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Renaissance Picture Timeline January 8, 2016

Posted by anagasto in art, history.
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1347

The Black Death

It probably started in Asia and travelled  along the Silk Road and by ship to the Mediterranean, killing in Europe some 30 to 60 percent of the people.

There is a good map of the land and sea trade routes at http://www.chinatouristmaps.com/china-maps/route-of-silk-road/ancient-silk-road-map.html

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Burying_Plague_Victims_of_Tournai

Citizens of Tournai in Belgium burying their dead — Библиотека короля Альберта I, Брюссель : King Albert Library, Brussels in public domain at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Burying_Plague_Victims_of_Tournai.jpg

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1233px-Trionfo_della_morte,_già_a_palazzo_sclafani,_galleria_regionale_di_Palazzo_Abbatellis,_palermo_(1446)_,_affresco_staccato

Triumph of Death fresco by unknown author circa 1446, Palermo, Italy http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Trionfo_della_morte
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1453 The End of the Roman Empire

The Fall of Constantinople

The city of Constantinople falls to Islam after a long siege.


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The Roman Empire had  lasted for nearly 1,500 years, at least as an idea and a name. There wasn’t much of a power structure, but there were allegiances shaped by a common past.

Constantinople was the world’s wealthiest city, because of its location on the ship route that connects Asia, the Middle East, and Europe.

This map is from  http://www.holylandphotos.org/browse.asp?s=1,3,7,202,203  and there is also a good explanation of its history

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The city is now called Istanbul.

Because of its history, the passage has various names depending on the perspective and the language of the viewer:
Turkish Straits
Bosporus Strait
Dardanelles Strait

This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic license at http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=File:Turkish_Strait_disambig.svg&page=1

For how to get there see http://www.efenditravel.com/Istanbul

The photo of the gun by “The Land” is in public domain according to  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Dardanelles_Gun_Turkish_Bronze_15c.png

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1492

Discovery of the New World

Photo by NASA at http://mix.msfc.nasa.gov/IMAGES/HIGH/9265044.jpg see copyright notification

Columbus sails west and discovers a  continent. Stories of what there was out there invade old Europe.

Spain wins back back those of its regions that had been governed by Islam and and publishes the Alhambra Decree expelling  its Jewish citizens:

Alhamra decree
Fully translated at http://www.sephardicstudies.org/decree.html
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1498 Leonardo da Vinci paints The Last supper.

The people at the table are each an individual.

It is what marks the difference between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance: people are trying to become individuals, instead of being primarily part of a community.

In the Middle Ages, there would have been just stick figures each with his beard and his halo, but no individual traits to show character or state of mind. The painters painted what they imagined, not what they saw, for they also didn’t look.

Keep in mind that  modern painters do the same, rarely trying to suggest individuality in a human figure.
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1500 Michelangelo sculpts The Pietà

The Pietà photographed by Stanislav Traykov published at http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Michelangelo%27s_Pieta_5450.jpg under the CC Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

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1504 Michelangelo sculpts David

This is David, the shepherd boy about to kill the giant Goliath with a stone and a slingshot. He will become the King and Poet of Israel, and Michelangelo makes him look powerful, in control of his faculties and using his head in order to act.

David photographed by David Gaya published under the CC Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Michelangelos_David.jpg

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1504 Bosch paints Garden of Earthly Delights.

It is at the Prado Museum in Madrid. It is very strange and visitors examine it most carefully.

The figures are puzzling,  taken from medieval animal books, proverbs,  and dream books, and many are no longer intelligible. There is alchemy and witchcraft and  conventional symbols like eggs for alchemy and sex,  rats for falsehood and lies,  and dead fish for memories of past joys.

There is no happiness in this picture. It shows the beginning of the pessimistic reaction to the Renaissance. There was going to be a powerful religous revival known as the Reformation.
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1505 Leonardo paints The Mona Lisa = Lady Lisa

There are  rivers of print about the meaning of her smile.
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1508–1512 Michelangelo paints the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel

The Creation of Adam photographed by The Pachyderminator published in public domain at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Creation-of-adam.PNG

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1517

The Reformation

Wartburg castle where Luther translated  part of the Bible from Greek into German. —Why from Greek? Why not from Hebrew? It is a long and  complicated story.

The Reformation was a fight that developed in Western Christianity  against the doctrines, rituals, and the power  of the Roman Catholic Church. At the time everything was Catholic: the universities, the Kings, the monasteries, every town and village, all their dignitaries  and all the fiestas.

Opposition was risky and anonymous.
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1519 Death of Leonardo da Vinci
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1541 Michelangelo paints the front wall of the Sistine Chapel:  The Last Judgement
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396px-Copernicus_Tower_in_Frombork

1543 Copernicus writes Revolutions of the Celestial Orbits — and Luther considers it an attack on the Bible saying: “The fool will upset the whole science of astronomy.”
That tower is where Copernicus worked.

This file is attributed to Hans Weingartz and licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Germany at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Copernicus_Tower_in_Frombork.jpg

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1564 Death of Michelangelo
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1603 Shakespeare writes Hamlet

William Blake: Crown prince Hamlet meets his dead father.

Hamlet is a fully modern individual. Tradition doesn’t hold him up. He is caught in contradictory principles of ethics.
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1605 Cervantes writes Don Quixote. It can be seen as a parody of Middle Age fables and formalities.

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Define Renaissance:

It is the revival of Greek and Roman culture taking place in Europe between 1400 and 1650.

Before, in the Middle Ages, art and literature were inspired almost exclusively by the Bible as transmitted by Catholic institutions.
Starting around 1400, more and more content came from Greek achievements in philosophy, literature, and poetry.
Those novelties arrived in Europe largely via Islam and Judaism.

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