The phenomenon known as the Renaissance is one of the standard stops on any tour through the history of Western culture.
It encompasses a roughly 300 year period in Europe,
而在那时的欧洲 无论是建筑师 诗人 还是哲学家都重拾了古希腊和古罗马文明的风格和理想
where architects, poets and philosophers reconnected with the style and ambitions of ancient Greek and Roman civilization.
The reasons for studying the Renaissance nowadays are often left a bit unclear.
To the high-minded and respectful the rationale may seem utterly obvious,
但对那些没有耐心 只专注科学技术的人来说 文艺复兴完完全全是浪费时间
or to the more impatient or technologically focused the exercise can equally will appear a complete waste of time.
We believe that the main reason to study history is to rescue certain good, provocative and inspiring ideas
某些好的 令人振奋 鼓舞人心的思想
that have been lost in the past,
in order to put them to use in relation to the dilemmas and problems of our own times.
我们的文艺复兴之旅 看似是在说一些古老的 逝去久远的人们
Our tour of the Renaissance while seemingly about some old long dead guys
will hence really be about us.
1469年 在意大利 佛罗伦萨
Florence, Italy, 1469
一个来自佛罗伦萨最大家族之一的20岁贵族 —洛伦佐·德·美第奇 接管了家族生意
A 20 year-old nobleman from one of the grandest families of Florence, Lorenzo de’ Medici takes over the family business:
The Medici Bank,
that’s been going since 1397
and is the most respected financial institution in Europe
分行遍布佛罗伦萨 威尼斯 罗马 和日内瓦
with flourishing branches in Florence, Venice, Rome and Geneva.
Lorenzo like his uncles and his father before him has a great gift for business.
在他有生之年 在巴塞尔 布鲁日 阿维尼翁 比萨都开有分行门店
During his lifetime, the bank will open new outposts in Basel, Bruges, Avignon, Pisa,
and lend significant sums of money to royal courts, aristocrats and entrepreneurs.
Lorenzo and his family are typical of the Florentine upper classes of his age
in honoring the business of making money
without any of the traditional suspicion of trade found in most Christian societies.
But not only are Medicies interested in making money
同样的 对于如何花钱 他们也极为热衷
they are also extremely ambitious about how to spend money.
They believe that the express purpose of what we would now call philanthropy is
就是在世界范围内推广美 真相 和 智慧
to promote beauty, truth and wisdom in the world.
洛伦佐 德 美第奇的祖父早先开始了书籍收藏 并成为了众所周知的美第奇图书馆
Lorenzo de Medici’s grandfather had started the collection of books that became known as The Medici Library
and Lorenzo now expanded it decisively
他让其研究人员搜寻欧洲各大修道院 法院 和图书馆
with his researchers scouring Europe’s monasteries, courts and libraries for
lost or overlooked text from antiquity.
Lorenzo was a patron of many philosophers
包括马尔齐奥·韦基奥 波利齐亚诺以及乔瓦尼 皮科·德拉·米兰多拉
including Marzio Vecchio, Poliziano and Giovanni Pico della Mirandola.
Under his guidance these philosophers undertook pioneering researches into Greek philosophy.
他们吸收伊比鸠鲁 齐诺 和亚里士多德的观点 并且设法使柏拉图的理论同基督教教义融合
They absorb the ideas of Epicurus, Zeno and Aristotle and try to harmonize Plato’s theories with Christianity.
Lorenzo is perhaps best known as a patron of art.
他赞助的宫廷画师包括韦罗基奥 李奥那多 吉兰达约和米开朗琪罗
His court artists included Verrocchio, Leonardo, Botticelli,Ghirlandajo and Michelangelo.
The patronage was extremely intimate and involved.
Michelangelo lived with Lorenzo and his family for five years,
dining at his table and participating in discussions led by Marcello Ficino.
虽然美第奇家族在当时富可敌国 但以现在的标准来说 只属于相对中等
Although the Medici were quite rich by modern standards their fortune was a relatively moderate one.
Across four crucial decades from the 1430s to the 1470s,
it’s estimated that the Medici family spent the equivalent of around half a
billion US dollars on intellectual patronage, architecture and art works,
较平均收入来说 这笔钱数额巨大 但相比于
which is a huge sum by comparison with average incomes but it’s not very
substantial by comparison with the wealth of the richest people today.
The Medici family resources would be roughly those of Rizzeto Cafferata whose wealth
from a fishery business in Peru is around 1.5 billion US dollars.
She is at present 1200th richest person in the world.
Lorenzo would seem economically unimpressive next to Giorgio Armani, 8.5 billion,
and a nonentity next to Bill Gates, 79 billion.
money was important to what Lorenzo and his family achieved no doubt.
所以 在这方面 世界完全准备好了去追随他的脚步
So in that respect the world is amazingly well placed to continue in his footsteps.
