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Italian Renaissance Court Dress

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The Italian Renaissance is best known for its achievements in painting, architecture, sculpture, literature, music, philosophy, science and exploration. Italy became the recognized European leader in all these areas by the late 15th century, during the Peace of Lodi (1454-1494) agreed between Italian states. The Italian Renaissance peaked in the mid-16th century as domestic disputes and foreign invasions plunged the region into the turmoil of the Italian Wars (1494-1559). Following this conflict, the smaller Italian states lost their independence and entered a period known as "foreign domination". However, the ideas and ideals of the Italian Renaissance endured and spread into the rest of Europe, setting off the Northern Renaissance. Italian explorers from the maritime republics served under the auspices of European monarchs, ushering the Age of discovery. The most famous among them are Cristopher Columbus who served for Spain, Giovanni da Verrazzano for France, Amerigo Vespucci for Portugal, and John Cabot for England. Italian universities attracted polymaths and scholars such as Copernicus, Vesalius, Galileo and Torricelli, playing a key role in the scientific revolution. Various events and dates have been proposed for the end of the Renaissance, often occurring during the 17th century.

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