Renaissance & Renewal
Scholars of the Italian Renaissance readily studied and treasured Latin and Greek texts. The late fifteenth century brought enlightenment to the world in many ways.
The Vatican Library was founded in 1451. It began as a result of the efforts of the bibliophile pope Nicholas V, whose personal collection of manuscripts were at the heart of the library’s foundation, combined with earlier collections that dated even further back in time. Thanks to the efforts of Nicholas and those who followed, the Vatican Library has one of the single largest collections of manuscripts and artifacts from throughout Christian and world history.
Leonardo da Vinci
Born in 1452, this prototypical “Renaissance Man” was known for his paintings and his plans for inventions, ranging from a tank to an aircraft. He is considered the father of paleontology, architecture, and ichnology. He was equally fascinated by engineering, literature, anatomy, and astronomy. His life captured the spirit of the age of the Renaissance, or a “rebirth” in every branch of learning and science.
Frederick the Wise
Born in 1463, Frederick the Wise was Elector of Saxony and an early reformer of the day. He founded the University of Wittenberg, where Martin Luther and Philip Melanchthon taught, and later protected Luther in Wartburg Castle.
Michelangelo was born in 1475 in Caprese, Tuscany. Many of his works reflected religion of the day—from his famed Pieta to the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in St. Peter’s Basilica.
Lorenzo de Medici
Born in 1449, Medici was the leading patron of the Italian Renaissance, which influenced culture throughout Europe during the Reformation Era. He was the sponsor of such notable artists as Michaelangelo. During his life, he kept warring Italian states peaceful, a situation that collapsed after his death in 1492.