Renaissance Woman - The Creator Athlete™

The Renaissance

            The Renaissance, according to, was an intense period of European cultural and artistic rebirth between the 14th and 17th centuries – that was only possible because of sponsors.  I know that is a bold statement, but it is true! It is not an exaggeration to also say that classical philosophy, literature, and art may well have been lost to us today if not for the Renaissance.

Fire-breathing entertainer

Some of the greatest thinkers, authors, and artists thrived during this era – thanks to those who sponsored them so they could think, write, and create. A cultural movement called humanism began in Italy promoting the idea that we humans are the center of our own universe, and that we should embrace human achievements in education, classical arts, literature, and science. In those days, wealthy families like the Medici banking family that ruled Florence, Italy for over 60 years, were the sponsors that funded intellectuals, writers, artists, musicians, dancers, entertainers, and athletes, spreading this cultural movement eventually throughout Europe.

According to, some of the most famous and groundbreaking Renaissance intellectuals, artists, scientists, and writers include:

  • Leonardo da Vinci (1466-1536): Italian painter, architect, inventor, and Renaissance man responsible for painting “The Mona Lisa” and “The Last Supper.”
  • Desiderius Erasmus (1466–1536): Scholar from Holland who defined the humanist movement in Northern Europe. Translator of the New Testament into Greek. 
  • Rene Descartes (1596–1650): French philosopher and mathematician regarded as the father of modern philosophy. Famous for stating, “I think; therefore I am.”
  • Galileo (1564-1642): Italian astronomer, physicist, and engineer whose pioneering work with telescopes enabled him to describe the moons of Jupiter and rings of Saturn. Placed under house arrest for his views of a heliocentric universe.
  • Nicolaus Copernicus (1473–1543): Mathematician and astronomer who made first modern scientific argument for the concept of a heliocentric solar system.
  • Thomas Hobbes (1588–1679): English philosopher and author of “Leviathan.”
  • Geoffrey Chaucer (1343–1400): English poet and author of “The Canterbury Tales.”
  • Giotto (1266-1337): Italian painter and architect whose more realistic depictions of human emotions influenced generations of artists. Best known for his frescoes in the Scrovegni Chapel in Padua.
  • Dante (1265–1321): Italian philosopher, poet, writer, and political thinker who authored “The Divine Comedy.”
  • Niccolo Machiavelli (1469–1527): Italian diplomat and philosopher famous for writing “The Prince” and “The Discourses on Livy.”
  • Titian (1488–1576): Italian painter celebrated for his portraits of Pope Paul III and Charles I and his later religious and mythical paintings like “Venus and Adonis” and “Metamorphoses.”
  • William Tyndale (1494–1536): English biblical translator, humanist, and scholar burned at the stake for translating the Bible into English.
  • William Byrd (1539/40–1623): English composer known for his development of the English madrigal and his religious organ music.
  • John Milton (1608–1674): English poet and historian who wrote the epic poem “Paradise Lost.”
  • William Shakespeare (1564–1616): England’s “national poet” and the most famous playwright of all time, celebrated for his sonnets and plays like “Romeo and Juliet.”
  • Donatello (1386–1466): Italian sculptor celebrated for lifelike sculptures like “David,” commissioned by the Medici family.
  • Sandro Botticelli (1445–1510): Italian painter of “Birth of Venus.”
  • Raphael (1483–1520): Italian painter who learned from da Vinci and Michelangelo. Best known for his paintings of the Madonna and “The School of Athens.”
  • Michelangelo (1483–1520): Italian sculptor, painter, and architect who carved “David” and painted The Sistine Chapel in Rome.
Renaissance woman

There were women intellectuals, artists, scientists, and writers in the Renaissance, too, even though we never hear about them. According to, during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries women became increasingly active in the humanist movement, which was given impetus by salons. The participation of women in intellectual life represented a major advance: for two thousand years they had been excluded from such pursuits because they were denied access to formal education. The new humanist emphasis on the worth of the individual began breaking down traditional barriers. As a result, an unparalleled number of women became writers during the Renaissance era.

According to, there were also female artists including:

