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Did the Sack of Rome in 1527 end the Renaissance in Italy

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== The End of Renaissance Rome==
[[File: Papacy 2.jpg|thumbnail|300px350px|left|St Peter’s Basilica]]
Prior to 1527, Rome had become arguably the centre of the Renaissance. Milan had been devastated by successive military occupations, while Florence had been destabilised and impoverished by twenty years of internal conflict. Apart from Venice, only the Pope had the means to sponsor and commission works of art. The Papal Court was extremely wealthy and the Pope became the patron of many of the greatest artists of the time, such as Michelangelo and Raphael. This was especially the case after the 1500s because of a dramatic change in the economy. After Columbus discovered America in 1492, the Italian economy went into a gradual but a steep decline, that was noticeable by 1527. New trade routes were established in the Atlantic and the trade of the Mediterranean dropped off. This led to less money being spent on art in Italy.<ref> Burke, p. 113</ref> The Papacy had could continue to support artists and writers, as its main revenue streams were from pilgrims and Church taxes, which Popes such as Clement VII, continued to spend on commissioning great works of art or on architecture, such as the ‘re-building of St Peter’s Basilica.'<ref> Burke, p 119</ref>

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