of the Renaissance in Italy . Burckhardt mainly referred to the 14th and 15th centuries, while Michelet focused on the 16th century: the clash between Italian and French cultures in the course of warlike entanglements.

The Renaissance humanists related the paradigm of rebirth to various fields of application such as the art of eloquence, the breadth of literary creation and also to the writing of history, including the political-theoretical approaches it contained. History was increasingly, if not completely, detached from cosmological cycles or a theological history of salvation and assigned to the human being - “focused on the self-fulfillment of the human ”.

The idea of ​​living in a new age different from the Middle Ages had spread among humanists, writers and artists in Italy since the 14th century. It was conceptually fixed as Rinascimento in 1550 by the Italian artist and artist biographer Giorgio Vasari , who meant the overcoming of medieval art by resorting to ancient models. Vasari distinguished three ages of art development:

  1. the glamorous age of Greco-Roman antiquity,
  2. an intermediate age of decay, which can be equated with the epoch of the Middle Ages,
  3. the age of the arts revival and the rebirth of the ancient spirit in the Middle Ages since about 1250.

According to Vasari, the Italian sculptors , architects and painters of the second half of the 13th century, including Arnolfo di Cambio , Niccolò Pisano , Cimabue and Giotto , “ showed the masters who came after them the path to perfection in the darkest of times leads".

In common usage today, the renaissance in itself marks the epoch at the transition to the modern age. But in certain other contexts one speaks of a renaissance when old values, ideas or patterns of action emerge again. The Carolingian Renaissance, for example, is the name given to the forms of return to antiquity that began under Charlemagne around 800. If, in the recent past, regional cultures have shown an increasing interest in their idiosyncrasies (and languages), the renaissance term is sometimes used, as in the case of the Irish renaissance .

Aspects of development

In its origins, the Renaissance was a cultural movement for the recovery of evidence of antiquity for one's own existence. This movement was favored by socio-political constellations, especially in the northern half of Italy, and by times of crisis, which encouraged a new spiritual orientation.

Collection and organization of the antique estate

Original manuscript of a poem by Petrarch discovered in Erfurt in 1985

An intensive search for manuscripts, buildings, inscriptions and sculptures of the classical Greco-Roman world as well as a thorough study of the Latin, Greek and also the Hebrew languages ​​can be recorded as essential starting points of the Renaissance culture. Eugenio Garin describes the poet Francesco Petrarca as an “incomparable searcher for the books of the fathers” . Its aim was to promote knowledge of Greek and "to bring back the language of writers who have been silent for centuries, such as Homer and Plato." to make one's own works fruitful. “In the knowledge system, which he was instrumental in enforcing, authenticity, originality and sensitivity have become not only standards of good literature, but also of philosophy. In this sense Petrarch is both the first modern poet and the first modern intellectual. "

The important humanists of the 14th and 15th centuries, such as Coluccio Salutati and Leonardo Bruni , took Petrarch, as rediscoverers of ancient traditions, as a model for their own collecting and organizing activities , for example in the manuscript research of Poggio Bracciolini or in Niccolò Niccoli's efforts, libraries and museums bring together. From this developed the great Florentine book collections of San Marco and the Medici .

The books that came into circulation through transcripts were discussed, their teachings absorbed and followed; they were set up in libraries and founded new schools of thought. “The studia humanitatis transform the grammar schools into schools of real humane education. The liberal arts are truly liberating arts, and not in the sense of a purely intellectual, but of a civil, integrally humane freedom. "

Sociopolitical constellations

The process of developing autonomous city rulers in northern Italy began in the 13th century, when the rule of the Staufer empire disintegrated and left a power vacuum. In the urban centers, economically influential people combined with well-fortified nobles to form a patriciate that ruled over sometimes considerable territories. From violent feuds of the rival cities, five emerged as a powerful pentarchy, namely Venice , Florence , Milan , Naples and Rome . After the Peace of Lodi they came into equilibrium and subsequently resolved their conflicts through diplomatic means.

Lorenzo il Magnifico with the artists Verrocchio , Bertoldo di Giovanni , Luca Fancelli , Michelozzo di Bartolomeo , Leon Battista Alberti (from left) and Michelangelo (right). Fresco by Ottavio Vannini, 1638–42

For military undertakings of all kinds, the individual city rulers, some of whom had become wealthy through trade and banking, hired troops under the leadership of a condottiere in return for contractually agreed cash benefits . The growing need for money to wage wars or to protect against external threats in turn resulted in increased tax pressure on the city leaders on the respective population in order to have the necessary funds available for military expenditure - often in connection with bank loans. Their position of power as military leaders was not sufficient for all condottieri; the best-known example is Francesco I. Sforza , who managed to gain control of Milan for himself and to leave it to his sons Galeazzo and Ludovico as a duchy. The latter brought a number of important humanistic scholars and artists to Milan, including the architect Donato Bramante in 1479 and Leonardo da Vinci from 1482 to 1499 . The Milan Cathedral was given its final shape by Giovanni Antonio Amadeo with the dome over the crossing during the reign of Ludovico Sforza.

The cultural movement of the Renaissance was based on different social groups, whereby the early participation of the merchants, who were financially committed as patrons of art and education, was of decisive importance. So there was at times "a connection between money and spirit that is rare in terms of culture and social history, if not unique in this form ". Women - albeit only a few and in a prominent position in society - had a share in the developments: In the Quattrocento it became possible for the sons and daughters of a princely family to be brought up together and to develop spiritually and artistically. Well-known Renaissance poets were Gaspara Stampa and Vittoria Colonna . For example, Beatrix von Aragón , her sister Eleonora, Bianca Maria Sforza and Caterina de 'Medici were involved in promoting the arts and knowledge .

Of outstanding importance in the Italian Renaissance are Florence and the Medici family, who with their merchants and bankers in the roles of rulers promoted the greatest artists and scholars of their time and provided them with commissions. Giovanni di Bicci de 'Medici expanded the Medici Bank into an institute of European standing and left his sons Lorenzo and Cosimo, in addition to a considerable fortune, a clientele and an example of cultural patronage. From this Cosimo developed a system of informal rule over Florence, which also withstood a temporary banishment of himself in 1433. It was said that he destroyed his enemies with his control over the tax assessment rather than with the dagger. With his own funds, he invested in public building projects such as San Lorenzo or San Marco and thus not only provided architects and artists, but also the lower classes of the city population with work.

