PinkMonkey Online Study Guide-World History
2.4 Features of the Renaissance
The characteristics of Renaissance were humanism, nationalism, a new approach to life, and a new spirit in art, architecture, literature and learning, the growth of the vernaculars, and scientific investigation.
The Renaissance stood for humanism, the sympathetic and devoted
study of mankind, instead of the theological devotion of the Middle
Age. The Renaissance scholars were known as "humorists"
and their subjects of study, came to be called the "humanities."
Petrarch is regarded as the Father of Humanism. This movement could
be regarded for the turning away from the medieval traditions of
asceticism and theology towards an interest in manís life on this
The rise of the rational spirit and of scientific investigation gave rise to a new approach to life. Whereas the medieval approach was one of absolute conformity and obedience, the new approach was based on reason. It laid emphasis on the importance of critical examination and evaluation of ideas and principles.
Several Renaissance scholars such as Francis Bacon and Leonardo da Vinci, were the products of this great movement. These scholars were inspired by the Greeks and the Romans who had led richer and fuller lives than what was known in Western Europe during the previous one thousand years. These scholars helped Europe to take giant steps in the fields of literature, art and architecture, painting, music and science, during the Renaissance period.