The Renaissance was not a political or religious movement. It was a state of mind
The above statement comes from the Story of Mankind written by Hendrik van Loon. The following arguments support this statement.
- Renaissance was not a political or religious movement for, the man continued to be obedient to the church and their kings or emperors or lords.
- However at the same time, his outlook changed. This change in outlook started in the aftermath of The Crusades and culminated in the prosperity and wealth of the new middle class. It was manifested in the way they lived, the way they thought, the way the spoke and the way they expressed themselves in art and literature.
- They were now not interested in concentrating their efforts for a blessed existence awaiting in the heaven but desperately wanted to establish their paradise on this planet and in this life. And they were successful to a great extent in doing so.
- In contrast with the medieval scholastic mode, the Renaissance was characterised by Humanism, which was not a philosophy but a method of learning of five humanities: poetry, grammar, history, moral philosophy and rhetoric.
- The Renaissance represents a cultural rebirth from the 14th through the middle of the 17th centuries. It is not characterised or known by wars but by the movements in the humanities catalysed by the rediscovery of ancient texts and the invention of printing, which democratized learning and allowed a faster propagation of ideas.
Renaissance art was not only religious but also secular to a great extent. The notable example of the secularization of the Renaissance art is the Venetian School. The Venetian painting, from the beginning was free from mysticism, piety and spiritual aspirations- expressions of the soul of the Catholic Church. The paintings reflected the pleasure, the voluptuous beauty and the strongly secular spirit of life in Venice. Artistic expression in Venice was worldly and materialistic. There were paintings of religious subjects, but the figures of the men and women were young and handsome, glowing with delight in living.