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.
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)
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.
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.