To what extent was the Northern Renaissance influenced by the Italian Renaissance

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To what extent was the Northern Renaissance influenced by the Italian Renaissance

The Italian Renaissance is generally seen as one of the greatest periods of art in human history, this is due to the fact that there were a great number of new artistic techniques in order to create far superior pieces of art in comparison to the previous works of the medieval, gothic age. This Italian Renaissance is commonly believed to be a great influence upon the Northern Renaissance that swept through Northern Europe later – the Church, the Humanist Universities and the mercantile wealth that made Italy the leading Renaissance country were all useful to an extent in influencing the Northern Renaissance.

As the principle city of the Catholic Church, Rome, along with its primary patron in the Pope, was in a very good position to influence Catholic Europe. The Church could spread a great amount of ideas to the Northern Renaissance in the Holy Roman Empire, Low Countries, France and England. France considered itself as the greatest defender of the Catholic Church and therefore its diplomatic position with Rome and its papacy allowed a great exchange of ideas. This special relationship is shown in the number of French royalties that married into the Medici family, who extended their reach from Florence into the Papacy in Rome. The papacy was very open to Northern Europe and frequently sent diplomats and ambassadors to these Catholic countries; Pioggio, a Florentine humanist, and Piccolomini, later Pope Pius II, both served as papal ambassadors in the Low Countries, this would influence the Northern Renaissance in the spread of Italian humanist ideas. Above all, the pilgrimages to Rome that many Catholic underwent allowed Northern Europe to exchange a great amount of ideas – Catherine of Aragon went on a pilgrimage to Rome in order to perhaps gain this understanding of politics or humanism that Italy was famous for. The Catholic Church, up until the Reformation, allowed the Catholic countries to gain a significant amount of ideas, both artistically and in its humanism.

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The Italian Renaissance led to a great deal of universities being built. These Italian Universities attracted many foreign students from the Northern countries. This meant that a lot of these students, influenced by the Italian Renaissance ideals would take them back to the Northern European countries where they could introduce them to others. Perhaps the most famous humanist of the Northern Renaissance, Erasmus, actually studied in Italy before travelling to the Holy Roman Empire and Cambridge University – this would have allowed a great amount of Italian ideals to have spread around Northern Europe because they would have had a ...

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