The Renaissance has had a large impact on society in a multitude of ways. It has been instrumental in shaping our cultural outlook and various ways of artistic expression such as writing, painting and music. The Renaissance began to turn society toward a more humanist view of the world and encouraged scientific research and inventions that contemporary society in 2014 still relies on.
Before the Renaissance, artists and authors generally focused on religious topics only and wrote for the nobility and the clergy. Starting during the Renaissance, authors began to write about topics that the common person would both enjoy and understand. Authors such as Giovanni Boccaccio, who wrote "The Decameron," set the stage for literary realism with characters and settings that were easier for readers to understand and connect with. This style of writing is still popular in common society.
One of the most important contributors to the Renaissance was Leonardo da Vinci. He pioneered the style of realism within his paintings, most notably with the "Mona Lisa." He was also the first artist to combine art and science, drawing off the anatomically correct human form for his works.
Without this period in history, contemporary society would not be the same because of the lack of humanist and realist viewpoints.