Explore BrainMass

Humanism in the Renaissance and the Baroque

Discuss renaissance humanism, its major influences (such people, social and/or political influences) and analyze the last supper to reveal how it adheres to the aesthetic values of renaissance humanism. The essay should use the work of art as an example of the influence of philosophy in the humanities.

© BrainMass Inc. brainmass.com June 17, 2018, 8:27 pm ad1c9bdddf

Solution Preview


The guiding influence on Renaissance philosophy is Humanism; Humanists try to push the boundaries & discover the extraordinary ability of the human mind by learning poetry, grammar, ethics & rhetoric. They are focused on the classics & reviving the greatness of the Greek & Roman golden age. Reasoning & Empiricism were employed in their study of texts from Antiquity. As such Plato, Aristotle & Socrates came to known of renaissance influences in intellectual thought. They influenced the likes of Niccolo Machiavelli who in his work, "The Prince" introduces Aristotlean concept of a Philosopher-leader. While his work discoursed power, mainly the retainment of it & how through it society devolves or evolves, he also brings to light issues of leadership not as a right (for those who inherit the throne) but as a responsibility to the willing. English Philosopher & lawyer Sir Thomas Moore wrote his novel 'Utopia', that imaginary, idealistic world that contrasts the corruptive, contentious social life in then Europe. Here he combined the 'ideal states' of Plato & Aristotle & adopted the idea of religious toleration. Sir Thomas More's work is still popular today. Theologians like Erasmus & Martin Luther started a movement & schism that questioned the corruptive practices of the Holy Catholic Church giving rise to the great religious schism. For more on renaissance philosophy, the following links can be visited:


Baroque philosophy expressed new values in terms of uniting Catholic/Christian ideas into the search for knowledge. Philosophy at this point continued to be influenced by the works of Machiavelli. A new legalistic manner of viewing society order however also emerged, especially in England lead by Statesman & Philosopher Sir Francis Bacon. This primarily is due to the fact that England was finding its position as a naval power poised to create an Empire that would encompass much of the known world. For more on details of Baroque Philosophy, the following links are great sources:


Explaining The Renaissance & the Baroque

"He is a Renaissance man," is a phrase that refers to one who is well rounded and expert in various fields of science & the humanities - one who strives for knowledge & enlightenment by not just reviving the Classics; a renaissance man they say is one who is determined to break the barrier, push for development a lot like the polymaths of the 'renaissance' as we refer to that flourishing & feverish period in Europe's History in the 14th to the 17th Centuries - Leonardo da Vinci, ...

Solution Summary

Humanism in the Renaissance is explained and discussed including from the most notable patrons and characters behind the movement to the varied forms of humanist expression themselves. The Baroque period is also discussed as an after-effect of Renaissance Humanism. The works and philosophies of Da Vinci, Raphael, Niccolo Machiavelli, St. Thomas Aquinas, Donatello and Sir Thomas Moore is discussed with historical background provided. The relevance of the movement to the arts and sciences is discussed along with their impact to Western Civilization. References are Provided. A word version is attached for easy printing.