Talk:Italian Renaissance

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Main Page trophy This article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page as Today's featured article on September 11, 2005.
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June 23, 2005 Peer review Reviewed
July 24, 2005 Featured article candidate Promoted
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Wrongly promoted to featured article status[edit]

This article was wrongly promoted to featured status. I participated in the review process and raised three objections. One was addressed (footnotes), I withdrew another (I wanted people with a bit of expertise to look it over) and the third (issues with the style and grammar) I left in place. It was the only remaining objection, and I attempted to address it myself, going through half the article, improving the style. The latter half still contains choppy sentences, missing commas and other problems. If my objection is deemed unactionable (which I do not believe will happen) then it is one thing, but to simply promote an article to featured status that has a standing objection (and one about something as important as style) is not right. Most likely, this was an accident, but we need to address all actionable objections before featuring articles. I'll continue working to address my own objection, but the stylistic problems remain in the latter half. --Zantastik talk 08:01, 28 July 2005 (UTC)

Improvement Drive[edit]

The article Culture of Italy has been listed to be improved on Wikipedia:This week's improvement drive. You can add your vote there if you would like to support the article.--Fenice 14:21, 9 August 2005 (UTC)

Zantastik is right: this is not Wikipedia at its very best. It's a well-worn adage that every American High School graduate considers himself an expert on the Italian Renaissance. It may prove difficult to free this article of some of its twaddle and poppycock, with editors suppressing text such as:

It saw man as inherently good by nature which is in contrast to the Christian view of man as the original sinner who must be redeemed.

with remarks like "mainstream Christianity (cf. Gnosticism), has always preached that humans are essentially good. Redemption does not necessary conflict w/ this"

To suggest that such an editor read Pico della Mirandola or this or that would be pretentious and self-defeating. But can we maintain a minimum of decorum and competence in editing here? --Wetman 08:59, 11 September 2005 (UTC)

About the revert[edit]

I believe that a change a substantial as the recent one, moving the dates for the Italian Renaissance from the "14th to 16th centuries" to "1400-1600", and eliminating all discussion of the music of the trecento, the explosion of secular music which defined the musical Renaissance, even though it retained some medieval stylistic traits, --hidden under an edit summary of "copyediting and spacing" -- is far too large to be done without a bit of discussion here. Do we have some agreement that we can discuss the 14th century in this article? The version prior to my revert included the curious line "Nonetheless, 15th-century Italian Renaissance music and its composers were rather obscure, so much of its early history remains a mystery" --which is simply not true. It's only a mystery if you eliminate all discussion of the music of the trecento. Antandrus (talk) 05:27, 29 November 2005 (UTC)

