The period between the end of the 14th and 16th centuries, the Renaissance, is generally seen as marking the passage in Europe from the medieval to the beginning of the modern era. Italy was the cradle of the Renaissance, which eventually spread through Europe and was characterised by a flourishing in the arts, literature, politics, religion, philosophy, and science, and a renewed interest in classical Roman and Greek cultures. Many professionals including artists, architects, physicians, and scientists shaped this unique period by advancing a concept of erudition based on innovative enquiry and humanism with the aim of reawakening a link with antiquity while questioning classical ideas.This was the environment in which Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519), one of the most famous figures of the Renaissance, grew up. A polymath, Leonardo’s interests and work spanned many fields, including art, anatomy, architecture, engineering, mathematics, and music, reflecting the humanist spirit that characterised the Renaissance.
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- Renaissance context