The period of time in western Europe known as the Renaissance was characterized by an intense interest in the classical art and writings of the ancient Greeks and Romans. There was a new reliance on self as opposed to a dependence on the Church to regulate society and individual lives. The Renaissance was a time of experimentation with science, the arts, and politics. Come and explore the "rebirth" or blossoming of western European society from about 1400 AD to 1650 AD.


Places To Go    People To See    Things To Do    Teacher Resources

Places To Go

Great Buildings Online: Renaissance Architecture
Visit the Ducal Palace in Urbino, Italy, the Pazzi Palace in Florence, and the Sforza Chapel in Rome.
Take a virtual tour of The Early Renaissance in Florence presented by the National Gallery of Art.
Leonardo da Vinci - The Last Supper
Travel to Milan , Italy to the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie and experience Leonardo da Vinci's masterpiece, The Last Supper.
Library of Congress: Rome Reborn: The Vatican Library & Renaissance Culture
Visit the Library of Congress and browse through its primary sources and exhibits relating to the Italian Renaissance.
Sistine Chapel
Travel to the Sistine Chapel. It was built in 1473 under the direction of Pope Sixtus IV and contains the famous ceiling and side panels by Michelangelo. The ceiling contains nine Old Testament and 12 New Testament scenes and was completed between 1508 and 1511.
St. Peters
Explore St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. Bramante, Michelangelo, Raphael, Bernini, Brunelleschi….all were involved in some way with the building and adorning of this crowning centerpiece in the Vatican.
Explore Venice of the Renaissance. The Renaissance was characterized by the growth of trade and the establishment of expanded trade routes with the East and the Middle East, as well as with the rest of Europe.
Your Way To Florence
Art and history of Florence, Italy: from the beginnings to the Mannerism (the Communes, the Renaissance, guelphs and ghibellines, Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raffaello...).

