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Northern and Italian Renaissance: Comparison

Erin Huang Social Studies 8 Block D May 8th, 2013

! With the beginning of the Renaissance, one cannot expect for cultural and lifestyle change of this significance to stay enclosed within the confines of Italy- there was also the beginning of the Northern Renaissance. This cultural, philosophical, and artistic reformation included countries such as England, France, and countries of the Scandinavian area. The Renaissance spread via major trade routes from Italy to the more northern countries, and when successful Italian businessmen set up shop outside of Italy, with offices and correspondents in other countries other than Italy. ! While the two of these rebirths are similar, they are not totally alike. They both appreciated the secular arts, however the Northern Renaissance had always put more emphasis on the religious aspects. The paintings and sculptures of the Italian Renaissance consisted of portrayals of portraits, battle scenes, and the country side. while their Northern counterparts featured more heavily on the religious side; however both art styles had incorporated realism. While most of the patrons of the arts in Italy, namely Florence consisted of wealthy patron families, this could not be said for the North. Due to a lack of wealthy families, many kings, queens and royalty took the place of patrician patrons. The spread was also due on part to the royalty of the North inviting scholars, painters, and sculptors to their own courts, sharing ideas and thinkings. As such, the royals and nobles took a more important part in the Northern Renaissance than the Italian. While the church was important to both the renaissances, the Italian church played less of a role, and was less active in the Renaissance, for in these cities individualism was still more important than the spiritual life. In the Northern Renaissance (possibly due to the fact that the royals and nobles were the patrons) the church played a more active role, and although appreciated the secular arts, also stressed the importance of a spiritual lifestyle. The classical studies were more thorough than their southern counterparts, for not only did the people of the Northern Renaissance study the classical Greek and Roman writings and philosophies, they also learned the various languages of Greece, and also Hebrew. Because of this, people could be able to peruse the ancient Bibles, leading many people to question the approaches and teachings of the current church. Both Renaissances placed importance on the studies, however it was with the beginning of the Northern Renaissance that the field of medicine began to flourish, with the birth of doctors, physicans and surgeons such as Paracelsus, who used concentrated poisons to treat the ill, and Par, who most likely pioneered the modern day methods of

dressing the wounded and stitching wounds closed, instead of the primitive method of burning the flesh as was the practice before. ! With change comes new and important contributions to society, and the Renaissance proved no

different, in both North and South Renaissances- from the arts to philosophy, from literature and astronomy to medicine. ! !