The spirit of the age spread from France to the Low Countries and Germany, and finally by the late 16th century to England, Scandinavia, and remaining parts of Central Europe (having already earlier reached Hungary and Poland). In these areas humanism became closely linked to the turmoil of the Protestant Reformation, and the art and writing of the German Renaissance frequently reflected this dispute.
In England, the Elizabethan era marked the beginning of the English Renaissance. It saw writers such as William Shakespeare, Christopher Marlowe, John Milton, and Edmund Spenser, as well as great artists, architects (such as Inigo Jones) and composers such as Thomas Tallis, John Taverner, and William Byrd.
Poznań City Hall rebuilt from the Gothic style by Giovanni Batista di Quadro (1550-1555).The Renaissance arrived in the Iberian peninsula through the Mediterranean possessions of the Aragonese Crown and the city of Valencia. Early Iberian Renaissance writers include Ausi�s March, Joanot Martorell, Fernando de Rojas, Juan del Encina, Garcilaso de la Vega, Gil Vicente and Bernardim Ribeiro. Late Renaissance in Spain saw writers such as Miguel de Cervantes, Lope de Vega, Luis de G�ngora and Tirso de Molina, artists such as El Greco and composers such as Tom�s Luis de Victoria. In Portugal writers such as S� de Miranda and Lu�s de Cam�es and artists such as Nuno Gon�alves appeared.
While Renaissance ideas were moving north from Italy, there was a simultaneous spread southward of innovation, particularly in music. The music of the 15th century Burgundian School defined the beginning of the Renaissance in that art; and the polyphony of the Netherlanders, as it moved with the musicians themselves into Italy, formed the core of what was the first true international style in music since the standardization of Gregorian Chant in the 9th century. The culmination of the Netherlandish school was in the music of the Italian composer, Palestrina. At the end of the 16th century Italy again became a center of musical innovation, with the development of the polychoral style of the Venetian School, which spread northward into Germany around 1600.
The paintings of the Italian Renaissance differed from those of the Northern Renaissance in some ways. Italian Renaissance artists were among the first to paint secular scenes, breaking away from the purely religious art of medieval painters. At first, Northern Renaissance artists remained focused on religious subjects, such as the contemporary religious upheaval portrayed by Albrecht D�rer. Later on, the works of Pieter Bruegel influenced artists to paint scenes of daily life rather than religious or classical themes. It was also during the northern Renaissance that Flemish brothers Hubert and Jan van Eyck perfected the oil painting technique, which enabled artists to produce strong colors and a hard surface that could survive for centuries.