Humanism In The Renaissance

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Arguably the greatest and longest impacting movement brought about by the forward thinkers of the Renaissance was humanism. Humanism was a cultural and intellectual movement that emphasized the human potential to attain excellence through direct study of the literature, art, and civilization of the classical Greek and Roman societies (Merriam-Webster). The scholars and believers in humanism sought to change the course of society away from the narrow pedantry of medieval scholasticism and utilitarianism. Humanism was a basic desire for every citizen to be able to speak with eloquence and read and write with clarity, so that common citizens were capable of engaging in the civic life of their communities (Gray). The movement also emphasized the value of a human being as well as the importance of rational thought rather than blind faith in spiritualism or superstition. It also pushed people to explore human desires and pleasures while also enriching their minds. The influential nature of humanism was far reaching and most notable for its effects on Renaissance art, literature, and philosophy.

To begin with, medieval art as well as artists were primarily controlled by the church, with artists receiving the majority of their patronage through the Catholic church (Abrahams). This is because artists were not seen as celebrities or of individual importance like they were during the Renaissance, so consequently only nobles or the wealthy were able to purchase custom work

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