Contributions Made by the Renaissance to the Development of Western Civilization





Contributions Made by the Renaissance to the Development of Western Civilization

The Renaissance (rebirth) was a distinct period in European history that first started in Italy and then spread to the rest of the continent. Italians who lived between the years 1350 and 1550 believed that they had experienced a re-emergence of antiquity and the concepts of the Greco-Roman civilization (Pearson Education 88). The term itself refers to the attempts made by artists and philosophers in Europe to rediscover and implement the teachings and standards of Greece and Rome. At the time, Italian society was founded on urban life and within these cities, there emerged an interest in the enjoyment of earthly pleasures (Pearson Education 88).

The renaissance period made many contributions to western civilization. These contributions came in different areas and disciplines. In philosophy, Niccolo Machiavelli published his famous book The Prince, which later came to be revered and made major contributions to the political theory of realism. Major contributions were also made in religion, where Martin Luther started the reformation that led to the formation of Protestants. The break from the Catholic Church resulted in a series of conflicts that would sweep over Europe for the coming centuries (Pearson Education 90).

The renaissance period made its biggest contribution to western civilization in the arts. During the renaissance, artists considered the imitation to be their primary objective. The artists also sought to portray the human form and this became a focal point for their attention. Many Italian artists claimed that the genesis of the movement was a fourteenth century artists called Giotto (Pearson Education 93). Several artists in Florence then picked up his style and this heralded the beginning of a new era. It was in Florence where an artist called Masaccio created the first real masterpiece of the Renaissance period. In the fifteenth century, the movement continued to grow in Florence with different artists applying different styles in their paintings. Historians call this opening period of the renaissance, the early renaissance (Pearson Education 93).

The high renaissance had the most impact on European culture and western civilization. Three artists dominated the period, Leonardo Da Vinci, Raphael and Michelangelo (Pearson Education 94). The fact that Da Vinci and Michelangelo are still some of the most famous artists known today is an indicator of how influential the period was in the arts. Da Vinci and Michelangelo made some of the world’s most famous works of art during the high renaissance. Examples include the “Mona Lisa”, “The Vitruvian Man”, “The Last Supper” and the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel (Pearson Education 94).

Da Vinci’s paintings were particularly interesting because they exemplified the transition from the early renaissance to the high transition. In his works, Da Vinci advanced from the principles of realism and into idealism. He tried to move art from its tradition of making realistic depictions of nature to one of creating idealized portrayals. His painting, “The Last Supper” best exemplifies this paradigm shift as it portrays three-dimensional subjects on a two-dimensional plane (Pearson Education 94).

The art from the renaissance period has had a lasting effect on western civilization. The styles that the artists in Italy used inspired a host of other artists in Europe and this enabled the movement to grow steadily. The art reflected many aspects of the renaissance such as the values of humanism, the return to traditional models of architecture and a celebration of human beings and their form. The works of artists from the renaissance period are still lauded and promoted in the modern world with artists like Da Vinci still considered some of the best who ever lived.


Works Cited

Pearson Education. Western Civilization: With Readings from Penguin Custom Editions. Boston, MA: Pearson Learning Solutions, 2012. Print.

Calculate your order
275 words
Total price: $0.00

Top-quality papers guaranteed


100% original papers

We sell only unique pieces of writing completed according to your demands.


Confidential service

We use security encryption to keep your personal data protected.


Money-back guarantee

We can give your money back if something goes wrong with your order.

Enjoy the free features we offer to everyone

  1. Title page

    Get a free title page formatted according to the specifics of your particular style.

  2. Custom formatting

    Request us to use APA, MLA, Harvard, Chicago, or any other style for your essay.

  3. Bibliography page

    Don’t pay extra for a list of references that perfectly fits your academic needs.

  4. 24/7 support assistance

    Ask us a question anytime you need to—we don’t charge extra for supporting you!

Calculate how much your essay costs

Type of paper
Academic level
550 words

How to place an order

  • Choose the number of pages, your academic level, and deadline
  • Push the orange button
  • Give instructions for your paper
  • Pay with PayPal or a credit card
  • Track the progress of your order
  • Approve and enjoy your custom paper

Ask experts to write you a cheap essay of excellent quality

Place an order