Plague epidemic

The side effects of the devastating plague epidemic , which in Europe fell victim to around a third of the population between 1347 and 1352 and which also hit Florence heavily in 1348, are vividly described at the beginning by Giovanni Boccaccio's Decamerone : “It not only infected those with the sick spoke or came near him, but also anyone who touched his clothes or things. […] Fathers and mothers avoided looking after their children as if they were strangers. ”Doctors and priests also saw themselves overwhelmed with their tasks and refused to serve. In addition to increasing crime, there was both an upswing in spiritual piety and persecution of the Jews , while others in turn increased their affinity to this world .

The Florentine plague tore “the symbolic fabric into which the life of Christians was woven up until then”, says Peter Sloterdijk , referring to Boccaccio: “The Gulf Stream of religious illusion, which until then had regulated the climate in our latitudes, was come to a standstill, and whoever felt in reasonably tolerable forms an interest in the continuation of life, had to for alternative sources of inspiration look for Beflügelung the will to live. "that's going in the novels , the ten young men, seven women and three Men tell stories on the hill above plague-ridden Florence. For Sloterdijk, Boccaccio's Decamerone articulates a human right to news that is better than the situation, "the human right of poetry for creatures in need of regeneration."

View of people and the world

The rediscovery of the ancient world - and its myth in a context typical of the time - became the dominant force in Renaissance culture. "The classics became the teachers and the role models of a humanity who returned to their teachings and looked there for means of spiritual liberation, information on political wisdom and foundations and methods for a realistic view of nature." An education based on humanistic studies was based on classic models the educational model in Europe, which also shaped the manners and behavior of those in power. At the turn of the 15th century it became the rule that the Florentine ruling classes, for example, had their sons instructed in ancient literature and history. Classical education, very often in connection with knowledge of Greek, thus developed into a status feature.

Giovanni Pico della Mirandola. Oil painting by an unknown painter in the Uffizi

In the Christian teachings of the Middle Ages, the individual person did not play a special role. It was different in the Renaissance, which put the human personality at the center of attention, for example in Giovanni Pico della Mirandola's treatise De hominis dignitate (“On the dignity of man”). The ability to do creative work, be it in the fine arts or architecture, in poetry or philosophy, in trade or politics, was regarded as an expression of human dignity. “The monopoly of the monasteries on the vaults of the virtuous, godly life was thereby broken. Merchants, politicians, military leaders and artists now also owned them. ”The vita activa was increasingly played out against monastic contemplation and ascetic idleness. "Monastic renunciation was seen more and more often as a humane inferiority, as a denial of personal existence and the natural right to it."

The renaissance ideal of the uomo universale , which as an individual is able to combine practical skills and theoretical reflection in diverse activities and which helps to make life more bearable and more pleasant through creative new ideas, inventions and works, can also be used as a turn against the Limitations and specializations are understood, which were codified in the late medieval guild system of European cities. Count Baldassare Castiglione came up with a description of the ideal type of a Renaissance man in Il Libro del Cortegiano in 1528 . While in Florence in the second half of the 15th century there was an almost unlimited trust in people's self-perfecting abilities - which has entered the research literature as the Renaissance image of man - Pico della Mirandola already saw man as a being open to his possibilities that could sink to the level of the most primitive animals. Macchiavelli, on the other hand, rejected ideal images in favor of a sober consideration of reality: “There is such a huge difference between life as it is and life as it should be that those who only see what should happen and not what in reality happens, its existence is ruined rather than sustained. "

View of Florence Cathedral from the south with Giotto's Campanile and Brunelleschi's Dome

For scientific thinking and research, too, the humanistic studies and the changed image of man gave rise to stimuli. Scholars, artists, architects and technically skilled craftsmen exchanged ideas and worked together in the experience-based development of new theories and works. Filippo Brunelleschi, for example, designer of the Florentine cathedral dome , was an architect and sculptor, hydraulic engineer, specialist in optics and proportions. He received instruction in mathematics and geometry from the outstanding scientist Paolo Toscanelli . Both were also friends of the versatile humanist and mathematician Leon Battista Alberti .

The hypothesis developed by Nicolaus Copernicus , which initiated the heliocentric worldview instead of the geocentric one , had, according to his own admission, taken over from ancient Greek forerunners. Those he cited included Heraclitus , Ekphantos , Philolaos, and Aristarchus of Samos . With the idea of ​​the attraction of the heavenly bodies, Johannes Keppler then offered an explanation based on physical laws, which Galileo Galilei was finally able to confirm by means of refined observation possibilities. “With him the balance between the use of the instruments (the telescope), discoveries (the satellites of Jupiter and the sunspots) and conscious theorization has been reached; just as the function of mathematics for physical knowledge and the relationship between experience and reason is very clear to him. "

Arts and cultural life

The Vitruvian Man , study of proportions based on Vitruvius by Leonardo da Vinci (1492)

One of the main characteristics of the Renaissance in art is the “rebirth” of ancient legacies. It manifested itself in poetry, monuments , sculptures and painting , among other things . This becomes particularly clear in the new, perceived as progressive principles, in which the mystical-spiritual-oriented formal language of the Middle Ages was replaced by secular, mathematical-scientific clarity. Leonardo da Vinci's study of proportions can be seen as an example of the new worldview. In it, the human being in his physical constitution is placed in the center and made the yardstick for a new system of order.

In Renaissance art there was a departure from the biblical commandment: “You shouldn't make a picture.” Before that, the real and even more the biblical world had only been expressed in symbolic forms and designs, including the representation of human bodies and Faces. With the Renaissance, however, one turned to the "realities". "Especially profane, everyday occurrences, people in their natural actions and being, political events as well, yes, even nature as it 'really' is, could now be the subject of the illustration." Landscape was created by Giotto since the 14th century , Ambrogio Lorenzetti and Simone Martini step by step (re) discovered as a topic and as a reference object of human behavior to reality. In addition, human individuality, the uniqueness of people in different social fields of activity, became an object of study in sculpture, painting, literature and historiography. "The interest turns energetically towards the individual, even if this is usually shown in its importance for a general, such as the political community, the flowering of the arts, the progress of learning and the like."

