Transformation became evident in Europe, after the last rash of the Black Death. With a lack of official power, rising standard of living, and the end of feudalism, an inevitable rebirth took place in society. This rebirth is what is known as the Renaissance. People of Europe could now make their own decisions in life. This newfound freedom among classes brought both positive and negative effects. The undeniable positives, however, consisted of the wave of artists and visionaries that arose. All throughout Europe, particularly in Italy, humankind discovered the value of life through art, literature, and science.
Beginning with Giotto di Bondon, in the fourteenth century, Italy flourished with new works of art. The majority of this work was influenced by the belief that man was equal to God and, therefore, should be valued. This movement, in Italy solely, was known as humanism. This gave artists an opportunity to portray Biblical figures, with human features. Another significant difference between medieval artwork and that of the Renaissance is the noticeable human emotion painted on the faces of the subjects. Masacio's frescoes, at the Brancacci Chapel in Santa Maria del Carmine in Florence, display the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden. The artist's rendering of the two sinners is one of great despair and heartache. Masacio, along with Donatello and Brunelleschi, helped to frame the style of art in which Renaissance artists mimicked. Many would agree that the greatest Renaissance artist was Michaelangelo. He created many famous depictions of Biblical figures. This master's works include David, Pieta, and the frescoes on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Each exhibits the utter humanism, with great Biblical figures appearing as commoners. The sculptures of the Pieta show a tattered and poor Mary holding a slain Christ.
Literature changed dramatically as well, in this period.