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Italian Renaissance

The Italian Renaissance represents the culmination of artistic achievement brought about by a revival of the arts and sciences of ancient Roman and Greek cultures. This profoundly influential source for learning changed the way people thought about the arts, religion, politics, nature, and especially themselves. The development of a wealthy middle class through expanding trade and banking led to private commissions of art for homes in addition to art commissioned by the church. A renewed study in the humanities led to important investigations and discoveries in diverse realms such as geography, physics, anatomy, biology, mechanical invention, optics, and mathematics. Such advancements inspired artists to paint with an increasingly realistic view of both nature and mankind. Furthermore, the humanistic belief of man as the measure of all things influenced society and developed a radically new disposition in the cultural and social climate of 15th century Italy. Artists began to paint the human figure in numerous inventive and expressive forms.