The Italian Renaissance was a period of renewed interest in the arts, sciences, philosophy, and logic. Historians generally hold that the Renaissance began in Florence during the 14th century, or the very tail end of the Late Medieval Period. This cultural change originated in Florence, Italy and by the 15th century Renaissance ideas and interests were spreading across Europe, though not uniformly.
Renaissance thinking was fostered by the unique sociopolitical environment of Florence at the time. Many great scholars and works of literature were fleeing the push of the Ottoman Turks and found refuge in the great cities of Italy. During the 14th century, Italian cities were flourishing trade centers, and Florence specialized in textiles. The influx of wealth meant that people had more leisure time and more of an interest in individual study and supporting the arts. The Medici family were very wealthy bankers and generous patrons of the arts, supporting such artists as Leonardo da Vinci and Sandro Botticcelli.