The renaissance brought the artists, who until then, like ordinary craftsmen, had to go to a master as apprentices in order to complete many years of training there, a considerable gain in reputation. The artist emancipation from the ties of the handicraft took place partly through the combination of several areas of activity, such as architecture, painting and sculpture, partly through the acquisition of humanistic education, which the artists could make equals with scholars and wealthy educated people. Patrons such as the Medici in Florence, the Farnese in Rome or the Este in Ferrara made the artists they favored independent of the presentation of their works at markets and gave them the freedom to develop their creative abilities. From the 4th to the 17th century churches were the clients for European art, in Renaissance Italy most pictures were already ordered by laypeople. Some artists received regular commissions, some even a permanent position: Mantegna was court painter in Mantua , Leonardo da Vinci in Milan.

The financially strong centers of the Italian Renaissance promoted the soaring of the arts and artists through their mutual competition. The funds raised in trade and crafts financed monumental buildings. On the walls of church buildings there were areas for frescoes , on portals and facades there were places and rooms for sculptures and figurative decorations. “The goldsmith and sculptor Andrea Pisano created bronze reliefs for the south portal of the Florentine Baptistery between 1330 and 1336 , showing scenes from the life of the city's patron, John the Baptist. The way in which the robes of the figures are designed already gives a sense of antiquity. A new Athens began to form. "

In the Renaissance, craft, art and science came to a close symbiosis and intertwining with manifold overlaps between artisan artists and scholars - sometimes in personal union as with Lorenzo Ghiberti and Leon Battista Alberti . Around outstanding personalities such as Paolo dal Pozzo Toscanelli emerged that intellectual scene that "created an atmosphere that was open to all antiquity, including pagan philosophy."

The reflections on the temporal subdivision of the Renaissance as an art epoch begin with a proto-Renaissance set in the Middle Ages of the 11th and 12th centuries . This is followed by the early Renaissance in the Trecento and Quattrocento . The works of Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael and Michelangelo, among others, are associated with the High Renaissance at the end of the 15th and beginning of the 16th centuries. The latter also stands for the beginning of a Mannerist phase, which in turn merges into the Baroque .


Ghirlandaio: The Birth of Mary

The secularity of Renaissance painting, which is often emphasized against the background of strictly religiously bound medieval art, cannot primarily be determined by the choice of subject; because the majority continued to move within the spectrum of biblical subjects. What became characteristic, however, was the endeavor to include and depict experienced reality and natural conditions. Everyday occurrences, people in their natural doing and being, and political events now came increasingly to the fore as objects of illustration. In the textbook on painting (Libro dell'arte o trattato della pittura) written by Cennino Cennini around 1400 it was already stated: “The most perfect guide one can have and the best steering wheel is nature; it is the triumphal gate to paint from nature. "

According to Barbara Deimling, no one else in the Quattrocento "captured contemporary life as vividly and true to life as Domenico Ghirlandaio " (1449–1494), who put the biblical scenes in the streets and squares of Florence, with well-known personalities of the city participated in the events. The new goals of Renaissance painting, closeness to nature and the representation of reality, required new means. So looking into a painted room or a landscape required depth; Things in the foreground were to be placed in a different light context than those in the background. The depth of the room was constructed geometrically precisely using the means of the central perspective , i.e. a line of flight system . Added to this were the means of aerial and color perspective .

In addition to the church as the most important client for works of art, wealthy laypeople and representatives of corporations such as guilds and brotherhoods increasingly appeared in the Renaissance . This brought with it an expansion of the range of subjects in painting, especially since the client's motifs included not only piety but also prestige and pleasure. An expression of the growing self-confidence of the people was the revival of portrait painting that occurred in the middle of the 15th century , which had almost disappeared since the end of late antiquity . In addition to princes, nobles and high clergymen, merchants, bankers, scholars and artists were also interested.

Themes and myths of ancient origin were also taken up by Renaissance painters, sometimes in connection with contemporary portrait aspects. This is shown, for example, by Raphael's painting of the papal apartments in the case of the School of Athens , which in the center of the picture shows Plato and Aristotle in conversation as they stride through a foyer in a classical manner . Plato's finger points upwards, into the realm of ideas , while Aristotle points to earth as the starting point for all natural sciences. Plato is apparently designed as a portrait of Leonardo ; Bramante can be recognized in Archimedes , who is bent over a slate on the right ; Raphael himself looks out of the picture on the far right on the pillar.

Early renaissance

Masaccio: The Holy Trinity

The replacement of medieval representational conventions already allows Filippo Lippi recognize when he painted his Madonnas Maia and Jesus without halo and in a private setting and thus "further promoted the idea of the deification of the human." Fra Angelico in turn gave an effort to realistic painting style Expression by, for example, in the fresco St. Dominicus and the Crucified, gave Dominic with a stubble on his face and veins on the back of his hand. In Tuscany, with Florence as its center, the image composition and painting technique characteristic of the Renaissance began and spread from there.

The most striking feature of the early Renaissance became the discovery and application of the central perspective, which made it possible to create the illusion of a three-dimensional space on the two-dimensional painting surface. After Filippo Brunelleschi had provided a scientific basis for this with the discovery of the mathematical rules for the construction of perspective, the following generations of artists in and around Florence dealt intensively with this in their work.

Sandro Botticelli: Spring

According to the art historian Alexander Rauch, the six and a half meter high fresco The Holy Trinity in the Church of Santa Maria Novella, created by Masaccio , is “the earliest milestone in mastering perspective” : “It must have aroused the greatest astonishment among the viewers at the time after the fresco was unveiled when they saw the donor figures the same size as the saints, and instead of the expected decorative background or a gold background for this group of crosses, they saw an apparent space hollowed into the depths of the wall ”.

Italian Renaissance painting did not develop in isolation, but in a lively exchange with the Flemish-Dutch paintings of Jan van Eyck , Rogier van der Weyden or Hugo van der Goes . In their turn to classical themes and motifs from ancient myths, the Italian painters also set different accents: while Andrea Mantegna produced “figures of great plasticity and hardness”, Sandro Botticelli, on the other hand , tended “towards a spiritualization and mythical enigma of the world”.

High renaissance

Leonardo da Vinci: Portrait of Ginevra de 'Benci
Michelangelo: Tondo Doni

This epoch of Italian painting is set to last a few decades at the turn of the 15th to the 16th century from around 1490 to 1530 and is closely linked to the names Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and Raffael. In the stylistic language of this time, the previous filigree ornamentation was replaced by a large-figured, stricter simplicity. In terms of color design, the highlighting of a few main color accents replaced the previously predominant colourfulness. The event depicted should come as close as possible to the viewer. The picture frame should no longer act as a border between two worlds, but rather as a mentally crossable threshold. "The salvation event, previously removed from the earthly, now takes place in the here and now."