There’s no shortage of money to do the sorts of things he did.
But what’s holding us back today is a shortage of vision.
For the price of this yacht Lorenzo fueled the Renaissance for 30 years.
The secret to the Medici’s impact was that they didn’t see themselves as they’re
为艺术家 建筑师 和学者提供资金来支持这些人所热衷的事
simply to hand over the cash to allow artists, architects and scholars to do whatever they wanted.
The Medicies had a vision, a mission for the arts and for philosophy,
and we’re extremely direct and didactic and putting it forward usefully so.
Guided by his philosopher friend Ficino, Lorenzo thought of art the kind of education.
Under his patronage artist will therefore ask to
illustrate key philosophical truths about say the importance of kindness and compassion.
They promoted serenity and glorified the best qualities of the state and of good leadership.
The Renaissance would never be remembered if its leading members that simply made piles of cash.
No one cares about that for any length of time.
The real source of its glory was the imagination and intelligence with which its great bankers and
financers set about spending their money.
Monastery of Fulda, Germany, January 1417
一个来自意大利的学者 人文主义学家 波焦·布拉乔利尼正在去往德国和瑞士的路上
An Italian scholar and humanist Poggio Bracciolini is on a tour of Germany and Switzerland,
looking for lost Greek and Roman manuscripts.
He is spending a few weeks in a Benedictine Monastery,
在大型图书馆 那些落满灰尘的书架上 他四处寻找
hunting around the dusty shelves of its great library,
when in a forgotten nook, he makes one of the great discoveries of the whole Renaissance.
He comes across what still remains the only surviving manuscripts Lucretius, de Rerum Natura,
On The Nature of Things which gives us the most complete account we possess of the
philosophy and worldview of the Greek philosopher Epicurus.
Bracciolini and his circle are astonished.
在关于人类情感 幸福 宗教 公共生活和科学等方面 伊比鸠鲁提出了十分有价值的观点
Epicurus has hugely valuable ideas about the human passions happiness religion communal life and science.
This is only the highlight of a career spent rescuing lost manuscripts.
后来 布拉乔利尼接着发现了西赛罗 昆体良 维特鲁威的关键文本
In time, Bracciolini is to go on to discover key text by Cicero, Quintillion and Vitruvius.
When he couldn’t buy text, he wasn’t averse to a little skulduggery to get what he wanted.
He famously bribed a monk to abstract a copy of Livy, the Roman historian
from the Lybred Hersphir Abey in Germany.
Bracciolini was hugely interested in classical texts but he was
not a scholar as we would understand the term,
that is someone who wants to investigate the past for its own sake
and respects the inherent ability of old books.
The Renaissance attitude to history and philosophy was very different.
Its intellectual leaders took a relentlessly practical view of things.
They wanted first and foremost to run their societies successfully,
to make their people wise and to build magnificent cities.
The Epicurean philosophy Bracciolini dug up with its emphasis on
友谊 纯真 以及接受的局限性
friendship, simplicity and the acceptance of limitations
wasn’t exciting to him because it was old, but because its wisdom was still needed.
He was’t looking for ancient idea so he could fill in missing details about how the past used to be
perhaps in order to gain a professorship in a university,
Bracciolini was urgently searching for help in creating better ways of thinking for the present.
Central Florence, 1484
科西莫·德·美第奇 最喜爱的建筑师之一—米开罗佐·迪·巴尔托洛梅奥 完成了这所家庭住宅
Michelozzo di Bartolomeo one of Cosimo de Medici favorite architects completes the family home:
美第奇 里卡迪宫 就与该城市新建的教堂毗邻
The Palazzo Medici, just near the city’s new cathedral.
Michelozzo has studied Roman antiquities closely
and the building’s tripartite elevation beautifully expresses
文艺复兴理性 秩序 和谐的精神特征
the characteristic Renaissance spirit of rationality, order and harmony.
This is a golden age of construction in Florence.
Leon Battista Alberti has done the facade of the Church of Santa Maria Novella,
Brunelleschi has put up the Ospdale degli lnnocenti
and the city’s new cathedral dome
也完工了许多不怎么知名的广场 喷泉 和大道
and many less well-known names of completing squares, fountains and thoroughfares.
在其他文艺复兴城市像西耶那 威尼斯 阿巴诺 和罗马 也同样如此
The same is true for the other great Renaissance cities of Siena, Venice, Abano, ? and Rome.
City fathers across the Italian peninsula have fallen in love with a remarkable new idea:
that their cities should be the focus of an unparalleled attention to beauty.
他们对美不遗余力的追求 而我们现在混乱不堪 着实有些汗颜
It’s slightly embarrassing to contrast these efforts with our own mess.