Perhaps I should delete some sentences and restore other ones. The acceptable beginning and end dates for the Renaissance, as well as Renaissance music, are 1400 to 1600. And Francesco Landini is generally regarded as a Medieval composer. Marcus2 15:09, 29 November 2005 (UTC)
What do you mean by "acceptable?" Both Encarta and the Columbia Encyclopedia have it beginning in the 14th century, as does pretty much every scholarly book I have read. Please also read the "End of the Italian Renaissance" section. It clearly states that the most common end dates are 1494 and 1527. Music is exceptional in that it is generally taken to still be Renaissance by 1600. - SimonP 15:21, 29 November 2005 (UTC)
The truth is that in the 14th century, there were some Renaissance characteristics, but many aspects of Italian life and society were largely Medieval. It did not actually come into full swing until about 1400. Marcus2 15:33, 29 November 2005 (UTC)
Italian society was still largely medieval in 1700, the arts however had quite clearly changed in the fourteenth century. Please present some citations to support for your proposed dates. Here, for instance, is a quote from De Lamar Jensen's Renaissance Europe. "It is impossible to impose a rigid time frame on this period. Nevertheless by the latter half of the fourteenth century, as Europe was gradually recovering from the heaviest ravages of the Black Death, many of these characteristics were coming into play." ... "By the time of Petrarch's and Boccaccio's deaths (in 1374 and 1375 respectively), as their disciples were carrying the ideals of humanism into all parts of Italy, the spirit of the Renaissance was beginning to distinguish itself on a large enough scale to distinguish itself as a major movement". ... "Its manifestations were most pronounced in Italy from the late fourteenth to early sixteenth centuries (roughly 1375 to 1525)." (pg. 2) - SimonP 15:40, 29 November 2005 (UTC)
You're absolutely right. There is no rigid time frame. However, Renaissance art and music was largely Medieval throughout virtually all of the 1300s, I believe. I have looked through a couple books for Italian art and all I find is art from the 15th and 16th centuries. In addition, the Encarta Encyclopedia classifies Italian artists born in the late 1300s and early 1400s as "Early Renaissance". Also, after the Renaissance period ended, the Baroque period began, and I don't believe it began in the early 1500s. Marcus2 19:29, 29 November 2005 (UTC)
Calling the trecento "medieval", and placing figures such as Giotto and Petrarch outside of the Renaissance, is to put it politely, nonsense. And speaking of music, it is utterly impossible to understand what happened in the 15th century without first discussing the 14th. No, the Renaissance in Italy encompassed the 14th century. There are no clear divisions between historical epochs; it's not like everyone woke up on January 1, 1401 and said, "hey, it's the Renaissance now, let's go in the streets and dance!" There are transitional periods between all eras, and scholars in different fields never precisely agree on dates. I'm not going to revert you for now: I'm giving you the opportunity to do it yourself. Not including the 14th century in this article is a disastrous factual error. Antandrus (talk) 20:48, 29 November 2005 (UTC)
Perhaps you didn't fully understand my edits, particularly my most recent one. I never put Giotto and Petrarch outside the Renaissance. What I did say was that the Renaissance traces its origins to the earlier chunk of the 14th century. I am including the 14th century in some way. Maybe it was a tad earlier than 1400 when the Renaissance was in full swing. Marcus2 21:11, 29 November 2005 (UTC)

History Portal Selected Article[edit]

Hello, I'm a random guy who is volunteering to help with the terribly outdated History Portal.

The only thing I've done so far is..... CONGRATULATIONS! Italian Renaissance is now the History Portal selected article! Way to go; this is a very good article.

Please hop on over to the History Portal and help me bring all of it up to date. It's been so neglected it's tragic.


NickDupree 13:39, 30 December 2005 (UTC)

Minor Enlightenment Question[edit]

I am curious about that statement that Copernicus, Francis Bacon, and Descartes are often referred to as early Enlightenment figures. Descartes I can accept. Bacon seems borderline; I do not remember seeing this sort of claim made for him, but it sort of makes sense. Copernicus? He was older than Luther! I have read enough about Copernicus that I would expect to remember seeing this if it were a common claim. Maybe I overlooked it, though. Who does say it? Maestlin 18:26, 24 February 2006 (UTC)

It seems dubious to me as well. I removed that statement; if someone has a citation, they can add it back.--ragesoss 04:24, 26 February 2006 (UTC)

Refining this article[edit]

Perhaps this article is still not as good as we seem to think it is. I have made a number of revisions, introducing names, dates, examples to take the place of some of the vague generalities. I have also added to the scanty Main article... headings: comparison with the smaller, more focused "branch" articles often gives clues to improving sections of this "trunk" article. There is much residual confusion between aspects of the High Middle Ages and the Italian Renaissance. This article should certainly mention all the major Renaissance figures of Italy, with brief disambiguations to set them in context: Julius II wasn't mentioned. No one contributing to this article seems to have read anything from the C15 save Il principe. Coverage of painting is primitive. The minor arts, the arts of life, are not touched: think of majolica or cassone. The revival of the villa and of gardens, the ideal city (Filarete, Sforzinda), court entertainments like the masque, the art of the medal, Botticelli, Fra Angelico—no mentions. Please vet my changes individually, and assess their individual motivation, for none was arbitrary or thoughtless. Thank you. --Wetman 19:34, 11 June 2006 (UTC)

