Classical Humanism And The Renaissance

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Classical Humanism is described as "a phenomenon that gave the Renaissance"¦.its distinctly secular stamp."� Define classical humanism in its historical context and discuss the values and philosophy that shaped the literature and visual art of the Renaissance.

The great intellectual movement of Renaissance Italy was humanism. The humanists believed that the Greek and Latin classics contained both all the lessons one needed to lead a moral and effective life. The intellectual and social movement which historians call humanism is what lies at the base of the period we call the Renaissance. Humanism and its ideals spread through the art, literature, learning and civic life, first in Italy, then in all of Europe in the fifteenth century. Humanism is a rediscovery and re-evaluation of the aspects of classical civilization (ancient Greece and Rome) and the application of these aspects to intellectual and social culture in the historical definition it is also in many ways a reaction against scholasticism.

One of the ways in which the spirit of humanism was expressed was in a rise in appreciation for the artifacts of the past. Most scholars would say that Petrarch, would best fit this label as the father of Humanism. His influence continued to be felt throughout the entire humanistic movement, and his successors called him their spiritual father. Petrarch also wrote in the vernacular, which was a style that would finally gain acceptance among scholars in the Renaissance.

The Italian Renaissance was one of the most productive periods in the history of art, with large numbers of outstanding masters to be found in many centers and in all the major fields painting, sculpture, and architecture. The techniques favored by the Painters were tempera and fresco. The fresco technique, used for the mural paintings in Florentine churches, involved painting on wet plaster. This...