The West and The World PTC Mod 3, EUH2001

During the Age of Reason or “Enlightenment” period, radical changes were taking place in European politics, sciences, and culture in general. This piece will concentrate on the literal arts in Western Europe, (Spain and France) and Eastern Europe (Ottoman Empire), to demonstrate how this subject operated within their vast empires. Furthermore, depictions of slavery in the Western worlds by the French artist Jean Baptiste (1768-1848) to emphasize that the treatment of slaves did not confine itself to geographical locations.

Both pictures were painted by the French painter, Jean Baptiste Debret (1768-1848), "A Brazilian Family in Rio de Janeiro" (left) and "Landlord Punishment of a Slave" (right). (Courtesy of URL:

With artists like Francisco Jose de Goya (1746-1828) from Span, visual arts went through a Romanesque rebirth. During this phase, a transition from the medieval approach to bringing bright colors and emphasizes on clean lines and pictures metaphorically telling stories themselves. It was during this Enlightenment within European history that literal art “spurs economic development and skilled building trades in mason and glazing industries,” in artful architecture. (Darty, 1)

Both pictures painted by Spanish artist Francisco de Goya (1746–1828) , "Manuel Osorio Manrique de Zuñiga (1784–1792) (left) and "José Costa y Bonells (died l870), called Pepito," (right). (Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, New York)

In the picture “Manuel Osorio”, notice the bird holding Goya’s business card in his beak while there is a string tied to his left leg. With the birds in the cage and the ghostly eyes of the three cats peering upon the birds and the innocent expression of the little boy, is the artist attempting metaphorically to shine light on the current political situation between France and Span, or does this painting represent something religious in nature? (Voorhies, 1)

Goya like most artist during this time used their skills to excite and or offend whomever with the stroke of their brush or pen. From his paintings of nude women (La Maja Desnuda, 1805, which in 1800 he had painted The Clothed La Maja), to gory battle and executions like “Third of May, 1808”, Goya represented the Enlightenment era with bright political and socialist colors. In a closer observation of the above pictures, we will see into the artist himself.

“Of Elephants & Roses: Encounters with French Natural History, 1790-1830,” Elephants & Roses exhibition. APS Museum, American Philosophical Society, Accessed: February 3, 2017, URL: (Courtesy of the APS Museum, American Philosophical Society)

In this exhibition, “Music for Elephants” documents two live elephants that arrived in Paris in 1798 as spoils of war, and it documents the birth of paleontology based partly on the study of fossils sent to France by Philadelphia naturalists.” (Elephants, 1) This article is important to the understanding of ‘spoils of war’ often times are historical relics of valued antiquity. This advantage secured items of antiquities from around the world to metropolitan cities for educational purposes. The disadvantages may lie on the actual location of the artifact after the wars, also in maintaining proper documentation concerning the artifact. Furthermore, with scientific research mostly sponsored by rulers, traveling to these exhibitions by numerous scientific colleges, would have promoted the economy and fueling the elite classes, which also stood to promote political gains as well.

This next article is important because it expands on the coverage by REVEL textbook over the Ottoman Empire. In this Virtual Museum are exhibits of artifacts and structures that are important in understanding the culture of the Ottoman Empire outside the influences of western ideology.

(Left) A Lunch Box from the Ottoman era, cylindrical in shape, composed of four parts stacked one above the other, held together with straps on the sides. (Top right) Dome of the Rock, is located at the center of the Haram al-Sharif in Jerusalem. This is extremely important to the Islam religion and thought to be one of the oldest Islamic monuments still standing today. (Bottom right) This large basin was used for serving food. (Courtesy of The Virtual Museum is part of the Website.)


Amy Darty, “EurEnlightenmentThoughtInquiry_ch16.pdf", URL:

James Voorhies, “Francisco de Goya (1746–1828) and the Spanish Enlightenment.” In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000–. (October 2003).

“Of Elephants & Roses: Encounters with French Natural History, 1790-1830,” Exhibition, APS Museum, American Philosophical Society, Accessed: February 3, 2017, URL:

“The Ottomans:” The Virtual Museum is part of the Website; it is owned by the Consortium and administrated, on behalf of the Consortium, by Museum Ohne Grenzen, e.V. URL:

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Donald Smith

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