The Renaissance: from French Renaissance "re-birth", Italien: Rinascimento, "to be reborn" was a cultural movement that spanned the period roughly from the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. Though availability of paper and the invention of metal movable type sped the dissemination of ideas from the later 15th century, the changes of the Renaissance were not uniformly experienced across Europe.
As a cultural movement, it began with the flowering of Latin and vernacular literatures, a more natural reality in painting, and gradual but widespread educational reform.
In politics the Renaissance contributed the development of the conventions of diplomacy, and in science an increased reliance on observation. Historians often argue this intellectual transformation was a bridge between the Middle Ages and the Modern era, but the Renaissance is perhaps best known for its artistic developments and the contributions of such polymaths as Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo, who inspired the term "Renaissance man".
There is a consensus that the Renaissance began in Florence, Italy, in the 14th century. The word Renaissance was first used and defined by French historian Jules Michelet (1798–1874), in his 1855 work, Histoire de France, whose literal translation from French into English is "Rebirth".