Women And Women During The Renaissance Essay

2014 Words Nov 18th, 2016 9 Pages
Renaissance Women During the Renaissance (14th-16th c.), Italy flourished in cultural and artistic achievements. However, as culture and education advanced, restrictions on women grew. The status of women in the Renaissance remains a contested topic amongst historians today. Most notably, historians Jacob Burckhardt and Joan Kelly adopt differing views in their works on hwo the Renaissance impacted women. In his 1860 work The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy, Swiss historian Burckhardt famously asserts that women experienced the same benefits as men did in the Renaissance, noting “the fact that women stood on a footing of perfect equality with men” (Burckhardt 156). Joan Kelly, on the other hand, refutes Burckhardt’s claim in her 1977 article, “Did Women Have a Renaissance,” arguing that the Renaissance was a period of decline for women relative both to men of the time and to medieval women. Despite Burckhardt’s optimistic depiction of the Renaissance, Kelly’s argument more accurately details the conditions women faced. Although Kelly acknowledges that “the bourgeois writings on education, domestic life, and society constitute the extreme in this denial of women’s independence,” the argument of upper-class women being unjustly treated is more nuanced. Kelly overemphasizes the restrictions of the Renaissance lady, when, in comparison, she experienced more freedom (Kelly 21). Each work draws from similar sources, such as Baldesar Castiglione’s The Book of the…

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