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The Renaissance was a cultural period in the history that occurred in the period from the 14th to the 16th century. It is characterized by the changes in art. It is worth to note that during the Middle Ages, art was dedicated to the glorification of God, and it contained religious themes. Although the term ‘Renaissance’ is misleading, it is considered that the modern era began with the Renaissance secularism and individualism. The changes had occurred not only in art but also in literature, sociology, philosophy, politics and other spheres of life. The rise of capitalism was overviewed through the rebirth of cultural values, which were lost with the fall of Rome. The backbone of individualism and secularism was humanism.

Thus, declining the super power of God, the Renaissance period brought with it the feeling of freedom of human beings. The main attention to God faced ordinary people. Individualism as an essential characteristic of this period gave rise to capitalism. It was a kind of a radical revolution in the minds of individuals. People began to believe in their own power and not in the power of God. The Renaissance ideological revolution has changed Europe and other countries in the world. Thus, the church lost its absolute power, and other political and ideological institutions were established. The growth of cities was observed in the Western European countries, and it was giving a rise to new political, cultural, educational and working opportunities.

The most important changes were observed in the decline of religion and church absolutism. This secular viewpoint has changed the human attitude to life and their existence on earth. During the Renaissance, people became more individualistic. As a result, they wanted to have their portraits painted in rich clothes in order to show their wealth. Many artists were also individualistic and portrayed their own portraits. Thus, religious approach to painting was changed into secular. Secularism, therefore, was a materialistic concern about the world and its existence instead of the eternal world of spirit. The Renaissance individualism requires to pursue people’s own interests. Therefore, people began to change their attitudes, moral and ethical values.

The Renaissance secularism is characterized by the social movement that has led to the life on Earth. People were happy to realize that they can think about the present life and not about the eternal world of spirit. That is why they began to develop fine arts, literature, history and other social sciences. As a result of secularism and individualism, people stopped thinking about life after death. Instead of this, they displayed their own selves in the creation of humanism and individualism. Secularism gave individuals a chance to feel their importance in creation of humanism. Secular and individualistic approaches to life became dominating in the Renaissance period. The secular direction in society is still observed today as a result of the Renaissance changes and influence upon the future history of people.

According to the research, the concept of the Renaissance is too ingrained in the thought and writing of historians. Though there have been a number of debates about the validity of the Renaissance and its periodization, many scholars consider that they have genuine validity. It is worth mentioning that various historians have contradictory attitudes towards the validity of the Renaissance period. Those who supported the power of church, have criticized this period, and they consider it as a decline in European history. But there are many historians and thinkers, who judged the Renaissance individualism and secularism as the most important period, which was the most praiseworthy. Moreover, most scholars consider that it was the beginning of all that was good in modern civilization.

Renaissance Humanism Art by Pablo Picasso
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