If you have not been following Dr. Boli’s wonderful recap of Western History. well, you should be.
In this installment, CHAPTER 20.—EUROPE PRESSES THE RESET BUTTON, Dr. Boli makes the following trenchant observations:
We call this flourishing the Renaissance, because even though it happened in Italy, the French somehow hijacked the name. It means “Rebirth,” because its participants thought they were rediscovering the art and culture of the classical age. Actually, they were discovering their own fantasies of what the classical age might have been if a bunch of late-medieval Italians had been in charge of it.
Architecture abandoned centuries of development to turn back to classical forms. The architects of the Renaissance hung their heads, averted their eyes, and blushed crimson with shame whenever they passed a Gothic cathedral like the monstrous pile at Chartres, or that hideous York Minster.