A sentimental view says that the Renaissance city fathers made nice places because they were lucky:
They didn’t need to plan for cars,
they didn’t have the zoning laws and happen to have access to good quality building materials
like lovely stone you can get from quarries outside Florence.
However, successful urbanism is never an accident.
For the Renaissance it was a philosophical mission.
The Renaissance built such great cities because of an idea:
that we are to a large extent shaped by the character of the buildings around us.
Making sure that the public realm conveys dignity and calm is more than a luxury.
It can help to ensure the sanity, vigor and happiness of a whole population.
What’s more, the urbanists and architects believed in rules.
They didn’t think it was chance that a city looks good.
They wrote volumes codifying what works and what must be avoided,
他们尽力使城市规划系统化 他们仔细思量如何打造靓丽的街角 人行道 和长凳
in their efforts to systematize and in their careful thinking about what makes a good street corner, pavement or bench.
They put our own efforts and urbanism to shame.
They believed in ideal dimensions for squares,
that a square should be small enough
that a mother can call from an upper window to her child playing at the other side.
They thought that all good squares should have large elaborate fountains in the middle,
but that the surrounding buildings should mostly be fairly plain.
They knew that building should be around five storeys in height
and there should be graceful covered arcades,
so that citizens could amble in all kinds of weather.
Renaissance leaders like the Medici were marked by the views of the ancient Roman historian Sallust
who had been deeply hostile to a situation that are developed in the decadent periods of Rome,
这体现在他的说过的 公共环境肮脏 个人追求金钱
where they had been in his words “Publice egestas privatim opulentia”,
public squalor and private opulence, Sallust believed and the
Renaissance leaders hugely embraced his idea that in a healthy society the
即公共领域本身应该体面 也就是迷人 优雅 引人入胜
public sphere itself should be opulent that is beautiful refined and appealing.
That way the richer people in society will never be tempted to withdraw and
concentrate exclusively on their own private estates and comforts
and all citizens will be uplifted by pleasing vision of communal life.
It’s a tribute to these efforts that there are still very few cities on earth
nicer than those created over a few hundred years on the Italian peninsula.
But it’s also testimony to our desperate lack of ambition and vision
文艺复兴后 能够媲美例如佛罗伦萨 威尼斯
that we can count on one hand the number of cities constructed since the Renaissance
that are prettier than say Florence or Venice.
Ideally, we wouldn’t have to be so impressed by Renaissance cities.
We’d be inspired to arrival and equal their achievements in the architectural idiom of our own times.
Frari Church, Venice, 1488
A 58 year old Venetian painter, Giovanni Bellini
completes a triptych, featuring in the central panel baby Jesus and his mother.
Christian artists have been painting this scene for many centuries
but things have only become this powerful and convincing in the last hundred or so years.
迄今为止 玛利亚和小耶稣都看起来呆滞 通常是金制和木制的
Hitherto, Mary and her little boy have looked stiff,often golden and wooden,
but with Bellini, Jesus is just like a real little boy.
A kind we might see looking at seagulls on the Lido,
down to his stocky legs slightly swollen tummy and searching eyes.
玛丽似乎一样活脱脱的 充满生气 那么的迷人和有趣
Mary feels equally alive, vibrant and deeply attractive and interesting.
we can imagine her melancholy thoughts,
and intuit her kind sympathetic and dignified nature.
If there was some childcare available,
you might be lovely to invite her out to the gelateria Grom just a few steps away from the Frari Church.
It’s often been remarked how odd and wondrous it is that so many geniuses of
art came to the fore in such a short period in one place.
Renaissance Italy gave world civilization
多纳泰罗 费朗格里戈 维切罗 马萨乔 菲利波里比 莱昂纳多 米开朗琪罗 拉斐尔 提香 等
Donatello, Frangelico, Whichello, Masaccio, Philibolibbi ,Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael, Titianand so on.
How did it happen? how do you get so much talent in one go?
It’s arguable that every age has roughly similar amounts of latent talent among its artists.
What makes certain ages extraordinary,
人们会想到雅典和荷兰的黄金时代 19世纪的法国 或者20世纪60年代的美国
one thinks of the Golden Age of Athens, Holland, 19th century France or 1960s America
is that they know what to do with the talent？
They give artist a mission.
They have a clear sense of what art is for,
and they therefore reward and invest in artist properly.
What distinguishes the Renaissance is not therefor a freakish preponderance of artistic skill.
It’s an intensely clear vision of what art should be.
The Renaissance could be described as a heroic age of advertising.
Yet the focus was not on selling consumer goods.
It was on selling beauty, truth and wisdom.
这些我们依然能感受到的 他们艺术背后的能量 来源于一个连贯的大纲
The energy we still feel behind their art arose from a coherent ideological program.
The Renaissance wanted to put painting in the service of ideas
并且使这些思想被切身感知 成效卓然 并改变生活
and to make these ideas palpable, effective and life changing.