After the achievements of perspective had become common tools of the trade, it was now more about a perspective of air and light, on the other hand, with regard to the people and figures to be portrayed, efforts were made to grasp and reproduce mental states more deeply. In Renaissance painting, which increasingly emancipated itself from the norms and specifications of medieval forms of representation, human figures with an individual appearance were also given an inner size and dignity. "The individual expression of the person painted is indispensable for the naturalness of the representation."

Due mainly to large papal commissions at the end of the 15th century, the leading position in the development of painting from Florence gradually passed to Rome. Equipped with long-term and lucrative contracts, Michelangelo, among others, ensured the design of the Sistine Chapel and Raphael with his stamps for lasting evidence of Renaissance art.

Late renaissance

The late Renaissance, which began in the first half of the 16th century in the form of Mannerism, is associated with the works of Italian artists such as Jacopo da Pontormo , Rosso Fiorentino , Agnolo Bronzino , Jacopo Tintoretto and Parmigianino . Giorgio Vasari , to whom the style designation Mannerism goes back, attested the representatives of this generation of artists a bad imitation of Michelangelo or Leonardo. Without their own "manner" they would have reproduced typical movements of Michelangelo in an exaggerated way.

In contrast, Alexander Rauch emphasizes that although the masters of the High Renaissance could be imitated, their means of expression and their effect could no longer be surpassed. “The perspective could already be learned right down to the last refinements of the representation, Leonardo showed how one could achieve the opposite effect, namely liveliness, through the sfumato , through a nebulous rendering intangible, and one could not go beyond Raffael's clear compositional principles go further. ”So the younger artists only had to search for their own new ways, which they found in quite different ways. Herfried and Martina Münkler see Mannerism again as characterized "by questioning the classic rules, increasing a complicated posture to a twisted figure and suppressing manageable harmony through confusing diversity".


Sacrifice of Isaac Lorenzo Ghibertis

A fundamental setting of the course for the visual arts in general and especially for the sculpture of the Renaissance resulted from the public competition announced by the Florentine cloth merchants' guild around 1400 for the design of the north door of the Baptistery of San Giovanni , from which the new competitive reliefs by Lorenzo Ghiberti and Filippo Brunelleschi emerged . What both drafts had in common was the recourse to ancient elements of form, for example with regard to Isaac's nudity in the act of sacrifice. If the Gothic had shaped the body through the clothing, the ancient 'image of man' came into play here again, in which the figure was built up through the skeleton, muscles and tendons up to the surface of the skin. Based on this, according to Herfried and Martina Münkler, the formal language of the Renaissance became binding for the sculptors of the 15th and 16th centuries.

Michelangelo's David
Equestrian monument of Gattamelata
Giambologna: Robbery of the Sabine woman

Also groundbreaking was Donatello's bronze statue of David in Kontrapost position, the first life-size, fully rundsichtige nude figure since ancient times and that, "crowned with the Donatello his lengthy quest to free the sculpture from its functional integration into the architecture." In the originally planned Set up in the middle of the courtyard of the Palazzo Medici , David's victory pose could act as an allusion to the military steadfastness of the commune under the Medici regiment towards the great power desires of Naples or Milan. The finely polished, almost black surface of the bronze emphasized the naturalistic physicality of the figure with its light reflections. Vasari judged, "This figure has so much nature, life and softness that it seems to artists that it must be molded over a living body."

The David created by Michelangelo at the beginning of the 16th century could also be regarded as a symbol of republican politics and identity . As the guiding principle of the sculptural work, in which Michelangelo saw his primary calling, he determined that the artist only had to knock out the figure already hidden in the stone block; and accordingly carefully he himself monitored the breakage of the marble blocks he was working on in Carrara . This David, over four meters high, was in the rough stage a block that he took over from Agostino di Duccio . He had failed to create a figure from it that was to crown the cathedral's last free choir buttresses . Michelangelo particularly emphasized the athletic, anatomically true shape of the figure. The ancient nudity, however, stood in the way of its use in a sacred place. At the alternative location in front of the Palazzo Vecchio , the work became a pioneering work for the development of sculpture in the Cinquecento.

During the Renaissance, ancient sculptural work was linked to standing figures and portraits of busts with equestrian statues in the squares of the cities (for example that of the Condottiere Gattamelata by Donatello in Padua and that of Bartolomeo Colleoni by Andrea del Verrocchio in Venice ). Sometimes the sculpture in the form of a wall tomb was combined with the architecture to create a total work of art. The Julius tomb in San Pietro in Vincoli , which Michelangelo occupied episodically for over four decades and which he only partially completed , achieved exemplary fame . He also left sculptures unfinished in a number of other works. “In the process, the nonfinito has increasingly become a design principle of Michelangelo, which enabled him to either leave the mental state of the depicted persons in 'semi-darkness' or to give them an urgency and depth that any further processing of the surface would Would have meant flattening. "

The successor to Michelangelo as the most important contemporary sculptor in Italy was Giambologna , who influenced all European sculpture of the late 16th and early 17th centuries. His characteristic style element was the Figura serpentinata with a spiral rotation of figures directed from bottom to top (as in the case of the flying Mercury executed in bronze ) or groups of figures that seem to overcome gravity in the expression of movement. This is especially true for Giambologna's robbery of the Sabine woman in the Loggia dei Lanzi with the main character of Romulus , who has usurped his wife over the Sabine who was forced to the ground. "The three-figure group involved in the fight forms a completely rounded ensemble, whose views are constantly renewed as you walk around, but whose figures always maintain the unity of their interaction in the extremely complex sculptural work."


Antique, classicist renaissance

La Rotonda, Andrea Palladio , 1571

A tendency in architecture is to revive the formal language of antiquity with classical austerity. In Italy, this goal was achieved with the High Renaissance by Donato Bramante around 1500 and from then on it prevailed throughout Italy. Italian Renaissance buildings were designed to be clear, manageable and harmoniously balanced.

