PTC Module 3 EUH2001 by: Sean James

Hunting for Trees

For my first web-link, I chose the American Philosophical Society Museum exhibition, Elephants and Roses: Encounters with French Natural History, 1790-1830. As we move through chapter 18 in our Pearson text, we head toward the Enlightenment which is also the subject of the instructor commentary I chose. According to our text, "Equally important in the spread of the scientific and cultural ideas of the Enlightenment were museums, where an educated public could view scientific and cultural artifacts from around the world" (Levack Chapter 19.4.1). The secular realms of art, science, reason, and nature come together to compliment each other during the Enlightenment, nudging out the importance of religion. This web-link gives us a taste of how nature and science influenced the coming trends in art. How many of you knew that Thomas Jefferson was a naturalist with an interest in paleontology? How about the fact that another founding father of America, Benjamin Franklin, studied the natural world? In this web-link you will find YouTube links to lectures from the 2011 symposium on gardening, natural history and French culture, making art/communicating science, and cultivating useful knowledge.

“Elephants & Roses,” 2017, accessed February 6, 2017,

Levack, Brian, Edward Muir, and Meredith Veldman. The West: Encounters & Transformations: V. 2: Since 1550. 4th ed. Boston, MA, United States: Pearson, 2013. Ebook.

The second web-link I chose was the “Technology and Enlightenment: The Mechanical Arts in Diderot’s Encyclopedia” exhibit. To tie in the ever widening distance between science and religion, this exhibit details Diderot's Encyclopedie. The web-link describes this massive collection of work as, "...infamous in its day as an enlightened attack on French and European religious dogmatism and monarchical inefficiency and injustice. Containing over 2,500 elaborately engraved plates, it documented the mechanical arts and technology, giving them equal billing alongside the arts and sciences" (Tour). We are introduced to the philosopher Diderot in chapter 19 of our text as well as this particular work. Through the Encyclopedie he introduced knowledge with a whole new way for a rational person to think about it along with knowledge of divine rights, and toleration. The IC on the Enlightenment describes some of the characteristics of the Age of Reason and one in particular seems to resonate with Diderot's work as Darty states, "broad spectrum in social, ethical, economic, and political thought" (Darty). Visit this web-link for more videos like this one on how Diderot's work influenced thinking and reasoning of the day (credit for video given to MIT although embedded in the web-link):

Darty, Amy. “Enlightenment Thought and Inquiry”. Pdf

MIT Libraries, “Kristel Smentek Discusses Diderot’s Encyclopedie,” YouTube, September 20, 2016, posted February 6, 2017,

“Tour the Diderot Exhibit,” accessed February 6, 2017,

Goya, "Majas on a Balcony" ca. 1800-1810

The third web-link I chose was the one that highlights the Spanish artist Francisco de Goya. This site gives us a glimpse of how the political movements in Spain affected the people that lived there by examining how one artists' paintings changed completely in mood over the course of his life. Although the instructor commentary I chose briefly mentions Goya in the outline under Visual Arts, our text doesn't get into how much the arts either influenced or were influenced by the Enlightenment so I was very happy to have this opportunity to explore this topic. In this web-link you will have access to chronologies of rulers, links to other artists, as well as valuable essays on artists and their lives. Through art we can truly begin to connect with the past.

“Francisco de Goya (1746–1828) and the Spanish Enlightenment | Essay | Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History | the Metropolitan Museum of Art,” 2000, accessed February 6, 2017,

Goya, "A Giant Seated in a Landscape"

The instructor commentary I chose was, "Enlightenment Thought and Inquiry". This guide to the Enlightenment breaks down the essential parts of the period including literature, philosophy, and the parts which characterize the movement. Not that I am excited but the Enlightenment is one of my favorite, if not absolute favorite, times to study and the IC this week covered so very much of the rationale type thinking that was nurtured during it! Ms Darty sums up this reason in the IC with, "reason leads to happiness, freedom, better moral society and people...moves some to secular and atheistic beliefs" (Darty). To drive home this point a bit more, Levack sums up how Enlightenment thinkers actually thought, "shared a similar mental outlook and a commitment to individual liberty, justice, and the improvement of civilization" (Levack). All three of the web-links I provided were based on the content in this IC and the textbook.

Darty, Amy. “Enlightenment Thought and Inquiry”. Pdf

Levack, Brian, Edward Muir, and Meredith Veldman. The West: Encounters & Transformations: V. 2: Since 1550. 4th ed. Boston, MA, United States: Pearson, 2013. Ebook.

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