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The 16th Century

Many new ideas originated in the fourteenth century in Venice, during the period of the international Gothic style and after this trading town discovered the Far East. This trend continued in the following century, particularly in Florence in Tuscany. From the early fifteenth century through the late sixteenth century, the Italian Renaissance offered a new style based primarily on two concepts: the revival of the ornamental vocabulary of Antiquity and the discovery of perspective. The latter would become the foundation of an innovative architectural and decorative style free from of any trace of Gothic rigidity. By the early sixteenth century, the new movement had spread throughout Europe, under the influence of the artists who traveled between the royal courts of Europe and the political links of the countries under the rule of the Habsburg emperors. Each country adopted the Renaissance style, but adapted it to its individual aesthetic heritage. Each country out did itself in displays of power and wealth. This translated into furniture designs in different ways. The Renaissance corresponded to a spectacular exchange of ideas between the various kingdoms, principalities, duchies, empires and republics that formed post-medieval Europe.