Diffusion of the Renaissance

Introduction

The Renaissance emerged ca. 1400 in the stable and prosperous city of Florence. (Though one might have expected the Renaissance to begin in Rome, this city was relatively unstable and impoverished at the time.) During the fifteenth century the movement spread across Italy, with Venice emerging as the leading Renaissance centre of northern Italy. During the sixteenth century, the Renaissance spread across the remainder of Europe.

The Renaissance flourished primarily in Western Europe. The impact of the Renaissance in Eastern Europe was significant, yet limited.1

Phases

Florence remained the heart of the Renaissance for about a century (the Early Renaissance, ca. 1400-1500). Coaxed by the patronage of the papacy, the core of Renaissance activity then moved to Rome for about a quarter century (the High Renaissance, ca. 1500-25). The Late Renaissance (ca. 1525-1600) was not led by any particular city, though both Rome and Florence remained at the cultural fore.

1 - "Western Architecture: The Renaissance", Encyclopedia Britannica. Accessed June 2009.