Articles in the Wikipedia Index beginning "Renaissance..." that concern the Italian Renaissance but which don't yet appear here as Main article:... section headings: Renaissance classicism, Renaissance dance, Renaissance literature, Renaissance philosophy. Don't each of these "branch" articles deserve a subsection heading and a condensed treatment? --Wetman 19:52, 11 June 2006 (UTC)
Good edits. Stylistically speaking, I'm not sure I agree with the use of "floating Main article" templates. Typically they are found directly underneath a section heading, to signify that that section is a summary of a main article elsewhere. When they float in the middle of a section, it looks bad and is confusing, choppy. Better to incorporate the link into the text, or create a new section if it really is that relevant that it needs a main article tag to make it stand out. Also this article made Featured about a year ago, not sure it would pass now. Few pictures, few footnotes except from Peter Burke, no historiography. -- Stbalbach 20:21, 11 June 2006 (UTC)

I was curious to know if anyone would be willing to discuss the view of the renaissance by scholars today, as many scholars now see the renaissance as a time period which had very little affect on anyone except the elite upper class. Thanks

I came here to find out about the characteristics of Italian Renaissance architecture and found nothing useful. Just generalities. I would like to know the specific characteristics of the architecture, using common architectural terms. Tuxedo junction (talk) 23:00, 25 March 2010 (UTC)
Try Renaissance architecture and see if that's better. Cheers, Antandrus (talk) 00:59, 26 March 2010 (UTC)

Religion of Italian Renaissance Is Needed[edit]

Are you kidding me? OK we really need some information of the religion of the Italian Renaissance on this page along with the rest. I'm sure there's info somewhere else but I believe it's needed on here ASAP. What does everyone else think? 333cool 18:09, 13 April 2007 (UTC)


4 times the same POV stuff inserted into 4 different topics on a single talkpage - this is not an attempt to discuss, but pure vandalism. --noclador (talk) 17:52, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

Fourteenth-century collapse[edit]

This section needs to note how the collapse of the international trade hurt the Italian trading city states. See Janet L. Abu-Lughod, Before European Hegemony: The World System A.D. 1250-1350 "The Merchant Mariners of Genoa and Venice" (Oxford University Press US) 1991, p.102- 134. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 19:41, 8 September 2009 (UTC)

Historical population of Palermo[edit]

The source:

contains a table giving the absolute and relative sizes of the largest thirty cities in Europe by population (according to one set of estimates) from 1050–1800 on p. 678. The entries there for Palermo are as follows: c.1050: Palermo is ranked second at 350,000 (but the article notes that this is disputed and other estimates are much smaller); c.1330: first at 150,000; c.1500: eleventh at 51,000; c.1650 and beyond: not in the top thirty, but it had a population of more than 100,000 in 1800 (p. 677). There is no comment in the article on how long Palermo may have been the largest such city. It does say that "The largest of [Palermo, and the three Muslim Spanish cities of Granada, Seville, and Cordova] may have been larger then than any other European city was to be until the seventeenth century." (p. 677).

I hope this helps. All best wishes. –Syncategoremata (talk) 01:33, 5 April 2010 (UTC)

Thanks, however p. 676 states:

Russell thus rejects high estimates in the several hundreds of thousands for the circa A.D. 1000 population of Mediterranean cities like Cordova, Palermo, and Constantinople because according to his calculations the built-up areas of these cities were too small to support such populations.

