Humanism Renaissance

what is renaissance humanism?

The term “Humanism” originated in the 19th century.  Two important scholars, Georg Voigt and Jacob Burckhardt, both influenced the reception of the term and historically researched it as a “movement” during the Renaissance art era.

father of humanism

Francesco Petrarch was known as the “Father of Humanism” because of his contribution to this new way of perceiving man in relation to God.

other forefathers

There were other scholars who contributed to the Renaissance humanist ideals: writers Dante Alighieri and Giovanni Boccaccio.

platonic revival

The Accademia Platonica (“Platonic Academy”) is believed to have been started and sponsored by Cosimo de’ Medici in the mid-1400s.

humanism art

Artists during the Renaissance drew from fundamental humanistic principles (beauty, proportions, order, and rationality), which shaped and informed their art. 

vitruvian triad

The Roman architect, writer, and engineer, Marcus Vitruvius Pollio (also known as Vitruvius) was active during the 1st Century BC and was widely studied by Renaissance scholars and artists.

linear perspective

Linear perspective, or One-Point Perspective, was another new discovery made during the Early Renaissance by Filippo Brunelleschi.

the renaissance man

"The Renaissance Man” is an important concept that is a big part of what defines Renaissance Humanism. Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and many others were also polymaths.

famous humanism artwork

EARLY RENAISSANCE Sandro Botticelli (1445 - 1510) La Primavera (c. 1480)

HIGH RENAISSANCE Leonardo da Vinci (1452 - 1519) Mona Lisa (1503 - 1506)

NORTHERN RENAISSANCE Albrecht Dürer (1471 - 1528) Self Portrait (1500)


The Renaissance Humanism movement certainly set the stage for new ways of seeing the individual, the world, and the universe. It was a cultural blossoming of ideas in almost every discipline available, from literature, music, visual arts, and architecture to science, technology, engineering, astronomy, and so much more.