Renaissance

Portraits of Leo X, Cardinal Luigi de Rossi and Giulio de’ Medici by Raphael, 1518. © Bridgeman Images.

An unsolved Renaissance mystery casts light on the dark world of extortion, revenge and power politics at the heart of the Catholic Church.

Detail from Massacre of the Innocents, Guido Reni, 1611.

The conflicts that devastated Renaissance Europe were justified by ancient ideas rooted in natural law and Christianity. Though replaced by legal frameworks for the conduct of war between states, the killing continues.

Portrait of Niccolò Machiavelli by Christophano dell'Altissimo, 16th century.

A rich and complex portrait of the author of The Prince manages to combine scholarly analysis with the imagination of the historical novelist.

A compelling narrative on the machinations of a Borgia pope and his offspring, with the added spice of Machiavelli’s cool observations.

Michael Greenhalgh describes how Roman architecture and Graeco-Roman statues made a profound impression upon the great Renaissance artists.

Today it is hardly possible to equate the Italian Renaissance with the modern world, as Burckhardt did a century ago. But, argues Denys Hay, his discerning study has helped to transform the Western attitude to the past, and its influence remains profound.

David Rundle looks at the current state of the humanities, asking whether we can recapture the confidence and broad cultural ambition of the Renaissance’s studia humanitatis, which sought to define what it is to be human.

Though he had begun life as an energetic mercenary soldier, writes Alan Haynes, the Duke of Urbino became a celebrated humanist and a generous patron of contemporary art and learning.

Francis J. Bremer introduces a true Renaissance man; Thomas Hariot, man of action and ideas.

A veteran of Poitiers, writes Neil Ritchie, John Hawkwood served as a mercenary in Italy; twenty years in the service of Florence.