Without a doubt, both Catholicism and the culture of the Renaissance inherited numerous aspects in common that originate from the medieval times. In fact, the philosophical foundation was later on transposed onto the political and educational dimensions. With the change of attitudes among the Catholic Church, people who lived at the time of Renaissance also proved to be the ones who were to follow the path launched in the Middle Ages. From the historical perspective, it is crucial to mention that some of the most prominent historians, such as Jacques de Goff, who established the new school in history refer to the Renaissance as to the natural continuation of politics carried out during the Middle Ages. According to him, the final point for the end of the Middle Ages dates as late as the 19th century. However, the overall culture that was launched during the Middle Ages had numerous implications that were later on transposed in the Renaissance.
While comparing the culture of the two époques, it is important to mention that there were different dimensions one could look into. Namely, one can refer to the art and evaluate tha impact of artistic heritage. The religious culture carried different implications, as Renaissance presented a new approach in comprehending the religious culture in a much more open manner. Also, politics largely depended on the religious landscape and, therefore, was tightly linked with the cultural developments at the time. Therefore, each of the dimensions requires a thorough analysis from the perspective from the interdisciplinary point of view.
When it comes to cultural dimension, Scholasticism with its of focus on objectivity looses its initial meaning. Such figures as Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo with their personified images of God and Christian interpretations. What was explicitly visible in the art of the Renaissance is the fact that the majority of painting gain a human face conveyed by the portrays of Virgin Maty and Jesus Christ. Even though some of the aspects of decorating churches and private spaces remained similar to what was common during the Middle Ages (here I refer to the chronology that commonly distinguished Middle Ages and the Renaissance at the end of 15th century), as luxury and image of visibility was prevalent in many famous works that gain a lot of visibility.
Regarding architecture, the majority of influence has been preserved. The size and the visibility of churches have been preserved to a huge extent. What is particularly explicit in that regard is the fact that some of the most famous churches (for instance, St. Marc Cathedral in Venice) had been constructed throughout several century. Similarly to that, in the majority of the big cities in Western Europe, one could evidence that the architectural sights were in the center of one’s visinility. What’s more, the architecture that was constructed in the times of the Renaissance clearly reflected political connotations. Churches serve the best example for clearly comprehending the difference between the Middle Age architecture and the Renaissance. Most probably, one could claim that the Baroque architecture explicitly took over the heritage of what had been produced during that time. Similarly to architecture, literature also took over the heritage from the medieval times. Namely, Petrarca was among those who managed to illustrate that produced a different literary style. No only scenes about Jesus Christ and Virgin were portrayed in the works of the poets and prosaics. Ne themes where an individual and his life were the centers of what was portrayed in the works.
To sum up, both architecture and literature and artwork illustrate numerous differences between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Thus, the thesis conveyed by Jacques Le Goff would be contested.
- Le Goff, Jacques. Medieval Civilization, 400-1500. Oxford, UK: B. Blackwell, 1988. Print.
- Le Goff, Jacques. The Medieval Imagination. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1988. Print.