Essay by englishlover15High School, 10th gradeB+, October 2014

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Gilbert, 1

The Renaissance, beginning around 1450 and lasting throughout the year 1600, was a period of cultural revival. The term "renaissance" itself means "rebirth" in the French language, and the era was a response to the previous dark age of the Black Plague. The central location, and city which most embodied the renaissance era, was the city of Florence. It led all other Italian cities in both daring and achievement, and was the testing ground for most of the Renaissance's political and artistic ideas. In Florence was where perhaps the most powerful banking family of the renaissance resided; The Medici family. Not only did the Medici family stabilize and strengthen the economy, but Lorenzo the Magnificent, grandson of Cosimo de' Medici, was the largest benefactor of the arts in Florence, and under his patronage is when the city became the cultural center of the Renaissance. Lorenzo's family hired several artists throughout their reign, one of whom was Flippo Lippi, better known as Sandro Botticelli.

The young artist gained recognition by becoming so close with the Medici family, and in order to maintain his credibility and reputation, painted to please the family. Botticelli possessed the qualities of a renaissance artist and quickly gained status. To be a renaissance artist was to embody the humanistic culture and renew values of classical Europe fused with new ideas and beliefs. Historians of today know of Botticelli's humanistic attitude towards art through examining his works. This historical point of view can be described through the perspective of Thucydides, an ancient Greek historian who used evidence, especially forensic evidence, visiting battle sites and other historical landmarks, to see what really occurred. Paintings of Botticelli's that best depict his humanistic style include La Primavera and The Birth of Venus, both of which were painted...