One thing the Renaissance was constantly advertising is philosophy.
哲学家存在于许多人心中 然而现在来说 他们是十分抽象和久远的人物
Philosophers were in the minds of many, then as now rather abstract and remote figures.
So the Renaissance got one of its most talented artists, Rafael
to lend them a bit of life on the walls of the Vatican,
展现出亚里士多德 柏拉图 等是一群充满魅力和吸引力的人
to show that Aristotle and Plato and others as belonging to a group of glamorous fascinating individuals.
For his part, Titian was employed to convey a central philosophical message about the brevity of life.
In his Three Ages of Man, existence is depicted as desperately fleeting.
The child is soon an adult and the adult soon ages
and in retrospect, it all seems to have occurred incredibly fast,
which makes it essential that we use our time properly,
that we forgive one another for our frailties,
and focus on our potential while there is still time.
Titian and his patrons knew that most people don’t care to think about how brief life is.
That’s where art comes in and has a huge advantage over philosophy.
Titian starts with things that everyone in the Renaissance already liked:
sexy couples and cute baby angels.
The picture is designed to take you without you even noticing it’s happening into an interest in philosophy
so that you naturally start to engage with matters of life and death.
The move is a bit like that made by the best adverts of today
that hope to get you subliminally interested in buying a chocolate bar or an SUV
while charming you with a beautiful couple or sublime landscape.
Only in the Renaissance the philosophical end goal of art was worth the effort.
The Renaissance concept of art as advertising for the great truths was
underpinned by an ideology worked out by the philosopher Marsilio Ficino.
The figure who taught Lorenzo de Medici and spoke to Michelangelo at dinner every day for many years.
Ficino argued that we are all creatures who love
and love is attracted first to beauty,
so whatever we wish people to love we must first make beautiful and beauty is
first encountered as sexiness.
So the path to the highest possible human ideals tends to go down a complex root:
first to sex, then
and then to love.
With such a theory at hand and its impact on the art of the Renaissance
cannot be overestimated.
菲奇诺能利用这些我们口中的性感 欲望 魅力 名人
Ficino was able to use what we might term sexiness, lust, glamour and celebrity
to serve the most noble and high-minded intellectual ambitions
rather than being relegated as they often are in our own times to selling handbags or mobile phones.
Never before or since have so many big ideas been so beautifully and often sexually treated by great artists.
菲奇诺和洛伦佐 德 美第奇 都被
Ficino and Lorenzo de medici was fascinated by
the idea of getting Botticelli to engage our sexuality in order to excite us
about ideas that they thought were most useful to humanity.
That’s why there are an awful lot of very cute people in Botticelli’s work.
例如在他的画作 春 中那些极具吸引力的人物
The hugely alluring figures in his Primavera are for example
有的若有所思 有的友善 有的严肃 有的又十分忧伤
thoughtful, kind and serious and sometimes rather sad.
They’re filled with tenderness towards human sorrows and failings and
a keen to remind us of the need to appreciate the cycle of life.
They’re also highly seductive.
You don’t have to believe in the virtues to want to be like them.
But because you instinctively want to be like them,
you will therefore aspire to be virtuous.
This genius move shared by philosophers like Ficino rich political leaders like Lorenzo
and artists like Botticelli was to line up our basic desire on the side of the good.
于是我们变得更善良 更亲切 更志存高远
So that we become kinder and sweeter and more intellectually ambitious not
because we’ve rejected all the charms of the world which hardly anyone ever can
but with the help of all the charms of the world.
Instead of abandoning beauty and sexiness to vanity and silliness,
而放弃了美和性 恰恰相反 他们颇具学者风度
the leaders of the Renaissance, deeply
scholarly and earnest people cease these and use them to their own ends.
It’s this move above all that helps to give the art of the Renaissance its mission-driven coherence
and means the artist still so charming to us today.
In our society the Renaissance has a lot of prestige.
我们觉得通过逛一逛它的主要城市 铭记一些日期 使其主要作品增值 来表明忠诚
We think we’re being true to it by going around its main cities, memorizing dates and taking off key works
but this isn’t really what paying tribute to the renaissance should mean.
It’s not about looking at their world through our eyes
it’s about using their eyes to look at our world.
We should be trying to generate a Renaissance in our own societies with the help of these geniuses.
Learning lessons from them about how to spend big money
perhaps earned in finance wisely,
how to use the humanities to improve our lives rather than to impress a scholarly community,
how to devote proper energy to creating livable beautiful cities
and how to harness the power of art so is to make the good things in the world attractive and desirable.
If rather than being just beautiful tourist we learn to
absorb the ambitions of our nation’s leaders we might come away from a study of the Renaissance ready
as all the great Renaissance figures would have wanted us to be
to do the thing that really matters,
try to change our world for the better.
思想的历史 - 文艺复兴