The Renaissance was a time of great social and cultural change in Europe. It was a period characterised by innovation, imagination and creativity. The Renaissance was also a time during which Europe's classical past was revisited and reinvigorated. Much of the inspiration behind cultural movements of the Renaissance came from people's attempts to emulate (imitate and improve) the legacies of classical European societies, such as Ancient Rome and Greece.
The Renaissance also represented a break away from the conformist society and culture of medieval Europe. A conformist society is one in which people strictly follow established rules and practices. Breaking away from this mould, the Renaissance was a time during which new and inventive ideas began to spread and gain influence. Gradually, this decreased the dominance previously held by the Catholic Church.