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People To See

Absolute Shakespeare
Absolute Shakespeare, the essential resource for for William Shakespeare's plays, sonnets, poems, quotes, biography and the legendary Globe Theatre.
Andrea del Verrocchio
Meet Andrea del Verrocchio, a noted early Renaissance sculptor from Florence, who worked mostly with metal. He was a teacher of Leonardo da Vinci.
Artble - Sandro Botticelli
Get to know Sandro Botticelli. He is famous for his painting, the Birth of Venus. He worked mostly in Florence and was a favorite of the Medici family.
The Artchive - Albrecht Durer
Get to know Albrecht Durer. He was influenced by his Italian contemporaries and helped introduce Renaissance thought into northern Europe.
The Artchive - Hieronymus Bosch
Meet Hieronymus Bosch. His often macabre paintings are a famous part of the early Northern Renaissance.
The Artchive - Jan van Eyck
Meet Jan van Eyck, a master of the Northern Renaissance.
Artcyclopedia - Albrecht Durer
While an important painter, in his own day Dürer was renowned foremost for his graphic works. Artists across Europe admired and copied Dürer's innovative and powerful prints, ranging from religious and mythological scenes, to maps and exotic animals.
Benvenuto Cellini
Make the acquaintance of Benvenuto Cellini, a Florentine metalworker who intricate and decorative jewelry, vases, candlesticks, and other ornaments were mostly created under the tutelage of Pope Clement VII.
The Borgias: An Italian Renaissance Family
Meet the Borgias family of 16th and 17th century Italy. Rodrigo Borgias became Pope Alexander VI and is remembered as a corrupt and immoral pope. Rodrigo's son, Cesare is said to have been the model for Machiavelli's The Prince. Lucrezia Borgias is famous for poisoning her enemies.
Copernicus is said to be the founder of modern astronomy. Copernicus, through the influence of his uncle, was appointed as a canon in the cathedral of Frauenburg where he spent a sheltered and academic life for the rest of his days.
Meet Nicholas Copernicus, a Polish astronomer of the 1500s who studied and wrote in Rome and published his revolutionizing theories of the universe.
Donato, called Donatello by his friends and relatives, was born in Florence in the year 1383, and produced many works in his youth; but the first thing that caused him to be known was an Annunciation carved in stone for the church of S.
Donato Bramante
Meet Donato Bramante, an architect of the High Italian Renaissance. He was the principal architect of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican.
Filippo Brunelleschi
Spend time with Filippo Brunelleschi, one of the most famous architects of the Renaissance.
The Florence Art Guide - Filippo Brunelleschi
Filippo is famous for the daring and original ideas behind his projects (such as the Cupola of the Duomo in Florence) and for the way in which he harmoniously re-elaborated the forms of classical architecture according to the new spirit of his age.
Francesco Petrarch
Meet Francesco Petrarca. He was an Italian poet in the 1300s whose influence is credited with planting the seeds of the Renaissance. His study of Greek and Roman writing helped bring about a resurgence of interest in ancient texts and philosophies.
Francois Rabelais
French Renaissance writer, a Franciscan monk, humanist, and physician, whose comic novels Gargantua and Pantagruel are among the most hilarious classics of world literature.
Galileo's Battle for the Heavens
Explore the companion site to the NOVA program on the 17th century scientist Galileo and his struggle to persuade church authorities of the truth behind his astonishing discoveries about the cosmos.
Gerardus Mercator
Gerardus Mercator was a Flemish cartographer who developed the method of portraying the spherical world as a flat surface. This helped the development of trade routes and made it easier for navigators to set courses by compass.
Hans Holbein the Younger
Make the acquaintance of Hans Holbein, the Younger. His father, Hans Holbein, was also an artist. The son's portraits were an important reflection of the Northern Renaissance.
The History Guide - Desiderius Erasmus
Erasmus stands as the supreme type of cultivated common sense applied to human affairs. He rescued theology from the pedantries of the Schoolmen, exposed Church abuses, and did more than any other single person to advance the Revival of Learning.
Jan van Eyck
Jan van Eyck was a Flemish painter, active in Bruges, who along with Robert Campin (previously known only as the Master of Flémalle) in Tournai, was the founder of the Ars Nova ("new art") of 15th-century northern late Gothic painting.
Johann Gutenburg
Visit with Johann Gutenburg, the 15 th century German printer and inventor. His method of printing with movable type was instrumental in making information available to the common man and spreading the ideas of the Renaissance.
Lorenzo Ghiberti
He was a sculptor and an architect who spent the majority of his life making the 28 panels of his best known piece, the doors of the baptistery in Florence.
Luminarium - Sir Thomas More
Biography of Sir Thomas More, advisor to King Henry VIII, Tudor Renaissance English author of 'Utopia', Catholic martyr and saint.
Niccolo Machiavelli was a notable writer of the Italian Renaissance. His book, the Prince, supported the premise that political leaders should do whatever is necessary to further their causes, interests, and quests for power and influence.
Martin Luther
Spend time with Martin Luther, the German leader of the Protestant Reformation in the 1500s.
Michelangelo Buonarroti
Visit with Michelangelo Buonarroti, the epitomy of the Italian Renaissance.
Mona Lisa
Spend time with the person in the painting that seems to personify the Italian Renaissance.
Museum of Science - Leonardo da Vinci
Participating in activities based on Leonardo's scientific and engineering works, students will learn through experience, experimentation, observation and reflection.
The National Gallery - Sandro Botticelli
At the height of his fame, the Florentine painter and draughtsman Sandro Botticelli was one of the most esteemed artists in Italy.
Italian scholar, poet, and humanist, a major force in the development of the Renaissance, famous for his poems addressed to Laura, an idealized beloved.
Pieter Brueghel the Elder
Meet a 16th century Flemish painter of the Northern Renaissance.
Pope Julius II
Spend time with Pope Julius II. During his papacy, he employed Michelangelo to embellish the Sistine Chapel, had Bramante rebuild the Vatican palace, and hired Raphael to paint his official portrait.
Raphael was an Italian Renaissance painter who is considered one of the greatest and most popular artists of all time.
Shakespeare Online
In-depth and accurate Shakespeare information, including free play analysis, Shakespeare's biography, essays, answers to common Shakespeare questions, and a Shakespearean glossary.
Sir Thomas More
Sir Thomas More was an English humanist and clergyman of the late 1400s and early 1500s. He was beheaded by Henry VIII because he refused to acknowledge the English king as the head of the English church.
Meet Tintoretto, a Venetian Renaissance painter of the 16th century.
Some of Titian's works were the Assumption for the Church of S. Maria Gloriosa dei Frari, three paintings for Alfonso d'Este in Ferrara, an altarpiece in Ancona, a polyptych in Brescia centered on a Resurrection of Christ, and the altarpiece for the Pesaro family side altar in the Church of S. Maria Gloriosa dei Frari.
Vasco da Gama
Vasco da Gama was the Portuguese navigator who opened the first European sea route to India between 1497 and 1499. Expanded trade routes were helped spread Eastern and Middle Eastern influences and philosophies to western Europe.
Web Gallery of Art - Giotto
Meet Giotto di Bondone. He was a Florentine painter of the early Italian Renaissance.
Web Gallery of Art - Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo da Vinci was a Florentine artist, one of the great masters of the High Renaissance, who was also celebrated as a painter, sculptor, architect, engineer, and scientist.
Web Gallery of Art - Raphael
Raphael (his full name Raffaello Sanzi or Santi), Italian painter and architect of the Italian High Renaissance. Raphael is best known for his Madonnas and for his large figure compositions in the Vatican in Rome.
Web Gallery of Art - Titian
The greatest painter of the Venetian School. He was probably a pupil of Giovanni Bellini, and in his early work he came under the spell of Giorgione, with whom he had a close relationship.
WebMuseum - Albrecht Durer
German painter, printmaker, draughtsman and art theorist, generally regarded as the greatest German Renaissance artist.
WebMuseum - Giotto
Giotto di Bondone (c. 1267 - 1337). Florentine painter and architect. Outstanding as a painter, sculptor, and architect, Giotto was recognized as the first genius of art in the Italian Renaissance.
WebMuseum - Hieronymus Bosch
At the time of his death, Bosch was internationally celebrated as an eccentric painter of religious visions who dealt in particular with the torments of hell.
WebMuseum - Leonardo da Vinci
Visit with Leonardo da Vinci. He is the quintessential symbol of the Italian Renaissance. He was a sculptor, painter, engineer, scientist, inventor, writer, and musician.
WebMuseum - Pieter Brueghel the Elder
Pieter Bruegel the Elder, generally considered the greatest Flemish painter of the 16th century, is by far the most important member of the family.
WebMuseum - Raphael
Meet Santi Raphael, one of the most celebrated painters of the High Renaissance.
WebMuseum - Sandro Botticelli
Original name Alessandro Di Mariano Filipepi, Florentine early Renaissance painter whose Birth of Venus and Primavera are often said to epitomize for modern viewers the spirit of the Renaissance.
Wikipedia - Martin Luther
Martin Luther was a German priest and professor of theology who initiated the Protestant Reformation.
Wikipedia - Raphael
Raphael was enormously productive, running an unusually large workshop, and despite his death at thirty-seven, a large body of his work remains.
Wikipedia - Sir Thomas More
Sir Thomas More, also known as Saint Thomas More, was an English lawyer, social philosopher, author, statesman and noted Renaissance humanist.
Wikipedia - Titian
Get to know Titian who was famous for his innovative use of color in his Italian 16 th century paintings.
William Shakespeare
Spend time with William Shakespeare, the 16 th century British writer, poet, and playwright.

