European Enlightenment Thought & Inquiry

"Government is a system of one class taking money form other classes..."

-Voltaire, Candide

John Locke believed in "progress" meaning upward mobility and success due to contributions by the individual.

Natural Law: law that applied to everyone and could be understood by reason.

The Age of Reason

The Scientific Method was put to use to examine and understand all aspects of nature. Nature is ordered and unchangeable laws govern nature.

Humans are naturally good, but ignorance, greed, and evil can corrupt them. They can be corrupted by one another.

Education is the means to reason.

Of Elephants And Roses

The exhibits on display include "Music for Elephants" (Top Left), "Hunting for Trees" (Right), and "Everything Giraffe" (Bottom Left and Center).

The American Philosophical Society Museum presented this exhibit in 2011 exploring natural history from post-revolutionary France between 1790 and 1830. The items on display of plants and animals from around the world helped to produce new scientific knowledge, improved agricultural productivity and diversity, and economic prosperity during this time in France. This exhibit helps to illustrate France's commitment to the spread of new ideas and education during the European Enlightenment.

Visual Arts

Down with baroque, on to neoclassicism!

Manuel Osorio Manrique de Zuñiga

Artist: Goya (Francisco de Goya y Lucientes) is considered the most important Spanish artist of the late 18th an early 19th centuries. As an artist, Goya's work came to maturity during this time of enlightenment. Goya enjoyed royal patronage throughout his career beginning with the painting of 63 tapestry cartoons for two royal palaces. Tapestry weavers found one of his works, The Blind Guitarist, to be far too complex to weave and Goya was asked to simplify it.

Ottoman Art

Tughra (Imperial Monogram)

While the Ottoman Empire was culturally separated from Europe, western influence is evident in Islamic art beginning in the 19th century. The Sultans during this time period built new palaces in western style along the Bosphorus which is the continental boundary between Europe and Asia.

Beylerbeyi Palace, Istanbul, Turkey AD 1865

Table Culture in the Ottoman Empire consisted of large quantities of food cooked in big cauldrons and served in large bowls. For those who could not come to eat food was sent in lunchboxes. Families then served their food on large trays set on the floor on wooden stands.

Big Cauldrons (Top Left), Lunchboxes (Top Right), Large Tray (Bottom)

As the influence of western culture shaped Ottoman life, this traditional table culture faded with the introduction of tables and chairs and European pottery and silver cutlery. The revolution of etiquette brought on by the use of the fork in medieval Europe had finally made its way east.

Created By
Henry Benoit


Created with images by DEZALB - "russia st-petersburg hermitage" • Stifts- och landsbiblioteket i Skara - "John Locke"

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