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Italian Renaissance Learning Resources

In collaboration with the National Gallery of Art


Term invented in the 19th century, most commonly used to designate developments relating to the revival of Classical literature and learning in European culture from roughly 1300 to 1600. . . . So prominent is the ‘revival of antiquity’ in accounts of the transition from medieval to early modern Europe that ‘renaissance’ and ‘humanism’ are often used as overlapping, even interchangeable, concepts. Scholars in the 20th century seeking greater precision have proposed a variety of more highly differentiated definitions of the terms. None commands scholarly consensus. References to ‘the humanist movement’ are likewise as controverted as they are commonplace, and they highlight similarities if not direct linkages among a wide range of figures, elements and activities. Scholars routinely advise that Renaissance humanism is a broad, complex and multi-faceted category embracing numerous chronological, regional, disciplinary and individual variations.

James O. Duke