  • Levina Teerlinc Flemish painter, ca.1510-1576
    Oldest daughter of the renowned manuscript illuminator Simon Bening. Little is known about her early career or training, but in 1545 she was invited to the court of Henry VIII, who had been the patron of Hans Holbein and Lucas Horenbout (who had both recently passed away), and named royal “paintrix”. After Henry’s death, she continued in this role under Queen Mary I and Queen Elizabeth I.
  • Caterina van Hemessen Flemish painter, 1527-1587
    The daughter of Mannerist painter Jan Sanders van Hemessen. She was trained by her father and even collaborated with him on some of his paintings. She worked in portraiture, painting wealthy men and women, usually against a dark background. She was a member of the Guild of St. Luke and even became a teacher to three male students. Caterina’s main patron was Maria of Austria.
  • Sofonisba Anguissola Italian painter, 1532-1625
    The oldest of seven children in an aristocratic family. Her father ensured that Sofonisba and her sisters were educated in the fine arts. Sofonisba was an apprentice of Bernardino Gatti. In 1554 she traveled to Rome and met Michelangelo, who recognized her talent. Michelangelo even sent her some of his own drawings so that she would copy them and send back to him for critique. Sofonisba was invited to join the Spanish court of Philip II in 1559, and became the painting tutor to Queen Elisabeth of Valois.
  • Lavinia Fontana Italian painter, 1552-1614
    The daughter of the School of Bologna painter Prospero Fontana, who trained Lavinia in painting. Lavinia painted in many different genres. She worked with portraiture as well as with religious and mythological scenes, which included male and female nudes. She is documented to have painted over 100 works, though only 32 are definitely known today.
  • Fede Galizia Italian painter, 1578-1630
    As the daughter of Nunzio Galizia, a portrait painter, Fede Galizia was an accomplished artist by the age of twelve. Taught by her father, Fede had a great eye for detail and her skill at painting clothing and jewellery made her a very popular portrait artist. She was also commissioned for both religious and secular paintings, and she painted several depictions of Judith and Holofernes. Fede was also interested in still lifes, for which she is perhaps best known. She was a pioneer in the genre for women and her style has influenced the evolution of still life painting.
  • Artemisia Gentileschi Italian painter, 1593-1652
    The daughter of Orazio Gentileschi, was one of the most recognized women artists in the Renaissance. She was trained by her father, but was rejected from the academies because of her gender. She then continued her studies under Agostino Tassi. Tassi raped Artemisia and her father subsequently brought charges, leading to a seven-month trial during which she was required to give testimony under torture. Tassi was convicted and Artemisia was vindicated, and married the artist Pierantonio Stiattesi shortly thereafter. However the trauma of the sexual harassment and assault she experienced have been said to appear in her works. These include several depictions of the violent stories of Judith and Holofernes and Jael and Sisera, as well as versions of Susanna and the Elders in which Susanna exhibits genuine terror. After her death, most of Artemisia’s works were attributed to her father and other artists until recently.
Cloud Dancer

Thanks to the sponsors of the Renaissance, we are blessed to continue to enjoy much of the fruits of this cultural movement still today. Stepping back in time, can you imagine being one of the first people to set eyes on Michelangelo’s barely dry Sistine Chapel? I can just imagine walking in, especially if I had seen the bare ceiling before, looking up and catching my breath in amazement! And I could do it free! I could walk up to Michelangelo’s David in sculpted perfection and gaze upon it for hours from every angle – free! I could walk into the church where William Byrd was playing his compositions on the organ and hear him – free! I could walk around Europe watching the best dancers, acrobats, jugglers, hearing the most amazing musicians, viewing breath-taking art and sculptures, and reading transporting poetry, stories, and ideas – all free thanks to these Renaissance sponsors.

AND no annoying pop-ups, no blaring commercials, no interruptions!

AND no annoying pop-ups, no blaring commercials, no interruptions! Don’t get me wrong – I define shopping as entertainment, too. But don’t try to interrupt and annoy me into buying a product. That is not going to go well! I want shopping to be as entertaining as the rest of my entertainment – but I want to call the shots as to when, where, and how. I want shopping on-demand – not shopping Whac-A-Mole where I’m the mole while I’m trying to enjoy on-demand entertainment!

Princesses and paupers alike shared the Renaissance streets, and all were able to enjoy the entertainers’ creations free, thanks to the Renaissance sponsors.

I know I’m not the only one. Avoiding ads is one of the number one reasons audiences finally break down and decide to pay for streaming subscriptions. But what about all the people in the world who can’t spare money for entertainment? Princesses and paupers alike shared the Renaissance streets, and all were able to enjoy the entertainers’ creations free, thanks to the Renaissance sponsors. You could find me right there on the corner spinnin’ live Java Jazz® Dance Parties (of course I’d rather do it now – with awesome technology and much less oppression). Sure, there were private ticketed events as well, but all of the entertainment and art in the public spaces was free.

Woman playing guitar in a store

What was in it for the sponsors? The same thing that is in it for brand sponsors today – relationships.

What was in it for the sponsors? The same thing that is in it for brand sponsors today – relationships. Relationships still make the world go around. Nothing is sold without establishing a relationship. Nothing is gained without solidifying relationships.  So here’s to the Renaissance sponsors who made it all possible. And – here’s to our Revolution brand sponsors we just haven’t met yet! On to the Revolution! We’ll now let those in the know show us the way!

The Creator Athlete LLC. Eliyora Entertainment LLC.  Ever Entertainment LLC. © Paradunai LLC.  All international rights reserved.  All trademarks property of Paradunai LLC.  All personas, concepts, articles, and podcasts created and performed by Sherese Chrétien.

I’m an investigative journalist and media personality. You can hear my Java Jazz® Radio Show at I’m on a mission to figure out how entertainment creators can join athletes in returning AND moving forward to a sponsorship sustenance model where all talent make potentially 100% of the revenue their content generates, while returning AND moving forward to a free, uninterrupted, direct relationship with their audience.
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