Italian Culture of the Renaissance and its Expansion Part 3
According to THEMBAPROGRAMS, Rome is not a fertile land, in itself. Little is born there in terms of culture and art. But after the papal restoration, it became a meeting place for humanists and men of art from every region around. Italian humanism takes Rome. The major Italian artists all leave their mark on it, at the same time that they receive it from it. Often raised in the practice of local styles and schools, here they plunge into universality. It is the time that modern Rome, artistically Italian Rome, was born from papal and medieval Rome, from Roman or world Rome. Little connected, for the past, with the rest of the peninsula, because there was a lack of intellectual life, like every social life, now Rome is linked to it. After Nicholas V, Pius II, Paul II, Sixtus IV, Rome truly becomes an Italian city, the Italian city par excellence. The papacy, just as it has a permanent seat in Italy and starts organizing its state, so it absorbs all the elements of Italian life. With this, it may be that it detracts from it as a religious institution by alienating the spirit of other peoples who will then repudiate it, opposing it nationally and religiously at the same time. But with this he is increasingly getting closer to Italy, favoring the tendency of Italians to nationalize the papacy, like other nations their Church. Until the eleventh century the popes were frequently Romans, that is, of that local aristocracy who owned the fortresses, lands, castles, all offices of the city and the territory. Then, in the era of great contrasts with the empire for the investiture struggle, and later at the time of the schism, the papacy shines more and more in its catholicity: German, Italian, French, English popes. But now, since the 15th century, they have come from all the Italian regions, originating from Siena, Venice, Liguria and Florence. High offices in the curia and cardinal hats, and therefore the possibility of ascent to the papacy, have Piccolomini, Barbo, Sforza, Riario, Aragona, Della Rovere, Cybo, Medici, although they are also obtained by non-Italians. All the new Italian dynasties are actively present here in Rome to promote their interests through the pontificate. And behind the Ligurian or Neapolitan or Tuscan or Milanese pope come relatives, friends, merchants, bankers. We are in a phase of nepotism. And even the papacy seems to be a bit of a family affair. The marriage of Maddalena, daughter of the Magnificent, with Franceschetto Cybo, son of Innocent VIII, in 1487, meant the first Medici approach to the papacy. And the appointment of Giovanni de ‘Medici as cardinal, shortly after,
As this Italian culture, made up of knowledge of the classical world, humanistic literature, historiography, figurative and constructive arts, all animated by a new meaning of life that precedes, follows, in short, accompanies the rebirth of the ancient ; as this culture grows and spreads from its major centers over a large part of the peninsula, creating new spiritual bonds, and providing new elements to the formation of an Italian nation; it tends to expand outside the peninsula. Until the sec. XIV, the peninsula lives a lot of intellectual influences that come from outside. The centers of medieval culture, both scientific and philosophical, and literary, are rather elsewhere: in Arab-Norman Sicily and in Arab-Christian-Jewish Spain; in England and France; a little bit also in the East, rich in artistic elements. And philosophical and literary influences filtered from France; legends, short stories, pictorial motifs from the East.
But in the meantime, Italy has already become a great teacher of law, almost a mediator between ancient Rome and the countries of Europe, urged by the need for legislative unity and firmer royal authority. University of Bologna, with its thousand and one thousand overseas schoolchildren, destined to be the intellectual and executive class there; Italian teachers and consultants and judges, in schools and courts and city administrations across the Alps, as far as England and the Baltic countries. And then, the first artistic and literary influences, after those represented in the 11th and 12th centuries by the spread of Romanesque architecture. In the 1300s, Avignon became a center of art in the Christian world: in part notable for the work of Italians. Then comes Italian humanism. In Prague, under Charles IV, it already leaves in the middle of the century. XIV traces of himself: and from the chancelleries of Bohemia and Moravia the literary Renaissance penetrates into Germany. Then, already in the 14th century, Spanish imitators, especially Catalans, of Italian models of every poem appear: this will last until the 16th century. And after the poets and storytellers, the historians, the new humanist historians. Historian of Alfonso of Aragon is in fact, in 1433, Guiniforte Barzizza, who contributes to spread the fame of that king in Italy and, therefore, to facilitate his road to Naples. In Poland we find in the second half of the fifteenth century Filippo Bonaccorsi, a Tuscan and fugitive from Rome, tutor of the sons of Casimir IV, secretary and historian and diplomat. Paolo Emilio and Tito Livio da Forlì are, at the end of the 15th century, with Charles VIII. In relation to English, Portuguese and Hungarian princes and magnates, they are Poggio, Vergerio, Biondo. Around 1470, the distant king of Portugal and Paolo Toscanelli from Florence, physicist and cosmographer, grew up in the environment of Italian humanism, are in correspondence. Muhammad II also calls portrait painters and medalists to his court through Venice (see Below: Italians abroad). Not all was truly assimilable for everyone, this Italian culture, made up of vulgar literature, philology, history, Latin poetry, figurative and constructive arts. But it also satisfied various needs, aroused new needs, often prepared the most truly creative and proper effort of the various national cultures, contributed to the formation of nations and national monarchies, armed them with some new weapon, opened them a broader view of the world, it drew attention to Italy.