This period is the arrival point of humanism characterized by a wide cultural movement that occurs in Western Europe during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, during the transition between the Middle Ages and the beginning of the Modern Age, since it goes from 1492 discovering America or from the fall of Constantinople in 1453, until 1529 when Soliman occupies Vienna, or if you like until the storming of the Bastille at the end of the 18th century. Its main exponents not only correspond to the field of the arts, but also also with that of the sciences, both natural and human.
Among the political, social and technological facts worthy of mention, we have: manufacture and massive use of gunpowder and paper; the invention of the printing press with movable type and compass; humanism and enlightenment; the discovery of America and her conquests; religious reform and counter-reform; and the new cosmological vision of world in the Universe. In addition to stalling the innovation process, the Black Death was one of the factors that put in check the whole model of society that had found its apogee over the centuries previous. The 15th century witnessed the beginning of the artistic and cultural flowering of the Renaissance. Among the improvements that are achieved, we have: the total disappearance of the Black Death; the rural products as a commercial novelty for the bourgeoisie; the replanting of land you abandon in time of the plague; It was recovered by non-arable land as areas of forests and wetlands; the emergence of new sowing techniques and the invention of farm elements; the increase in agricultural productivity and investment in rural sectors
After the Fall of Constantinople, in the middle of the 15th century the rediscovery of ancient texts, when many Byzantine scholars seek refuge in West, especially in Italy. This influx fueled the growing interest of European scholars for classical texts. In the sixteenth century, in addition to the interest in classical civilization, a disdain for the Middle Ages, which became prejudiced as a period of “barbarism”, “ignorance” and “darkness”. While Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519), architect, sculptor, painter, inventor, engineer, is an example of the mixture of art and science typical of the Renaissance, also humanism Renaissance that breaks with the theocentric vision and with the philosophical-theological conception medieval, brings concepts such as the dignity of the human being, and achieves that humanism represent the break with the importance that had been given to the natural sciences since Aristotle’s rediscovery in the 12th century
Despite artistic flourishing, little is given in the early Renaissance period. development to physics and astronomy, and the attachment to ancient writings further roots the Ptolemaic and Aristotelian views of the universe. In contrast to scholasticism, the so-called Renaissance naturalism came to see the universe as a spiritual creation opaque to rationality, at the same time that philosophy lost much of its rigor when the rules from logic they became secondary to intuition or emotion. On the other hand, the invention of the printing press would have a great effect on European society, as facilitate the dissemination of the written word by democratizing learning and allowing rapid spread of new ideas and knowledge, facilitating revolution scientific research after the Renaissance movement had arrived in northern Europe, with figures such as Nicolás Copernicus, Francis Bacon and René Descartes.
The true invention of La Imprenta, is attributed to the goldsmith, engraver and printer German Johannes Gutemberg (1400-1468), whose merit was to fuse individual letters and adapt a Rhenish grape press for printing sheets of paper in 1440. Peter Schöffer, was the one who conceived the punches to make the dies and cast them in series and Johan Fust, who provided the capital to bring the brilliant company to fruition. At Brussels Museum conserves a woodcut from 1418, which represents the Virgin surrounded of four saints, it is the oldest of the known works. The historical stages of the Renaissance are: the first corresponding to the 15th century, which is called Quattrocento, includes the First Renaissance or Low Renaissance, which takes place in Italy. The second stage, which arises in the 16th century, is called Cinquecento; his artistic domain is referred to the classicism or High Renaissance that is centered in the first quarter of the century. It is the stage of the heyday of Renaissance art where the great figures of the arts emerge: Leonardo, Miguel Ángel, Rafael. Meanwhile in Italy was developing the Renaissance, in the rest of Europe art is maintained Gothic in its late forms.
With Gothic art, which had emerged at the same time when the bourgeoisie and the universities, and that coincided with the resurgence of the cities, there were managed to make other plastic arts, such as painting and sculpture, independent from its subordination to architectural support.