At the dawn of the Renaissance there was a strong sense of living in the end of days. Obscured by the shadow of the Middle Ages, the desire for a renewed identity, shaped by both humanitarian and scientific learning, was in its infancy. Artists and scientists began the work of dismantling of everything that for centuries had been taken for granted. The Italian Renaissance contributed significantly to breaking down the boundaries – those of ideas as well as those of geography or demarcated by political power. The new entrepreneurship coming into force in Medicis Florence, in Venice under the Dodges and in Milan dominated by Ludovico il Moro, taking place as a result of advances in the textile industry and in the wake of the Italian Renaissance, extended beyond the geographic and political borders and found profitable links with Flanders and, therefore, with the Renaissance in the Low Countries (corresponding roughly to the present-day Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg).