Simply stated, the Renaissance was a series of events that triggered the end of the Dark Ages, aka, the Middle Ages. Loosely speaking, think of the Dark Ages as people who’s thoughts and deeds were limited to the rules of the church and/or their local rulers. They couldn’t speak their minds openly, or anything else.
A Florentine family of well-educated wealthy bankers known as the Medici family, were huge fans of the concept of Free Thinking (a la Dante Alighieri). Also, they were enamored with the Greeks and the Roman Empire from 1,000 years earlier. The Greeks and Romans had tons of art, architecture, literature, mathematics, science, etc. After the fall of the Romans, during the nearly 1,000-year-long Dark Ages, much of this had been squelched.
Along Comes the Money
Being Art aficionados, the Medici paid a bunch of artists to learn to paint and sculpt like the ancient Greeks and Romans did. That began a rush of artists and architects, and writers that all wanted to create from their own minds, rather than only what the church approved.
This formed a groundswell of popularity around Europe, and the art became the ‘voice’ of expression that people hadn’t known for 1,000 years.
This, in a nutshell, took about 200-ish years to unfold. A guy named Giorgio Vasari coined the term “Renaissance,” which is French for “Rebirth.”
P.S. Many of those artists, architects, and writers became so famous that their names and works have remained famous for over 500 years. They were Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Dante, Raphael, Donatello, Brunelleschi, Galileo, Botticelli, and oh, so many more wonderful people.
P.P.S. I know this is brief and leaves out tons of info, but please consider the forum. If you would like to learn more about the Renaissance, please read my book “FLORENCE Gems & Giants” available on amazon.com/author/pcivalleri