The European Renaissance in American Life

Front Cover
Greenwood Publishing Group, 2006 - 341 pages

An informative but light-hearted look at the popularity of the Renaissance today, this book was written by a Renaissance scholar intrigued with the way his subject continues to resonate outside the scholarly community. His purpose is to uncover and describe the many manifestations of America's love of the Renaissance. Why do millions don costumes to attend Renaissance Faires? Why do novels and films about the period enjoy continued popularity, as do Renaissance icons such as Elizabeth I, Michelangelo, Shakespeare and the Mona Lisa? How is it that American politicians and business leaders still look to Machiavelli as a symbol of wisdom-or of evil? Grendler posits that Americans embrace the Renaissance as a model of culture and sophistication, seeing it as confirmation that the individual can achieve greatness against long odds, a belief at the core of our own society.

After an examination of The Real Renaissance (1400-1620), the book looks at ways in which Americans relive the experience (including Faires and Living Last Suppers), ways in which we re-create the Renaissance in our own world, and finally, ways in which the Renaissance is portrayed, for better or worse, in fiction and film.

 

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Contents

1 The Real Renaissance 14001620
1
Reliving the Renaissance
33
Table 21 Active Renaissance Faires in 2004 with Known Foundation Dates
37
Photograph Members of the Ephesus Baptist Church of Raleigh NC present a Living Last Supper
75
Photograph Members of the Christ United Methodist Church of Chapel Hill NC present a Living Last Supper
76
Photograph The use of Mona Lisa in an advertisement for the original Rabbit a corkscrew
100
Photograph Reproduction of the head of Michelangelos David from the cover of the 1999 catalogue of Design Toscano
103
Photograph A bottle of Renaissance wine
105
Photograph Divine Touch graphic based on God creating Adam in Michelangelos Sistine Chapel ceiling
122
Photograph The Cat View of Creation from Rhymes with Orange comic strip
123
Photograph The cartoonist uses the readers knowledge of Michelangelos sculpture of David to poke fun at the reliance on focus groups to make deci...
124
Recreating the Renaissance
127
Photograph The complex of buildings comprising the Renaissance Center of Detroit completed in 1977
142
Photograph Many management experts tell ambitious corporate executives who wish to rise to the top to follow the principles of Niccolò Machiavelli
189
The Renaissance in Fiction and Film
201
Table 101 Select List of Major American and British Films of Shakespeares Plays
256

Photograph A tie with a reproduction of Birth of Venus painted ca 1484 by Sandro Botticelli
107
Photograph Vitruvian Man
112
Photograph Leonardough Money Lisa Connecticut Lottery Ticket
114
Photograph Monica Lisa cover of The New Yorker
115
Photograph Head of Michelangelos David from the cover of The Atlantic
121
Table 102 Select List of American and British Films Freely Based on Shakespeares Plays
261
Table 103 Select List of Films on the Renaissance
265
Notes
299
Index
329
Copyright

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About the author (2006)

Paul F. Grendler is a distinguished scholar of the Italian Renaissance. The author of numerous books and editor in chief of Encyclopedia of the Renaissance and Renaissance: An Encyclopedia for Students, he has been president of three scholarly organizations including The Renaissance Society of America. He is currently a Fellow of the American Philosophical Society. Grendler taught at the University of Toronto for thirty-four years.

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