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Renaissance, a French word meaning rebirth, is applied to the rediscovery and revival of interest in the art, architecture and literary culture of Antiquity which took place in Italy from the 14th century onwards, and in Northern Europe a little later. It is broadly used to describe the historical period stretching from the 15th century to the end of the 16th century.

It is also applied as a stylistic label to the art of these centuries. Two main phases of the Italian Renaissance are distinguished: the Early Renaissance and the High Renaissance.