Now it’s time to take a look at the Renaissance. This is a German-produced documentary. This documentary features Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci. The run time for this documentary is 42:25.
Vatican City and Saint Peter’s Square is the most impressive monument of the Renaissance. IT is the largest cathedral in the world. Just think, it would have been impossible to construct such a building in the Middle Ages. The knowledge was just not there. Then the Renaissance happened, and knowledge started to flow. Their knowledge would have enabled people to build such structures as Saint Peter’s. What were their secrets?
Michelangelo was a painter, sculptor, architect, and project manager. He was 70 years old when Saint Peter’s was constructed. He was a man driven by ambition. He was a Renaissance Man. His statue of David would become an icon of the era. It is the best-known sculpture in art history.
The Renaissance rediscovered the Greeks and the Romans. It developed everything further and toppled the ancient giants that had been the people’s teachers. It was a leap for architecture, taking inspiration from the buildings of the Ancient World. The invention of double-entry bookkeeping was invented which meant businessmen could track their funds. Never so much had been invented in such a short time before. The human body was researched. New trade routes were discovered. The pocket watch was discovered. Everyone participated in the Renaissance. Ideas were exchanged and flowed through the people.
What was the impetus for the explosion of these ideas? What drove the men to learn and invent? In ancient times the Romans were capable of constructing buildings like Saint Peters. The Roman forum demonstrates this. They spread their way of life throughout the western world. The Roman method for art and architecture dictated a way of life. Rome was home to over a million people and its dominance was built on the back of slaves. The Roman Military machine held the empire together. However, the Germanic tribes gained the upper hand.
Eventually, Rome fell into decay and the Dark Ages began. The wisdom of the ancients was lost. The ruins of the ancient world were plundered for building materials. Nobody would be able to build such a grand building again. In the eastern world, the Byzantine Empire rose and they kept up with the wisdom of the ancients. Its capital was Constantinople and they were proud of their Roman roots. They called themselves Eastern Romans. However, they came into conflict with Venetian and Genoese Merchants. Eventually, Constantinople was sacked by crusaders, who were against the Orthodox Christians.
This led the Ottomans to take over and that forced the people to flee and they fled to Italy. Here is where the Renaissance would be born. The libraries of Constantinople held treasures of unmeasurable worth. Hundreds of scholars and artists fled the west. It was here that the west would experience a revival. The people learned new things as well as invented new things.
Florence had a population of 50,000 and was a city bursting with self-confidence. It was the Silicon Valley of the Renaissance. Even before the Renaissance began, the Cathedral in Florence was being built. It would be the largest church in the world. Unfortunately, the Cathedral needed a dome and it would take decades to find an engineer capable of building a dome.
Additionally, a new elite was emerging in society. Merchants and bankers grew in wealth and power. The Medici family rose in prominence during these times. The Medici were shrewd bankers and often acted like a mafia. They financed art and architecture in Florence. They would have never been able to grow their wealth without double-entry bookkeeping. Double-entry bookkeeping kept track of incoming income and outflowing money. The Medici Family earned a lot of money and spent a lot of money over their lifetimes. A whole host of artists, scholars, and writers were dependent on the Medici money.
Michelangelo, Raphael, Donatello, and Brunelleschi, were all important figures in the Renaissance. To learn more about the Renaissance continue to watch the episode.
This documentary moved fast and seemed to bounce around from topic to topic. The speed was jarring and it was almost as if this documentary did not have a straight timeline. This would be an interesting documentary to show in a history class as well as an art class.
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