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Renaissance

Overview
Timeline
How did the Renaissance start?
Medici Family
Italian City-states
Age of Exploration
Elizabethan Era
Ottoman Empire
Reformation
Northern Renaissance
Glossary
Culture
Daily Life
Renaissance Art
Architecture
Food
Clothing and Fashion
Music and Dance
Science and Inventions
Astronomy
People
Artists
Famous Renaissance People
Christopher Columbus
Galileo
Johannes Gutenberg
Henry VIII
Michelangelo
Queen Elizabeth I
Raphael
William Shakespeare
Leonardo da Vinci

Back to History for Kids

The Renaissance was a period of time from the 14th to the 17th century in Europe. This era bridged the time between the Middle Ages and modern times. The word "Renaissance" means "rebirth".

Coming out of the Dark

The Middle Ages began with the fall of the Roman Empire. Much of the advances in science, art, and government that had been made by the Greeks and Romans were lost during this time. Part of the Middle Ages is actually called the Dark Ages because so much of what was learned earlier was lost.

The Renaissance was a time of "coming out of the dark". It was a rebirth of education, science, art, literature, music, and a better life for people in general.

A Cultural Movement

A big part of the Renaissance was a cultural movement called humanism. Humanism was a philosophy that all people should strive to be educated and learned in the classical arts, literature, and science. It looked for realism and human emotion in art. It also said that it was okay for people to pursue comfort, riches, and beauty.

Mona Lisa
The Mona Lisa - perhaps the world's most famous painting - was painted during the Renaissance


It began in Italy

The Renaissance started in Florence, Italy and spread to other city-states in Italy. Part of the reason it began in Italy was because of the history of Rome and the Roman Empire. Another reason it began in Italy was because Italy had become very wealthy and the wealthy were willing to spend their money supporting artists and geniuses.

City-states played a big role in the rule of Italy at the time. They were often ruled by a powerful family. Some important city-states included Florence, Milan, Venice, and Ferrara.

The Renaissance Man

The term Renaissance Man refers to a person that is an expert and talented in many areas. The true geniuses of the Renaissance were great examples of this. Leonardo da Vinci was a master painter, sculptor, scientist, inventor, architect, engineer, and writer. Michelangelo was also a superb painter, sculptor, and architect.

Fun Facts about the Renaissance Books for reference and further reading:
  • Everyday Life in the Renaissance By Kathryn Hinds. 2004.
  • Renaissance: Eyewitness Books by Andrew Langley. 1999.
  • Life and Times: Leonardo and the Renaissance by Nathaniel Harris. 1987.
  • Your Travel Guide to Renaissance Europe by Nancy Day. 2001.
  • Essential History of Art by Laura Payne. 2001.


  • Learn more about the Renaissance:

    Overview
    Timeline
    How did the Renaissance start?
    Medici Family
    Italian City-states
    Age of Exploration
    Elizabethan Era
    Ottoman Empire
    Reformation
    Northern Renaissance
    Glossary
    Culture
    Daily Life
    Renaissance Art
    Architecture
    Food
    Clothing and Fashion
    Music and Dance
    Science and Inventions
    Astronomy
    People
    Artists
    Famous Renaissance People
    Christopher Columbus
    Galileo
    Johannes Gutenberg
    Henry VIII
    Michelangelo
    Queen Elizabeth I
    Raphael
    William Shakespeare
    Leonardo da Vinci


    Go here to test your knowledge with a Renaissance crossword puzzle or word search.

    Back to History for Kids








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