First taking root in 14th century Florence, the Renaissance was a period of tremendous progress in the arts, sciences, and culture. It was a "rebirth" and renewal of fascination in the knowledge of antiquity, improvements in artistic techniques, a proliferation of vernacular literature, and the development of empirical scientific research.
At the same time as this splendid intellectual blossoming was occurring, Europe was experiencing some of its most violent and tumultuous centuries. In spite of or perhaps because of this, an unprecedented outpouring of artistic and scholarly effort occurred between the 14th and 17th centuries. It was a celebration of the human spirit, resilience, and creativity made possible by great patrons like Lorenzo de’ Medici and Federico da Montefeltro.
The Renaissance also brought about some of the finest specimens in art history, initially south of the Alps before spreading north in the coming decades, which continued to be celebrated across the world. This includes numerous exceptionally illuminated manuscripts, which represent the final and most spectacular chapter in the history of European book art.