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Art History for Kids: Constantinople and the Dawn of the Renaissance

May 30, 2013 by  
Filed under Art History

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Art History for Kids: Constantinople and the Dawn of the Renaissance. This is a real story that happened a long time ago, unfortunately is a very sad story too, because many people died.

Constantinople was a wonderful city, the capital of the Byzantine Empire. This event marked the end of Roman Empire that had lasted for nearly 1,500 years.  The city was taken in 1453 by the 21-year-old Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II and his troops.

The Ottoman army had more than 80,000 soldiers, but the defending army commanded by Byzantine Emperor Constantine XI Palaiologos, had no more than 7,000. The siege lasted for 53 days.

Constantinople and the Dawn of the Renaissance

The capture of Constantinople marked the end of Byzantine Empire, it was an enormous setback to the Christian church, and the Ottomans thereafter were free to advance into Europe.

After the conquest, Mehmed made Constantinople the Ottoman Empire’s new capital and the city was renamed to “Istanbul” coming from a Greek phrase “to the City”. Istanbul would become the official name of the city in 1930 by the Turkish Postal Law of 1930.

After the great city was taken, many poets, writers, printers, musicians, astronomers, architects, artists, philosophers, and scientists escaped to Western Europe. Italy was coming out from the Middle Ages, and the migration of Byzantine intellectuals, is considered key to the revival of Greek and Roman studies.

These scholars brought their well-preserved and accumulated knowledge. Their books were soon translated and published after Johannes Gutenberg had recently invented the printing press, in 1440.

In 1425, Florence was one of the most important cities in Europe, with a population of 60,000; it was an independent city-state with its own government. It had twelve artist guilds with more than 5,000 active members that regulated the commerce. The wealthy members of the guilds held positions in government and were some of Florence’s most influential people in society and politics.

Florence economy grew enormously during the 15th century, its banks and money, the florin, were recognized as the most powerful and safe, all over Europe. It was the best place to be for the illustrated immigrants from Constantinople.

This wonderful mixed, created the dawn of Renaissance.

Constantinople and the Dawn of the Renaissance

Constantinople and the Dawn of the Renaissance

Constantinople and the Dawn of the Renaissance

Constantinople and the Dawn of the Renaissance

Constantinople and the Dawn of the Renaissance

Constantinople and the Dawn of the Renaissance

Constantinople and the Dawn of the Renaissance

Leonardo da Vinci painted the Monalisa

Leonardo da Vinci and famous artist from renaissance

To learn about the Byzantine art, click in the image:

Art History for Kids: Byzantine Art 01

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