Age of Enlightenment Alexis Ly EUH2001-17Spring 0W58
Art during the Age of Enlightenment
Enlightenment brought a different type of visual and literary arts. Visual arts became Neoclassical emphasizing purity with clean lines, and promoting patriotism (Enlightenment). Art from this time also show more depth and details. In the painting “An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump” by Joseph Wright’ of Derby, the image depicts a demonstration of a bird in an air pump with the people watching and showing different emotions about the bird dying. The image depicts a single candle laminating the room, which is a more Romanesque style to bring a dramatic lighting in a picture (Uglow).
Literature during the Age of Enlightenment brought more women together to discuss different poems, stories, and plays. Enlightenment brought more feminist thinking as women are equal to men. Antoine-Leonard Thomas writes in his essay Character, Morals, and of a Women Across the Centuries, that women are not equal to men and will not be as powerful as men. Louise d’Epinay, counter argues the power women already have and cites different successful women (Enlightenment).
Women also played a big role in encouraging Enlightenment thinking. Higher class women in France sponsored Salons for philosophes and writers to gather and discuss their work (Pekacz). These salons also allowed women to be more social and gave them jobs outside their homes as hostesses.
Merchants who traveled to China provided many stories and letters about China that were published in Paris (Chinese). These writings gave Europeans a new interest and thought of what else could be in the world and new ideas. Confucianism, for example, gave a German philosopher, Leibniz, an idea of having a universal civilization (Chinese). He believed in a utopia that had the best elements of Western and Eastern cultures will live in harmony.
Chinese art can also be found in many high class homes and clothing. Having Chinese art showed status because it showed the person was able to afford foreign goods. Chinese art also influenced the making of silk, embroidery, and porcelain. The curation in “Enter the Dragon” shows different art and objects that are from China or influenced by China. An embroidered bed cover made by women and young schoolgirls in “Enter the Dragon” resemble Chinese embroidery patterns and depicts “Chinoiserie figures with parasols”.