The Renaissance was a cultural movement that profoundly affected European intellectual life in the early modern period. The Renaissance began from Italy and spread to the rest of Europe by the 16th century. Its influence was felt in literature,
philosophy, art, music, politics, science, religion, and other aspects of intellectual inquiry. Renaissance scholars employed the humanist method in study and searched for realism and human emotion in art (Wikipedia).
There remains a long debate about what exactly constituted the Renaissance. Essentially, it was a cultural and intellectual movement, intimately tied to society and politics of the late fourteenth to early seventeenth centuries, although it is commonly restricted to just the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. In a way, some scholars claimed that it must have been stimulated by Petrarch, who had a passion
for rediscovering lost manuscripts and a fierce belief in the civilizing power of ancient thought, and in part by conditions in Florence. The Renaissance was a movement dedicated to the rediscovery and use of classical learning. By classical
learning we mean knowledge and attitudes from the Ancient Greek and Roman periods.
Literarily, Renaissance means “rebirth” and Renaissance thinkers believed the period between themselves and the fall of Rome, which they labeled the Middle
Ages, had seen a decline in cultural achievement compared with the earlier eras. Participants intended, through the study of classical texts, textual criticism and classical techniques, to both reintroduce the heights of those ancient days and
improve the situation of their contemporaries.
Features of Renaissance:
The main features of Renaissance include the following:
Realism and expressionism – Realism is the general attempt to depict things accurately, from either a visual, social or emotional perspective.
Humanism is another feature of Renaissance. Humanism is devoted to
the study of mankind, instead of the theological devotion of the Middle
Age. The Renaissance scholars were known as “humourists” and their
subjects of study came to be called the “humanities”. In other words,
they emphasized reason, a questioning attitude, experimentation and free inquiry.
It glorified the individual and approved worldly pleasures, viewing life as worthwhile for its own sake, not chiefly as a preparation for the life to come.
It focused attention upon secular society rather than the medieval
preoccupation with the church and religious affairs.
It featured great achievements in literature, art and science.