Renaissance

Thomas Gresham and the London Royal Exchange

Thomas Gresham and the London Royal Exchange

On January 23, 1571, the Royal Exchange in London was founded by the merchant Thomas Gresham to act as a centre of commerce for the City of London. The Protagonists On the afternoon of January 23rd, 1571, Queen Elizabeth [8] went from her Palace of Somerset House to dine with Sir Thomas Gresham at his fine mansion in Austin Friars. She went in state with her Trumpeters and Halberdiers, with Sir Thomas Gresham…
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The Rediscovery of Laocoön and His Sons

The Rediscovery of Laocoön and His Sons

On January 14, 1506, Felice de Fredis rediscovered the statue of Laocoön and his Sons in his vineyards close to the ruins of Emperor Nero‘s Golden House palace on the Esquiline Hill in Rome. The discovery of the Laocoön made a great impression on Italian artists and continued to influence Italian art into the Baroque period. The Myth of Laocoön and the Greek Sculpture Laocoön was a Trojan priest of Poseidon. The story of…
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Vasco da Gama and the Route to India

Vasco da Gama and the Route to India

On December 24, 1524, Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama, 1st Count of Vidigueira, passed away. He was one of the most successful explorers in the Age of Discovery and the commander of the first ships to sail directly from Europe to India. Background Vasco da Gama was born into a family of noblemen, his father belonged to the Order of Santiago and was occupied with several administrative tasks. Little is known about…
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Tycho Brahe – The Man with the Golden Nose

Tycho Brahe – The Man with the Golden Nose

On December 14, 1546, Danish nobleman and astronomer Tycho Brahe, known for his accurate and comprehensive astronomical and planetary observations was born. “Non haberi, sed esse.” “Not shine, but be.” – Tycho Brahe’s Election slogan Background Tycho Brahe was born at Knutstorp Castle, Scania, at that time Denmark, into a politically powerful family of noblemen and political advisors. He grew up with his uncle, also a nobleman, who supplied his nephew with a…
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Lope de Vega and the Spanish Golden Age of Literature

Lope de Vega and the Spanish Golden Age of Literature

On November 25, 1562, Spanish poet Lope de Vega, or with full name Félix Lope de Vega Carpio, one of the key figures in the Spanish ‘Siglo de Oro’, the Golden Century Baroque literature, was born. His reputation in the world of Spanish literature is second only to that of Miguel de Cervantes, while the sheer volume of his literary output is unequalled, making him one of the most prolific authors in the…
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Paracelsus – a Typical Renaissance Scientist

Paracelsus – a Typical Renaissance Scientist

On November 11, 1493, Philippus Aureolus Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim, aka Paracelsus, the famous Renaissance physician, botanist, alchemist, astrologer, and general occultist was born. “All is interrelated. Heaven and earth, air and water. All are but one thing; not four, not two and not three, but one. Where they are not together, there is only an incomplete piece.” – Paracelsus – Collected Writings Vol. I (1926) edited by Bernhard Aschner, p. 110…
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Martin Luther – Iconic Figure of the Reformation

Martin Luther – Iconic Figure of the Reformation

On November 10, 1483, Martin Luther, monk, priest, professor of theology and iconic figure of the Protestant Reformation was born. “Be a sinner, and let your sins be strong (sin boldly), but let your trust in Christ be stronger, and rejoice in Christ who is the victor over sin, death, and the world” — Martin Luther, from a letter Youth and Education As eldest of seven children of Hans Luther and his wife…
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Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio – Archetype of the Wicked Genius

Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio – Archetype of the Wicked Genius

On September 28, 1573, Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, genius Italian artist of the Renaissance was born in Milano. He was best known for his realistic paintings with a dramatic appearance of lighting. The sources of Michelangelo Merisi’s life are extensive, but not yet fully researched. His first biographer was the Sienese art lover Giulio Mancini, who was a friend of Caravaggio’s first patron, Cardinal Francesco Maria Bourbon Del Monte (1549-1627), and who…
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Not Simply a Piece of Marble – Michelangelo’s David

Not Simply a Piece of Marble – Michelangelo’s David

On September 8, 1504 Michelangelo‘s David, a masterpiece of Renaissance sculpture, was unveiled in the city of Florence. The 5m high and 6t heavy marble statue depicts the Biblical hero David, right before his fight with the enormous Philistine warrior Goliath with the slingshot already on his shoulder, which is special because previous sculptures or art works, like the one’s by Andrea del Castagno or Donatello show David after the famous battle with…
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Hernando de Soto’s American Expedition

Hernando de Soto’s American Expedition

On June 3, 1539, Spanish conquistador and explorer Hernando de Soto, with all the dignitaries and necessary paraphernalia, took formal possession of La Florida, where he landed nine ships with more than 620 men and 220 horses. De Soto‘s expedition was the first European expedition leading deep into the territory of the modern-day United States, searching for gold, silver and also a passage to China. Moreover, he also was the first European…
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