The architects based the floor plans on simple, ideal geometric shapes such as the square or the circle . Building elements such as columns , pilasters , capitals , triangular gables etc. are borrowed directly from (Greek) antiquity. So you can find Doric, Ionic or Corinthian capitals on columns. In addition, there is an increased use of the Tuscan column , which is already known to Roman architecture , especially in the basement of the Renaissance buildings. The individual structural members had to be in harmony with each other and with the whole building. One studies the architecture treatises of the Roman master builder Vitruvius in order to gain clues for ideally beautiful proportions.

Analogic renaissance

Banquet in a Renaissance interior , painting by Bartholomeus van Bassen , 1618–1620
The house at the Breiten Herd in Erfurt was built in 1584. It is one of the most magnificent German Renaissance buildings.

A further tendency in architecture is to vary elements borrowed from antiquity, but also new elements of the language of form, as in medieval architecture, in an analogous way, without striving for a strictly regular architecture. More important than the classic rule is the content aspect of the antiquing motifs, which convey high social prestige, but also ancient ethos.

The imitation of ancient building elements such as beams, capitals or profiles is not done here with full severity, but only in an imitation-varying manner according to medieval building practice. Some of the templates come from Romanesque architecture similar to antiquity. Example: The tower of Kilian's Church in Heilbronn from 1513. Often there are rich ornamentation with tracery , arabesques , later with scrollwork , fittings , swings and others. The vertical in the Gothic tradition is still strongly emphasized. As a rule, the foremen are not intellectuals, as in Italy, but are often committed to the tradition of medieval handicraft businesses. The floor plans and facades are often asymmetrical.

Renaissance Gothic or Post-Gothic

A third tendency is the continued use of Gothic motifs, which, in contrast to the ancient forms, are perceived as modern and are often used to mark church buildings. One example is the Church of St. Mary's Assumption in Cologne.

On the side of architectural theory , the former tendency can be found in the architectural treatise, the latter in the sample book . In general, it can be said that the more a culture did not perceive the Middle Ages as a cultural decline and in contrast to antiquity, the more the second and third tendencies were preferred. This is especially true in central and northern Europe, where the architecture of the Nordic Renaissance took on completely different forms.

In France, the classical, antique-like rigor of the High Renaissance was overtaken around 1550 (cf. the west wing of the Louvre , built 1550–1558 by Pierre Lescot ), there were also numerous church building sites on which Gothic motifs were still being built. On the Iberian Peninsula, both tendencies form a coexistence that continued into the Baroque period . In Germanic Europe and Poland there was a mixture of both tendencies (e.g. at Heidelberg Castle or the Wawel Castle in Krakow), but the analogical form of the Renaissance remained dominant until the end.

Poetry and written culture

Dante Alighieri can be seen as a forerunner or stimulator of the Renaissance , for example with regard to the independence of his judgment on social developments and with his focus on his own self. According to Bernd Roeck , the Divine Comedy was the first piece of world literature in Europe since ancient times. “No other poetry of the epoch has translated what one thought they knew about the cosmos into images that were sometimes gloomy, sometimes luminous.” More cosmopolitanism and more pronounced antiquarian interests than Dante, according to Roeck, then had Francesco with comparable phenomenal creativity in his poetry Petrarch shown. He brought the Sonnett form to lonely heights and encouraged re-poetry over centuries.

Sandro Botticelli , painting for a novella from the Decameron, 1487 (Madrid, Prado)

For Giovanni Boccaccio , alongside Dante and Petrarca, Giotto di Bondone was one of the great innovators with his art of painting. “In Boccaccio's lines something like the self-esteem of a renaissance becomes tangible for the first time, which was not limited to literature, but also meant art.” The ten young people in the Decamerone who dance, play and dine on time drive away, but above all with 10 stories that they tell each other every day, will have reached 100 in the end, as many as Dante's Divine Comedy has chants. "With irony and subtle humor, a panopticon of horny clerics, greedy merchants, ugly aristocrats, deceived lovers and ardent lovers is mobilized."

Since the invention of printing with movable type by Johannes Gutenberg around 1450 , fonts, books and their distribution have enjoyed a colossal boom. As early as 1500 there were 30,000 to 35,000 editions of various books. Book printers were set up in Strasbourg in 1460, in Cologne in 1464, in Basel in 1467 and in Nuremberg in 1470. The spread throughout Europe was mainly carried out by German emigrants.

François Rabelais showed himself to be a master of satire and parody in the Renaissance . For his giant heroes Gargantua and Pantagruel , the reality found is simply too small, both spatially and spiritually. The grotesque jokes aimed at Dionysian laughter are an expression of the humanistic criticism of “scholastic subtlety, empty letter scholarship and monarchical hostility to life.” Rabelai's compatriot Michel de Montaigne, on the other hand, devoted himself in his essays from the psyche to the body to one's own sexuality to the exploration of the self. By dissecting himself to the skeleton in his words, the essayist examines the entire human species, the ' condition humaine '. Just as individual fates are determined by volatility, changeability and unpredictability, so is world history as a whole. Montaigne rejected any claim to the possession of absolute truth: "No sight is more mendacious than that of a perverse religion that uses God's commandment as a pretext for crime."

While the Commedia dell'arte gained importance in the Italian late Renaissance , the Elizabethan theater flourished in England . The plays of the playwright William Shakespeare were not explicitly assigned to the Renaissance there, but instead talked about as an age of Shakespeare. According to Roeck, his theater stands for the fact that around 1600 a previously firmly established view of the world was breaking: "The old concepts of fate, freedom or providence were lost in favor of the idea that everything was determined by the law of nature."


In the Renaissance, Franco-Flemish music was the style-defining element, from the middle of the 16th century the main impulses came from Italy, especially through composer currents known as the Florentine Camerata , Roman School and Venetian School . The following characteristics and stylistic devices of Renaissance music can be cited:

  • The music is understood as the work of (no longer anonymous) composers. It is used for social entertainment (e.g. love, drinking and seasonal songs) and no longer just to praise God. There is a rich polyphony (polyphony) in church music and folk song melodies treated homophonically in the secular area.
  • The construction of instruments takes place in whole families , such as violins , recorders , viols , various wind instruments and lutes . Vocal and instrumental parts become interchangeable, fixed instrumentation is no longer common. Compared to the music of the Middle Ages , the sense of harmony changes: Thirds and sixths have been perceived as consonant since the Renaissance .
  • A high point in the musical realization of ideas from the Renaissance was the emergence of the opera around 1600, operated primarily by Florentine circles.

