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Culture Wars of the Renaissance   

When the Black Death hit Florence in 1348 it wiped out more than half of the population. However, like a burnt field yielding to new growth, Florence became fertile grounds for the rebirth of the “Humanism” of Greek and Roman Times. In two parts we will explore, first, the end of the Dark Ages in the “Early Renaissance of Rome, Venice, and Florence.” Then we will examine the “High Renaissance of Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo.” We will end with Savonarola’s attempt to eradicate sin in Florence’s “Bonfire of the Vanities.” This anti-renaissance conflagration destroyed many works of art including books like Boccaccio’s “Decameron”. Although it is said that Sandro Botticelli threw several of his paintings on the fire, he didn’t toss “The Birth of Venus.”