A renaissance man, also known as a polymath, is a person who is known for his skills in various fields or disciplines. He is a person who possesses great knowledge about various subjects. The term “renaissance man” has its roots on the artists and scholars who lived in the time of the European Renaissance. These artists and scholars were known for pursuing various fields of studies. Leonardo Da Vinci, who lived during the Renaissance can be considered as the quintessential Renaissance Man. He was an accomplished artist, an engineer, an expert on anatomy and also studied other fields.
The other term for a renaissance man, polymath, has its origins way before the Age of Renaissance. It actually pertains to the polymathes of ancient Greece. For philosophers like Plato and Aristotle, “having learned much” is something that one strives for, and also a literal translation of the Greek word. Aristotle further added in his writings that he strongly supports people who choose to study rhetoric and are also well versed in various other fields because it will give these people the opportunity to make informed comments on various situations and issues.
To further explain it, a renaissance man is a person who has shown various skills in various fields. Thus, a painter is not a renaissance man but if begins to study film-making, engineering, philosophy and physics he will be considered a renaissance man. It is essential for the renaissance man that he is able to acquire various types of knowledge from diverse fields.