Several methods relating to the education of women in Renaissance changed the world. However, these methods of Humanists and the queries of religious reformers had no impact on the lives of early modern European Women. Education, changing drastically between the 15th and 17th centuries was certainly kept from women although the rich and powerful were able to receive some education: it was not always used. Opportunities arose for the daughters of the rich and wealthy. However, the eventuality of all their efforts in education narrowed down to the typical role of a woman: a housewife. They still faced choices and challenges unique to their gender. While some women did receive this education alongside men, the options of what to do with that education were cut severely. It is evident from the study that women did not have a Renaissance because of lack of education and accompanying stereotypes of the time.
Women did not have a Renaissance
Humanists led discussions about various ways to educate with the use of the best strategies. Besides talking about it, they put the ideations into actions. In the Renaissance period, various academies and schools were opened up for men with a wide range of subjects. The principle of exclusively male attendees triggered scholars to experts to debate women did have a Renaissance. Because of absence of education, women lacked a true experience of the Renaissance as their male counterparts did (Bell 181). Men flocked various schools while women remained at homes as they had been barred from the corridors of education. Only upper class and wealthy women accessed higher form of education as they could afford private tutors. During this time, most humanists carried debates as to whether women should be given access to the emergence of increasing education. As a result, most of them determined no. Women were held inappropriate to participate in public activities like education programs in action and eloquence. Even viewed as secondary to men and uneducated, women privileged to access higher education became role models for their fellow women at the period (Bell 206-207).
However, in the context of art, most talented and famous artists shared a common background: daughters of painters and wealthy families. Female artists were restricted to their education also. All art academies were created for men and women who could afford a private tutor were deterred from studying the male nude. It was deemed inappropriate for women to study this, but the male nude study was a pivotal lesson in painting male historical portraits. Education of women was viewed not important during the Renaissance period (Bell 187). This reflected the attitude towards the female sex in the era of the middle Ages. The absence of education directed at women in Renaissance is enough evidence that women did not have a Renaissance because they were restricted from contributing their opinions and learning new ideas (Rice and Anthony 108).
While men of the middle and upper class experienced the re-emergence of innovative thoughts and classical ideas, the same opportunities were taken from women because of conforming stereotypes and lack of education. Additionally, women never had a Renaissance as they suffered limitations arising from stereotypes of this period. Many artists used the metaphor of the turtle and nail to depict woman's virtues as been never leaving the house and remaining silent. Castiglione, in his "The Courtier," describes the virtuous that composed a gentleman or a court lady. They both required talent in dancing and music, education, and appropriate manners. However, women were granted duties demanding modesty and beauty; other characteristics deemed not necessary for a court gentleman. Women were stereotyped to be modest and look pleasing; women's favorable traits while but not a prerequisite for men. Power relationships were also stereotypical, with the women subordinate and male dominant, illustrating males were superior. Dominant women in a relationship were ridiculed because the male counterparts were seen as weaklings (Rice and Anthony 81).
Machiavelli also looked at the stereotype. In his work "The Prince," he states that an effeminate leader was the worst leader. His sentiments denounced women's characteristics like compassion and love, deeming them as weak (Rice and Anthony 77). Such stereotypes incentivized men to be cautious in the way they portrayed themselves. They constantly became careful to sustain their masculine status.…