Cinquecento

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The Renaissance began in the Quattrocento and reached maturity during the 16th century or Cinquecento. Within this long period two fundamental trends coexisted: Classicism and Mannerism. At the same time [Venice#ESCUELAS#78] reused the Quattrocento achievements combining them with its own traditions and influences to constitute a school that, although not entirely separate from the rest of Italy, had its own very distinctive style. It was the century of Luther's preachings, the humanism of Erasmus of Rotterdam, and the start of dissent at the heart of the Catholic Church, culminating in the Counter-Reformation. There was also the unstoppable advance of the Turks, and the great Islamic force had a significant impact on the art, science and state of knowledge of the era. The Italian Cinquecento developed in parallel to the expansion of Flemish painting. Italy went through a period of internal crisis that provoked a series of political and military confrontations, which contributed to the weakening of some republics in favour of others. The most noteworthy milestones of the period were the invasion of Milan by the French and the ransacking of Rome by the emperor Charles V, an authentic trauma for Christendom seeing the champion of Christianity brutally plundering the holy Vatican City. Despite the instability, art reached levels of genius, especially in Rome during the government of Pope [Julius II#PERSONAS#8]. He was a great patron of the arts: the best architects worked on the construction of St. Peter's and the Papal apartments. [Michelangelo#PINTOR#2750] painted the Sistine Chapel for him, and also designed buildings and countless sculpture projects that could not always be completed, (such as the frustrated project for Julius II's funeral tomb). Raphael also painted for him, his most famous work being the decoration in [fresco#MATERIALES#6] of the Stanza della Segnatura (the Pope's private library) in the Papal apartments. Out of Rome, the great figure was Leonardo da Vinci: a man of science, a humanist, an inventor, a designer of fortresses and war machines and a truly excellent painter. He worked for various courts and patrons until settling in Milan. When French troops invaded the city he moved to France summoned by the King and ending his days there. He was the creator of the magnificent portrait, Lady with Ermine, which depicts an mysterious lady with an ermine in her arms.


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