In the Renaissance, humanism heavily influenced thinkers’ views. Humanism focuses on Greek and Roman influence, secularism, and the individual. Pico de Mirandola, an Italian Renaissance philosopher, in his “Oration of the Dignity of Man” states that man can cultivate and grow what he chooses. (Doc. 2) Pico shows that choice is important and can lead to individual achievements, which was vital to the view of the humanist toward man. Also, Francesco Petrarch, known as the Father of Humanism, shows that he possesses a keen intellect and that he likes moral philosophy and the art of poetry. (Doc. 5) This is showing the things that are accepted in the Renaissance period. This letter is how Petrarch is telling everyone about himself and what he likes. Humanism was very influential in the Renaissance times.
A second key view of the Renaissance period is Artistic Expression. Giorgio Vasari, a famous painter, writer, historian, and architect, says in his “Lives of Painters” discusses how Leonardo de Vinci had a rare gift of talent and ability to whatever subject he turned his attention. (Doc. 3) Here, Vasari is expressing that he believes Leonardo is the perfect “Renaissance Man”. Vasari is writing to show that many painters are very good at what they do but it is also good to be well rounded. Since Vasari is writing this and he is a painter, this is a very reliable and unbiased source. Also, Pietro Aetino, an Italian author, playwright, poet and satirist, in his “Letter to Michelangelo” shares with Michelangelo that as it is disgraceful to be unmindful to God, it is dishonorable to not honor him as a brilliant artist. (Doc. 4) Aetino is expressing to Michelangelo how much he admires his works. Aetino is writing this letter to Michelangelo to show his love for his art, and to express his feelings about others opinions. Both of these documents are based on the arts of the Renaissance time period.
Finally, Humanism and Artistic Expression both fall under the category of Individualism. Individualism is the practice if be independent, and it was very vital for the Renaissance time period. Machiavelli, an Italian historian, diplomat, philosopher, humanist, and writer, articulates in “The Prince” that it is better to be feared then loved. (Doc. 1) In his book, he is constantly saying things based on how to make the Prince better and how to make a good ruler. Machiavelli wrote this to guide future prices to success. Secondly, Nicholas Copernicus, a mathematician and an astronomer, expresses in his “Dedication of the Revolutions of the Heavenly Bodies” that he doesn’t care what others will think of his work, it just matters that he approves.(Doc. 6) This is individualism at its finest because it is all about oneself. It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks.
In conclusion, humanism, artistic expression, and individualism were all main points of the Renaissance Era. Obviously, they are all very alike, but also have certain different aspects. Humanism is based on ancient Greek and Roman studies, while Artistic Expression can be based on whatever the artist prefers. Over all, Individualism is all about oneself and what is done towards his or her success. Humanism, Artistic Expression and Individualism, although they may have different characteristics, were all key views in the Renaissance.