Physical exercise and physical culture

As in antiquity, physical exercises were practiced and explored in the entire breadth of utilization contexts. Modern thinking was evident in the formulation of the set of rules, in the application of natural sciences and mathematics (especially geometry) to sport. Physical exercise was carried out for the purpose of health, the craft of war, self-defense or simply as a competitive sport. The changing understanding of the body was also evident in dance and other body practices.


Erasmus portrayed by Albrecht Dürer (1526)

The philosophy of the Renaissance was also shaped by referring back to ancient thinkers and by examining their rediscovered writings. She set the course for overcoming scholasticism and for a new orientation of the world and human image and, in particular, of the ethical foundation. The works of Plato and Neo-Platonism offered various orientation and connection aspects for compatibility with Christian theology. This becomes clear, for example, in the teachings of Nicolaus Cusanus , who sometimes appears as the embodiment of the “threshold of epochs” between the Middle Ages and the modern age.

The anti-Christian Georgios Gemistos Plethon and Biagio Pelacani da Parma set other accents early on with his thinking “at the limits of atheism”. According to Thomas Leinkauf, this is represented by the sentence: “You are none other than yourself”, which Pelacani declared to be irrefutable, neither by a finite nor by an infinite power. "Even here, then," said Leinkauf, "the infinite power of God cannot do anything against the correctness and truth of this certainty that one is oneself." at the center of philosophical thought during the Renaissance. Among other things, it stood for "the multiplicity, variance, colorfulness of being". The constant reflection on the position and dignity of human beings in letters, poetry, treatises, commentaries and other written documents is characteristic. In comparison to the ancient and patristic tradition, the focus was on acting as an expression of self-preservation and self-realization - a turn to life practice and the problems that arise in it.

For Giovanni Pico della Mirandola , the most famous of the interpreters of human dignity at the time, it was a matter of making of oneself what one determined from one's own insight and the free will based on it. Giannozzo Manetti gave people an almost divine position on earth, seeing in them "as it were the masters of all and the cultivators of the earth". Erasmus von Rotterdam emphasized that human individuals, left to their own devices, need to be educated by others, for example by writing that no bear cub is as misshapen as man is born raw in spirit. “If you do not form and shape it with great zeal, you are the father of a freak, not of a human.” And further: “If you are sluggish, you have a wild animal; if you are vigilant you have, so to speak, a deity. "

Ethical reflections - philosophical discipline from Plato and Aristotle to the scholastic authors of the Trecento - remained present throughout the Renaissance. On the one hand, Aristotelian ethics continued to function as a basic norm and standard; on the other hand, like other parts of Aristotelian doctrine, it was fundamentally criticized and replaced by a new type of individualistic morality, more stoic , Epicurean or averroistic , as for example with Michel de Montaigne and Giordano Bruno . While for Petrarch the individual intention to act counted as a measure of quality, Machiavelli focused primarily on the relationship between ends and means and thus carried out a philosophically significant breach of tradition: In his view, good could also be achieved with bad means, while good ones Acts made bad, even malicious, goals come true. For Machiavelli, the Aristotelian ethical concept failed because of reality. It is true to strive for the “middle way” between the extremes; but the excess lies in human nature and is consequently inevitable and can only be mitigated.

Coluccio Salutati and Leonardo Bruni attested to man an insatiable thirst for knowledge that leaves nothing out and extends to all disciplines . With the recovery of ancient writings, which extended to many areas of life, and their utilization by the Renaissance humanists, there was a sudden expansion of the knowledge that had to be scientifically and methodologically classified and tested with regard to reality-compliant usability. Fundamentally developed by Cusanus, the unlimited became the unity of all thought. For Hanna-Barbara Gerl, “inserting unity and infinity” is “the step that catapults out of the old worldviews into the modern age.” With this, reason experiences its ignorance, its inappropriateness towards the infinite. But within the limit of the finite, “thinking can now set its starting point at will and behave in a relative-measuring manner (according to the self-chosen measure). Thinking will measure, mens equals mensura; Weight, measure and number become instruments and expressions of self-assertion in the finite. "

Mathematics and natural sciences

The Renaissance is not only an art epoch, but also an epoch of general cultural and scientific-rational awakening, which was primarily based on ancient models. In mathematics, it is shaped by a revival of Greek mathematics. In addition, Arabic mathematics had a fundamental influence with terms such as " algebra " and " algorithm " and the Arabic numerals , which are increasingly replacing the Roman numerals. Ancient classics became accessible to many scholars through the printing press. Mathematical influences cannot be overlooked in art either, for example in the application of the laws of perspective in painting or in the use of descriptive geometry and projective geometry in architecture. Mathematical knowledge was also useful in cartography, navigation, land surveying, and astronomy.

See also


Web links

Wiktionary: Renaissance  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Commons : Renaissance  - collection of images, videos and audio files


