The Renaissance is a cultural movement from the 14th century to the 17th century that began in Italy. The French adopted the Italian Renaissance in 1495 by King Charles VIII after his invasion in Italy. It was a transformation of art, science, religion and humanism. Above all, it disseminated the importance of learning.
Firstly, it is vital to note the sensational transformation of art during the Renaissance. Famous artists such as Donatello, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and Raphael transformed art techniques to a concentration of space, realism, shadow, light and human anatomy. During the Renaissance, art became more explicit in many cases, such as David by Michelangelo or the Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci. Though, art did became a medium for trade and transformed from a hobby and passion to a job. I am not suggesting that artists were not passionate about their art; however, they largely continued to produce paintings and sculptures because it was their medium of exchange for money.
Learning was primarily advocated because of the new thought and rediscovery of writers such as Dante, Cicero, Plutarch and Plato to name a few. Their teachings of philosophy and life itself linked the Romanesque and Modern worlds. Another writer, François Rabelais, author of the Lettre de Pantagruel, influences literary text during the French Renaissance through his style of formal prose. As in his Lettre de Pantagruel taken from Gargantua and Pantagruel, Gargantua expresses to his son the importance of education and learning “Les langues instaurées.” Though, many Renaissance scholars focused on Greek and Latin texts. Philosophy became essential and the scholars focused mainly on reasoning and revived interest of Greek and Roman thought.
In Michel Eyquem de Montaigne literary and philosophical essay, Of the Institution and Education of Children, he also explains the importance of education and erudition.
“Truth and reason are common to all, and are no more proper unto him that spake them heretofore, then unto him that shall speake them hereafter….Si quid Socrates et Aristippus contra morem et consuetudinem fecerunt, idem sibi ne arbitretur licere: Magis enim illi et divinis bonis hanc licentiam assequebantur: 21 “If Socrates and Aristippus have done ought against custome or good manner, let not a man thinke he may doe the same: for they obtained this licence by their great and excellent good parts:” He shall be taught not to enter rashly into discourse or contesting, but when he shall encounter with a Champion worthie his strength; And then would I not have him imploy all the tricks that may fit his turne, but only such as may stand him in most stead.” (http://www.bartleby.com/32/104.html)
The Renaissance revolutionized literary texts and art. It emerged the importance of education and studying of philosophy and languages. The Renaissance art and techniques provided a initial point for the discovery of Realism in art during the 19th century.