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The Renaissance (A.D. 1350–1600) was a period of revival of classical Greek and Roman art, literature, and philosophy in Europe. The great artists of the Renaissance include Italian painters and sculptors Sandro Botticelli (1445–1510), whose works include The Birth of Venus, and Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519), whose Mona Lisa and The Last Supper became two of the most studied paintings in history. Leonardo was also a talented scientist, designer, and musician whose versatility and talent in a variety of fields gave rise to the term "Renaissance man." Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475–1564) was an especially talented sculptor, painter, and architect. His sculpture David became a symbol of the Renaissance, and his paintings on the vaulted ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican (the center of the Roman Catholic Church) demonstrate his genius. The painter Raphael (1483–1520) is famous for his elegant images of the Virgin Mary (mother of Jesus of Nazareth, the founder of Christianity) as well as his dramatic frescoes (wall paintings), such as The School of Athens, which is considered a Renaissance masterpiece. The great writers of the Renaissance include the Italian poet Petrarch (1304–1374), who was an early supporter of the concept that a "rebirth" was taking place in the arts. In Florence, statesman and political philosopher Nicollo Machiavelli (1469–1527) wrote The Prince, a handbook for rulers.
Further Information: Corrick, James A. The Renaissance. San Diego: Lucent, 1997; Halliwell, Sarah, ed. The Renaissance: Artists and Writers. Austin, Tex.: Raintree Steck-Vaughn, 1998; Halsall, Paul, ed. Internet Medieval Sourcebook. [Online] Available http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/sbook. html, October 20, 2000; Marshall, Norman F., and Aldo Ripamonti. Leonardo da Vinci. Parsippany, N.J.: Silver Burdett, 1990; McLanathan, Richard. Leonardo da Vinci. New York: Harry Abrams, 1990; Netzley, Patricia D. Life during the Renaissance. San Diego: Lucent, 1998; Turk, Ruth. Minneapolis, Minn.: Lerner, 1997; Walker, Paul R.The Italian Renaissance. New York: Facts On File, 1995.
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