Key dates: 14th century
This movement began in Italy in the 14th century and the term, literally meaning rebirth, describes the revival of interest in the artistic achievements of the Classical world. Initially in a literary revival Renaissance was determined to move away from the religion-dominated Middle Ages and to turn its attention to the plight of the individual man in society. It was a time when individual expression and worldly experience became two of the main themes of Renaissance art. The movement owed a lot to the increasing sophistication of society, characterised by political stability, economic growth and cosmopolitanism. Education blossomed at this time, with libraries and academies allowing more thorough research to be conducted into the culture of the antique world. In addition, the arts benefited from the patronage of such influential groups as the Medici family of Florence, the Sforza family of Milan and Popes Julius II and Leo X. The works of Petrarch first displayed the new interest in the intellectual values of the Classical world in the early 14th century and the romance of this era as rediscovered in the Renaissance period can be seen expressed by Boccaccio. Leonardo da Vinci was the archetypal Renaissance man representing the humanistic values of the period in his art, science and writing. Michelangelo and Raphael were also vital figures in this movement, producing works regarded for centuries as embodying the classical notion of perfection. Renaissance architects included Alberti, Brunelleschi and Bramante. Many of these artists came from Florence and it remained an important centre for the Renaissance into the 16th century eventually to be overtaken by Rome and Venice. Some of the ideas of the Italian Renaissance did spread to other parts of Europe, for example to the German artist Albrecht Dürer of the 'Northern Renaissance'. But by the 16th century Mannerism had overtaken the Renaissance and it was this style that caught on in Europe.
Leonardo da Vinci, Sandro Botticelli, Filippo Brunelleschi, Raphael da Urbino, Titian, Michelangelo Buonarroti, and Donatello Bardi. 
The first of the public concerts that Nellie Taft began was held on Saturday, 17 April 1909 and included international music as well as American. The President, Cabinet members, society figures drove to the event in their cars while thousands of members of the public walked or took streetcars. Furthermore, the Filipino Constabulary Band, which she had helped to create while in the Philippines, performed. This band was composed of native Filipinos, and was conducted by a friend of the First Lady, African-American composer and musician Walter Loving. By their presence, the band reflected the strong belief in racial equality of both Will and Nellie Taft. The concerts are still held in the warm weather in Washington, ., at the Jefferson Memorial, near where they were originally played. Nellie Taft was successful in getting a $25,000 Congressional appropriation out of Senator Boise Penrose for further improvements in the park. She lead a national effort to raise a memorial on the Potomac River to heroes who perished on the Titanic in 1912.