This begs the question why one number is picked from the article while the other is ignored. Or why other, conflicting calculations are ignored such as these numbers (73), while this source gives another number (60) Even more, I generally fail to see what significance 11th century population numbers for Palermo have for a section which is concerned with 14-15th century northern Italy. With a view to that, I think it is best to let the original editor explain his reasons here, whom I will contact. Gun Powder Ma (talk) 14:25, 5 April 2010 (UTC)
 Understood and certainly the very high early figure is open to debate, as the article points out. And I too was somewhat confused what this material was doing in that particular section. I assume it has been copy/pasted from the several other articles where the same claim is made.
 I'm not clear though that the Medieval European coinage book contradicts the claims in the article, as being second in size to Baghdad at that period is entirely consistent with being by far the largest European city.
 But this is an area in which I'm an utter amateur, so I'll bow out of this. Many thanks for your work here.
 All the best. –Syncategoremata (talk) 14:49, 5 April 2010 (UTC)
No, you are right, the two books don't necessarily contradict the claim, but they have very different numbers and offer other comparisons (such as Palermo being bigger than Cairo, too), so I would like to know why some particular facets are highlighted, while others are ignored. Gun Powder Ma (talk) 14:54, 5 April 2010 (UTC)
I'm not exactly sure what kind of explanation you're looking for? I simply added the figures to support the statement that Palermo was the largest city in Italy at the time. That's pretty much all there is to it. Maybe the figures would have been more appropriate as footnotes? Regards, Jagged 85 (talk) 04:50, 6 April 2010 (UTC)
You added the numbers but did not add the qualification on p. 676 (see above) that these numbers are very much in doubt, so how much are they worth actually? There are also a lot of other numbers ciculation, differing by the order of magnitude of 1-200,000, so which do we pick? But the real question is do you think these numbers comply in this article to WP:Scope? After all, they don't shed new light on the gist of the section, namely that the balance had shifted to northern Italy by the 14th century, so what can the reader learn from them, apart from being an unnecessary digression? Gun Powder Ma (talk) 09:04, 6 April 2010 (UTC)
For once I agree with Ma. If the largest city was not Palermo, which I doubt, it was Naples, which it certainly was later. But what does this prove? Florence, Siena, Venice and Ferrara etc were certainly far smaller, but rich, and much more important for the Renaissance. This whole passage is poor:"The Papacy was affronted by France when the Avignon Papacy created in southern France (in Avignon) under pressure from King Philip the Fair of France. In the south, Naples, Sicily and Sardinia had for some time been under foreign domination, by the Arabs and then the Normans." - What does "affronted" mean? Norman rule in Sicily and Naples ended in 1198, which is by no means "the end of the Middle Ages". After that they had the German Hohenstaufen, French Angevins, and the Aragonese. It would be better to fix a date, as "the end of the Middle Ages" could mean anything - it was certainly a lot later in the South of Italy than the North. "the Papal States were a loosely administered State, and vulnerable to external interference such as that of France and later Spain." sounds as if it is talking about a much later period altogether. Johnbod (talk) 10:58, 6 April 2010 (UTC)
That the two of us agree is indeed a rare occurrence and now imagine that stuff of this kind has been dropped like bombs for years now on a really enormous amount of articles by brute copy and pasting techniques... Gun Powder Ma (talk) 15:25, 6 April 2010 (UTC)
Sardinia and Naples had never been under arab domination.--Diegriva (talk) 06:39, 10 June 2010 (UTC)

13th Century Commercial Infrastructure[edit]

I think this section is very misleading:

"During this period, the modern commercial infrastructure developed, with double-entry book-keeping, joint stock companies, an international banking system, a systematized foreign exchange market, insurance, and government debt.[2] Florence became the centre of this financial industry and the gold florin became the main currency of international trade."

In particular, my impression is that much of these commercial developments are much later (C16 at least) and more Northern (i.e. England & Holland). Florentine banks were hugely important in this period (as the rise of the Medicis later proves), but more because of the scale of resources they could command rather than on the basis of technical innovation. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Mbattye (talkcontribs) 20:29, 22 July 2011 (UTC)

Florentine architecture in Rimini?[edit]

"In Florence, the Renaissance style was introduced with a revolutionary but incomplete monument in Rimini by Leone Battista Alberti."

The author seems to be saying that Rimini is in Florence. It's over 100 km to the east. Am I reading this right?--Torontonian1 (talk) 14:17, 4 July 2012 (UTC)

How can an article on the Italian Renaissance neglect to mention Benvenuto Cellini?[edit]

I am not surprised to read the other issues with this article once I opened the 'Talk' page. Yikes. I wish I were retired and could work on this article, it definitely needs attention. Marion Simons (talk) 22:23, 17 June 2013 (UTC)Marion Simons