Difference Between The Middle Ages And The Renaissance

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The term Renaissance is often used to describe the period of time in Europe that bridges the gap between the Middle Ages and modern history; roughly the fourteenth-seventeenth century. The Renaissance movement began in Italy, slowly spilling into Northern Europe. It is seen as an age of intellectual rebirth and rediscovery of the classics. However, Jacques Le Goff questions the validity of the word “Renaissance” as a way to describe an entirely different era in history. This break up in the historical time periods discounts the continuity between the Middle Ages and the onset of this supposed rebirth of a progressive society. Using the term Renaissance overlooks intellectual progresses of the Middle Ages. The lack of cohesiveness between Italy’s renaissance and the rest of Europe does not justify labeling this a completely new time period. The biggest change during this period of time is the development in art which differentiates the renaissance from the Middle Ages.
For many, the Middle Ages is seen as a time of intellectual and cultural stagnation. This scholarly inactivity is often cited as one main difference that separates the Renaissance era from the “Dark Ages.” However, one of the most important academic institutions was established
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Throughout the Middle Ages, the Catholic Church remained a major patron of the arts, commissioning multiple artists to paint in cathedrals. During the renaissance not only did churches hire artists, but wealthy merchant families began to support artists, most notably the Medici family of Florence. Because the humanist movement within the renaissance took focus away from the church, or the divine, and placed that emphasis on the human the style of art more secular in nature. However, this new focus on the individual did not mean that artists stopped producing religious
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