Humanism had spread across Europe, and while it split in Italy, so the stable countries north of Italy fostered a return of the movement which began to have the same massive effect. Henry VIII encouraged Englishmen trained in Humanism to replace foreigners in his staff; in France Humanism was seen as the best way to study scripture, and one John Calvin agreed with this, starting a humanist school in Geneva. In Spain, Humanists clashed with the Church and Inquisition and merged with surviving scholasticism as a way to survive. Erasmus, the sixteenth century’s leading Humanist, emerged in the German-speaking lands.
As far as plastic art was concerned, Italian Renaissance Sculpture reflected the primacy of the human figure, notably the male nude. Both Donatello and Michelangelo relied heavily on the human body, but used it neither as a vehicle for restless Gothic energy nor for static Classic nobility, but for deeper spiritual meaning. Two of the greatest Renaissance sculptures were: David by Donatello (1440-43, Bargello, Florence) and David by Michelangelo (1501-4, Academy of Arts Gallery, Florence). Note: For artists and styles inspired by the arts of classical antiquity, see: Classicism in Art (800 onwards).