The Italian Rennaisance The Rennaisance The fluorishing of arts and sciences literally rebirth, the period in European civilization immediately following the Middle Ages, conventionally held to have been characterized by a surge of interest in classical learning and values. The Renaissance also witnessed the discovery and exploration of new continents, the substitution of the Copernican for the Ptolemaic system of astronomy, the decline of the feudal system and the growth of commerce, and the invention or application of such potentially powerful innovations as paper, printing, the mariner’s compass, and gunpowder. To the scholars and thinkers of the day, however, it was primarily a time of the revival of classical learning and wisdom after a long period of cultural decline and stagnation. The Renaissance as a unified historical period ended in 1527 because of strains between Christian faith and classical humanism.. It was in art that the spirit of the Renaissance achieved its sharpest formulation. Art came to be seen as a branch of knowledge, valuable in its own right and capable of providing man with images of God and his creations as well as with insights into man’s position in the universe.
In the hands of men like Leonardo da Vinci it was even a science, a means for exploring nature and a record of discoveries. Art was to be based on the observation of the visible world and practiced according to mathematical principles of balance, harmony, and perspective, which were developed at this time. In the works of painters such as Masaccio, the brothers Lorenzetti, Fra Angelico, Botticelli, Perugino, Piero della Francesca, Raphael, and Titian; sculptors such as Pisano, Donatello, Verrocchio, Ghiberti, and Michelangelo; and architects such as Alberti, Brunelleschi, Palladio, Michelozzo, and Filarete, the dignity of man found expression in the arts. [Renaissance art] encouraged a revival of naturalism, seen in Italian 15th-century painting and sculpture, and of classical forms and ornament in architecture, such as the column and round arch, the tunnel vault, and the dome. Ornamental gardens exemplified by the Italian Villa Transformation of the small courtyard garden into an area of magnificent splendor.
Typical components of an Itallian Villa indigenous evergreen shrubs and trees stone walls and buildings sculpture and water features Supreme blend of architecture and the landscape: the merger of geometric form with natural setting ————————————————– —————————— Beyond the Renaissance The Renaissance, with its expanding economic activity, increase in wealth by more people led to a renewed interest in horticultural activities, such as gardening, as a form of creative display and not just for utilitarian purposes. The resurgence in recreational gardening coincided with increased interest in the plants themselves. This led to the initiation of modern botanical science. An important contributor to knowledge of and interest in plants was Carolus Clusius (Charles de l’Ecluse) who introduced the tulip and other bulbous plants to Holland. From these beginnings, The Netherlands has become now a premier producer and exporter of horticultural products.
As interest in plants grew, both from a botanical and horticultural perspective, exploreres throughtout the known world sent new and interesting plants to Botanical Gardens in Padua, Italy; Oxford and Kew, England; Edinburgh, Scotland; and Leiden, Holland. These gardens became great centers of scientific learning and as well as of horticultural practice. These explorers represent a major movement that grew out of the Renaissance and that transformed Western Europe and the world: The Age of Discovery. Many new plants in Europe came from the New World; some, such as Virginia creeper, goldenrod, Sweetgum, Staghorn Sumac, and flowering Dogwood came from the American Colonies. ————————————————– —————————— Return to the Chronology of Horticulture Arts Essays.