Age of Enlightenment Alexis Ly EUH2001-17Spring 0W58

Enlightenment is the movement to include science into daily life (Enlightenment). John Locke is a philosopher and political theorist. He is well known for his blank slate theory also known as tabula rasas, and opening an idea of “progress” an idea to think for yourself over the government (ibid).

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.

Ottoman Art

In Istanbul, the Ottoman empire was had its own type of art influenced by the government, Asian culture, and Byzantine culture (Discover). The Ottoman Empire had palaces with luxurious architectures and art. The ottoman empire had trading routes to Asia which influenced their blue and porcelain like tiles and vases. Their floral and geometric decorations were influenced by their Islamic religion (Discover).

Chinese Influence

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”.

The art during the Age of Enlightenment shows culture and social influence and development during the time. The art also shows social status of the owners and positive encounters with the East.

Work Cited

"Chinese Ideas in the West." Chinese Ideas in the West. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Feb. 2017.

"Discover Islamic Art Virtual Exhibitions | The Ottomans." Discover Islamic Art Virtual Exhibitions | The Ottomans. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Feb. 2017.

"Enter the Dragon." Enter the Dragon. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Feb. 2017.

Pekacz, Jolanta, and Antoine Lilti. "Pekacz on Lilti, 'The World of the Salons: Sociability and Worldliness in Eighteenth-Century Paris'" Pekacz on Lilti, 'The World of the Salons: Sociability and Worldliness in Eighteenth-Century Paris' | H-Urban | H-Net. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Feb. 2017.

Uglow, Jenny. An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump. Digital image. N.p., May 2008. Web. 06 Feb. 2017.


Created with images by Fæ - "Dish LACMA M.2005.185 (2 of 2)" • Fæ - "Reisho- Paragon of Filiel Piety; Chinese Blue Magpie with Flowering Plum; Sparrows, Willow, and Rose LACMA M.86.138.5a-c" • Fæ - "Paintings of Shikan (Shrine for Poetry) by Seven Masters LACMA M.2003.195 (1 of 28)"

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