Giralamo Savonarola and the Development of the Renaissance in Florence

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THESIS STATEMENT The moral fanatic and religious fundamentalist, Giralamo Savonarola, inhibited the development of the Renaissance in Florence and brought the city back into the Middle Ages. PURPOSE STATEMENT Through scholarly research of Florentine politics and daily life during the rule of the Medici, it is affirmed that Giralamo Savonarola used religion and fear to inhibit the progression of the Renaissance in Florence. INTRODUCTION Religion provides hope for those who are hopeless. It aims to welcome those who are alienated and feel that their life has no purpose. Religion served the same function in the Middle Ages and Renaissance as it does today. However, religion was embraced more during the Middle Ages by desperate…show more content…
Lorenzo and his humanist circle had a great influence on artist in patronized including Botticelli. During the Middle Ages, the church commissioned most of the art being produced which limited the subject matter and censorship. Now, however, the Medici were the chief patrons using art as a political declaration rather than a religious idea. Commissioned by the Medici, Donatello’s David was the first free-standing nude sculpture completed since antiquity (Gilmore 83). The work symbolized the shift of the arts from the church to the political forum. As art and learning thrived, morals and grace declined in the eyes of the church. Many religious traditionalist viewed Florence as an evil and godless city. These fundamentalists eagerly waited for a great reformed to restore Florence to a religious city. PREACHER AND REFORMER Giralamo Savonarola was born in Ferrara in 1452. He was brought to Florence by Lorenzo after Pico della Mirandola encouraged him to bring Savonarola to the city. In Ferrara, Savonarola was a traditionalist and a moralist and renowned as a preacher and a prophet. Upon his arrival, Savonarola did not intend on reforming the city and returning it to a religious centered state. Yet, after witnessing the atrocities of Florence, he became a reformer and an outspoken enemy of the Medici family. Savonarola believed with a passionate conviction that God ruled the world and he personally felt responsible to turn people away from sin towards God.

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