Renaissance is a period between 14th and 17th century that is considered as the bridge from middle ages to modern history. In the late medieval period, the Renaissance began as a cultural in Italy and later quickly spread to the rest of Europe. Examples of early Renaissance include recycled knowledge on how to make concrete and the development of perspective in oil painting. The Renaissance changes were not uniformly felt across Europe although the invention of the movable metal type employed ideas generated later in the 15th century.
Although Renaissance was experienced throughout Europe, the significant changes we associate with the Renaissance first took place in the Italian city of Florence and its effects continued to be in the city more than anywhere else. The city’s economy and its painters, writers, philosophers and architects all made Florence a reference of Renaissance culture.
Overview of Florence Renaissance
During the 15th century, Florence was among the most interesting and exciting cities to be. In early 14th century, the city was self-governed and independent city with a population of sixty thousand people. The basis of Florence’s commercial success is attributed to twelve artist guilds that served to regulate the trades. Florence’s most influential people politically and in society consisted of a group of guilds who occupied positions in the government or were wealthy.
The most powerful guilds consisted of guilds that represented textile workers since the most of Florence’s wealth depended on the trade or manufacture of clothes, primary wool. Superior quality wool was purchased untreated and unfinished from Iberia and England. The textile workers in Florence carded, cleaned, dyed, spun and wove the wool into excellent quality clothes. The later sold the finished material in northern European cities, Italy and Eastern countries. Other textile experts purchased inferior material from northern cities to refinish it to develop superior products.
Sea trade wasn't a traditional source of Florence’s income as the city was not a port city. Although banking was not rampant in Florence city, many families beginning in the 13th century were successful bankers. The Florence was highly regarded and was accepted as a medium of exchange across Europe. The guild members who made major decisions concerning the city’s issues included textile workers, bankers, builders and masons, lawyers, solicitors and lawyers.
Florence architecture and art
Like many cities of Renaissance, Florence had been built over many years and was home to numerous public buildings, churches, and houses constructed with Gothic or Romanesque architecture. Thus, when a revival of classical styles was popularised, new edifices in the traditional style were added to buildings or built alongside older styles.