  1. The French term previously referred to the "rebirth [of the Christian] through baptism" ( entry "renaissance" , in Le Trésor de la Langue Française informatisé ).
  2. Eugenio Garin : World Cultures. Renaissance in Europe. In: Propylaea World History , Volume 6: The Culture of the Renaissance. Berlin 1964, p. 431. Even the word renaissance was considered lovable by Michelet; it denotes “a lifetime and one in which life is beautiful” (ibid.).
  3. ^ Herfried Münkler , Marina Münkler : Renaissance. In: Same: Lexicon of the Renaissance. Munich 2000, p. 338 f.
  4. Gerl 1989, p. 5.
  5. "Like art and religiosity, it is a proprium humanitas and is one of the essential possibilities of [the person's] conscious self-relationship." (Leinkauf 2017, Volume 1, p. 953 f. (Quotations p. 954)).
  6. Eugenio Garin : World Cultures. Renaissance in Europe. In: Propylaea World History , Volume 6: The Culture of the Renaissance. Berlin 1964, p. 441.
  7. ^ Herfried Münkler and Marina Münkler : Petrarca. In: Same: Lexicon of the Renaissance. Munich 2000, p. 315. Bernd Roeck judges Petrarca's poetry : “Never before had Europe produced an author who designed the eternal themes of love, death, nature and loneliness with the same powerful language as Petrarch, while again and again analyzing the tormented self. “(Roeck 2017, p. 376).
  8. Eugenio Garin : World Cultures. Renaissance in Europe. In: Propylaea World History , Volume 6: The Culture of the Renaissance. Berlin 1964, pp. 441 and 445.
  9. Eugenio Garin : World Cultures. Renaissance in Europe. In: Propylaea World History , Volume 6: The Culture of the Renaissance. Berlin 1964, pp. 442 and 444 f.
  10. Thomas Maissen : History of the Early Modern Age. Munich 2013, p. 12.
  11. ^ Herfried Münkler and Marina Münkler : Condottieri. In: Same: Lexicon of the Renaissance. Munich 2000, p. 338 f.
  12. Hellmut Diwald : Entitlement to come of age: 1400–1555. ( Propylaea History of Europe. Volume 1) Frankfurt am Main, Berlin, Vienna 1975, p. 99.
  13. ^ Herfried Münkler and Marina Münkler : Renaissance. In: Same: Lexicon of the Renaissance. Munich 2000, p. 341.
  14. "Of course, this training usually ended either with marriage or with entering the monastery, the two traditional forms of existence of women, so that the works of the Renaissance scholar women were mostly written at a young age, and a few at widowhood." (Gerl 1989, p. 30).
  15. Gerl 1989, pp. 28-31.
  16. ^ Herfried Münkler and Marina Münkler : Medici. In: Same: Lexicon of the Renaissance. Munich 2000, pp. 264-266.
  17. ^ Herfried Münkler and Marina Münkler : Epidemics. In: Same: Lexicon of the Renaissance. Munich 2000, p. 354. (quote ibid.).
  18. ^ Peter Sloterdijk: The permanent renaissance. The Italian Novella and the News of Modernity. In: Same: What Happened in the 20th Century? On the way to a critique of extremist reason. Suhrkamp, ​​Berlin 2016, pp. 190–192.
  19. Eugenio Garin : World Cultures. Renaissance in Europe. In: Propylaea World History , Volume 6: The Culture of the Renaissance. Berlin 1964, pp. 461 and 480.
  20. Roeck 2017, p. 462.
  21. Hellmut Diwald : Entitlement to come of age: 1400–1555. ( Propylaea History of Europe. Volume 1) Frankfurt am Main, Berlin, Vienna 1975, p. 134 f.
  22. ^ Herfried Münkler and Marina Münkler : Medici. In: Same: Lexicon of the Renaissance. Munich 2000, p. 394 f.
  23. ^ Herfried Münkler and Marina Münkler : Image of man. In: Same: Lexicon of the Renaissance. Munich 2000, p. 269 f. (Quotation p. 270).
  24. Eugenio Garin : World Cultures. Renaissance in Europe. In: Propylaea World History , Volume 6: The Culture of the Renaissance. Berlin 1964, pp. 510-512.
  25. Eugenio Garin : World Cultures. Renaissance in Europe. In: Propylaea World History , Volume 6: The Culture of the Renaissance. Berlin 1964, p. 514 f. And 517 f. (Quotation p. 518).
  26. Toman (Ed.) 2011, p. 175.
  27. Leinkauf 2017, Volume 1, p. 4, note 10.
  28. Herfried Münkler and Marina Münkler : Portrait. In: Same: Lexicon of the Renaissance. Munich 2000, p. 319.
  29. Cennino Cennini described the situation as follows: “At first it will take at least a year to practice drawing on the tablet; then stand with the master in the workshop until you have learned all the branches that belong to our art. Then begin with the preparation of the paints, learn to cook the glue, to make it exalted and to scrape it, to gild it, to grind it well; for six years. And then to practical attempts at painting, ornamenting with whipping, making world clothes, practicing wall painting - another six years. ”(Quoted from: Rolf Toman (ed.): The art of the Italian Renaissance. Architecture, sculpture, painting, drawing . Tandem Verlag, Potsdam 2007, p. 9).
  30. ^ Herfried Münkler and Marina Münkler : Artists. In: Same: Lexicon of the Renaissance. Munich 2000, pp. 209 and 212.
  31. ^ Rolf Toman (ed.): The art of the Italian Renaissance. Architecture, sculpture, painting, drawing. Tandem Verlag, Potsdam 2007, p. 10.
  32. Roeck 2017, p. 370.
  33. Roeck 2017, p. 459.
  34. Rolf Toman : Introduction. In: Ders. (Ed.) 2011, p. 8.
  35. Alexander Rauch : Painting of the Renaissance in Italy. In: Toman (Ed.) 2011, p. 175.
  36. Quoted from Roeck 2017, p. 457.
  37. Barbara Deimling: Painting of the early Renaissance in Florence and Central Italy. In: Rolf Toman (ed.): The art of the Italian Renaissance. Tandem Verlag, Potsdam 2007, p. 286.
  38. Alexander Rauch : Painting of the Renaissance in Italy. In: Toman (Ed.) 2011, p. 177.
  39. Rolf Toman : Introduction. In: Ders. (Ed.): The art of the Italian Renaissance. Tandem Verlag, Potsdam 2007, p. 9 f.
  40. Alexander Rauch : Painting of the High Renaissance in Rome and Central Italy. In: Rolf Toman (ed.): The art of the Italian Renaissance. Tandem Verlag, Potsdam 2007, p. 335.
  41. ^ Herfried Münkler and Marina Münkler : Painting. In: Same: Lexicon of the Renaissance. Munich 2000, p. 260.
  42. Rolf Toman : Introduction. In: Ders. (Ed.) 2011, p. 12.
  43. ^ Herfried Münkler and Marina Münkler : Painting. In: Same: Lexicon of the Renaissance. Munich 2000, p. 248.