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Things To Do

16th Century Renaissance Art
Browse through dozens of web links for Italian and Northern Renaissance art information.
The Internet Renaissance Band
Listen to a collection of music from the Renaissance period. Renaissance
Renaissance if French for "rebirth". Discover the forces that drove this rebirth in Europe.
Read the works of Renaissance writers from 1485 to 1603.
Medici: Godfathers of the Renaissance
Learn about the Medici family, prominent figures of the Italian Renaissance in Florence and patrons of the arts.
Medieval and Renaissance Food Homepage
Take a taste of resources about Renaissance food.
Renaissance Art on the Web
Access an extensive list of links to Renaissance resources.
Renaissance Dance
Tap your toe to Renaissance dance.
Renaissance: The Elizabethan World
Learn about food, occupations, games, pastimes, religion, fashion, manners, attitudes, and education in the time of Queen Elizabeth I and Shakespeare.
Shakespeare Insulter
If insulting people with Renaissance terminology is appealing to you, try the Shakespeare Insulter, "Thou reeky milk-livered strumpet!"
The Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc
Learn about the Renaissance by attending a Renaissance Fair.
WebMuseum: Italian Renaissance
Find access to information about artists and architects of the early and high Renaissance eras in Italy.
Who's Who in Medieval History and the Renaissance
Search for notable individuals from the Renaissance.

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Teacher Resources