  44. Rolf Toman : Introduction. In: Ders. (Ed.): The art of the Italian Renaissance. Tandem Verlag, Potsdam 2007, p. 8.
  45. Alexander Rauch : Painting of the Renaissance in Italy. In: Toman (Ed.) 2011, p. 179.
  46. ^ Herfried Münkler and Marina Münkler : Painting. In: Same: Lexicon of the Renaissance. Munich 2000, pp. 252 and 260.
  47. Alexander Rauch : Painting of the Renaissance in Italy. In: Toman (Ed.) 2011, p. 243.
  48. Alexander Rauch : Painting of the High Renaissance in Rome and Central Italy. In: Rolf Toman (ed.): The art of the Italian Renaissance. Tandem Verlag, Potsdam 2007, p. 308.
  49. Alexander Rauch : Painting of the Renaissance Italy. In: Toman (Ed.) 2011, p. 177.
  50. ^ Herfried Münkler and Marina Münkler : Painting. In: Same: Lexicon of the Renaissance. Munich 2000, p. 263.
  51. Alexander Rauch : Painting of the High Renaissance and Mannerism in Rome and Central Italy. In: Rolf Toman (ed.): The art of the Italian Renaissance. Tandem Verlag, Potsdam 2007, p. 343.
  52. ^ Herfried Münkler and Marina Münkler : Painting. In: Same: Lexicon of the Renaissance. Munich 2000, p. 263.
  53. ^ Herfried Münkler and Marina Münkler : Sculpture. In: Same: Lexicon of the Renaissance. Munich 2000, p. 365.
  54. Uwe Geese : Sculpture of the Italian Renaissance. In: Toman (ed.): The art of the Italian Renaissance. Tandem Verlag, Potsdam 2007, p. 195.
  55. Quoted from: Uwe Geese : Sculpture of the Italian Renaissance. In: Toman (ed.): The art of the Italian Renaissance. Tandem Verlag, Potsdam 2007, p. 195.
  56. ^ Herfried Münkler and Marina Münkler : Sculpture. In: Same: Lexicon of the Renaissance. Munich 2000, p. 369.
  57. Uwe Geese : Sculpture of the Renaissance in Italy. In: Toman (Ed.) 2011, p. 148.
  58. ^ Herfried Münkler and Marina Münkler : Sculpture. In: Same: Lexicon of the Renaissance. Munich 2000, p. 370.
  59. Uwe Geese : Sculpture of the Italian Renaissance. In: Toman (ed.): The art of the Italian Renaissance. Tandem Verlag, Potsdam 2007, p. 237.
  60. Hermann Hipp: Studies on "Post-Gothic" of the 16th and 17th centuries in Germany, Bohemia, Austria and Switzerland . Three volumes. Diss. Tübingen 1979.
  61. Ethan Matt Kavaler: Renaissance Gothic. Pictures of Geometry and Narratives of Ornament. In: Art History. 29 (2006), pp. 1-46.
  62. Hermann Hipp: The Bückeburg "structura". Aspects of the post-Gothic in connection with the German Renaissance. In: Renaissance in North-Central Europe. Volume I (= writings of the Weser Renaissance Museum at Brake Castle 4). Munich and Berlin 1990, pp. 159-170.
  63. ^ Herfried Münkler and Marina Münkler : Dante Alighieri. In: Same: Lexicon of the Renaissance. Munich 2000, p. 69.
  64. Roeck 2017, p. 356 f.
  65. Roeck 2017, pp. 376 and 379.
  66. Roeck 2017, p. 410 f. And 413.
  67. ^ Herfried Münkler and Marina Münkler : Book printing. In: Same: Lexicon of the Renaissance. Munich 2000, p. 50 f.
  68. ^ Herfried Münkler and Marina Münkler : Rabelais. In: Same: Lexicon of the Renaissance. Munich 2000, p. 327.
  69. ^ Montaigne: Les Essais. Edited by P. Villey / Verdun L. Saulnier, 3 volumes, Paris 1978, p. 1043. Quoted from Roeck 2017, p. 934.
  70. ^ Herfried Münkler and Marina Münkler : Shakespeare. In: Same: Lexicon of the Renaissance. Munich 2000, p. 360.
  71. Roeck 2017, p. 971.
  72. Werner Körbs: From the meaning of physical exercises at the time of the Italian Renaissance. 2nd Edition. Edited by Wolfgang Decker . With a foreword by Christiane Stang-Voss . - [Reprint. der Ausg.] Berlin 1938. Weidmann, Hildesheim 1988, ISBN 3-615-00037-4 .
  73. Arnd Krüger , John McClelland (ed.): The beginnings of modern sports in the Renaissance. Arena, London 1984
    John McClelland: Body and Mind: Sport in Europe from the Roman Empire to the Renaissance (Sport in the Global Society). Routledge, London 2007. The most extensive bibliography still with Arnd Krüger, John McClelland: Selected bibliography on physical exercise and sport in the Renaissance. In: A. Krüger, J. McClelland (ed.): The beginnings of modern sport in the Renaissance. Arena, London 1984, pp. 132-180.
  74. ^ Jean-Claude Margolin, Jean Ceard, Marie-Madeleine Fontaine (eds.): Le Corps à la Renaissance: actes du XXXe colloque de Tours 1987. Aux amateurs de livres, Paris 1990, ISBN 2-87841-022-X ; John McClelland, Brian Merrilees (Eds.): Sport and culture in early modern Europe. Le sport et la civilization de l'Europe pré-Moderne . Center for Reformation and Renaissance Studies, Toronto 2009, ISBN 978-0-7727-2052-8 .
  75. Gerl 1989, p. 41. "In Nicolaus Cusanus, not in Descartes , the roots of modern metaphysics lie, arose in the work with the Platonic-Neoplatonic and the late medieval-nominalist legacy." (Ibid.) A detailed account of Cusanus philosophical Reflections are provided by Leinkauf 2017, Volume 2, pp. 1061–1164.
  76. Leinkauf 2017, Volume 1, p. 19 (ibid).
  77. Leinkauf 2017, Volume 1, pp. 5, 128 and 132 f.
  78. Leinkauf 2017, Volume I, p. 609. Pico differentiated “between creation with its externally imposed order and regularity and man who has no 'nature', no objective limit that determines him, no proprium to whom he is natural grows back. ”(Gerl 1989, p. 166).
  79. (homines velut omnium domini terraeque cultores.) "God has found an undefined, that is, 'unlimited' successor, ceding the perfection of the world to him in the precise sense." (Gerl 1989, p. 163).
  80. Quoted from Gerl 1989, p. 169.
  81. Leinkauf 2017, Volume 1, pp. 605 and 783.
  82. "Because it is not the matter in itself, but a person's attitude that deserves praise and blame." (Quoted from Leinkauf 2017, Volume 1, p. 270).
  83. "The extinction of entire ruling dynasties to secure personal power is legitimate, it can be accompanied chronologically and at the same time by beneficiary, most generous acts of 'humanitas' towards the autochthonous population, etc." (Leinkauf 2017, Volume 1, p. 900).
  84. Leinkauf 2017, Volume 1, p. 755.
  85. Leinkauf 2017, Volume 1, p. 214.
  86. Gerl 1989, pp. 35 f. And 39.