Instructor Commentary: Enlightenment Thought and Inquiry
This is a PDF source that contains summarized information of the Enlightenment and the thought and inquiry that arose form it.
The Enlightenment had a strong impact on the arts during the end of the eighteenth century and into the nineteenth. The arts began to move towards Neoclassicism in art and architecture with an emphasis on clean lines and purity of classicism.
The Enlightenment caused the arts to move more towards depictions of nationalism, patriotism, and military glory. This was probably due to the expansion into the West and the increasing superiority that European cultures felt over Asian, Indian, and Ottoman peoples.
Enter the Dragon: The Beginnings of English Chinoiserie 1680-1710
Enter the Dragon is a museum site that allows one to go look at items influenced by Chinese artistic traditions in England during the 18th century. This site has a vast amount of examples that demonstrate the extent on how the Chinese artistic style influenced European design.
The influence of Chinese art is especially evident in European porcelain and tableware design. While the Europeans were infatuated with the art style, their imitation was more about creating their own version of it instead of trying to recreate it accurately or learn the significance behind certain motifs that were used.
The site also goes into detail of showing that while the art style was heavily influenced by the Chinese, English artists tended to mix various Asian cultures and motifs together in their designs. For example, they would use Japanese motifs in the design but use the Chinese style.
Goya & The Spanish Enlightenment
This site gives details of the life and works of one of the most important Spanish painters of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries: Francisco de Goya.
During the eighteenth century, Spain entered a period of Enlightenment. During this time, the Bourbon kings of Spain were in power and their establishment of trade as well as the increase in Spain's wealth due to mining gold and silver in Mexico and Peru, allowed for more artist commissions in Spain.
Near the end of the eighteenth century and into the nineteenth century, Spain entered into wars with France and Spanish American colonies who sought independence from the Spanish Empire. These wars brought the Spanish monarchy tumbling down and also resulted in a change in art that was produced. One of the most notable works from Goya are his series of 80 copperplate etchings titled The Disasters of War. The prints were created by Goya to document his horror and outrage at the atrocities committed by soldiers and patriots during this time.
Discover Islamic Art (Ottoman Empire)
This source focuses on the Islamic artistic world under the Ottoman Empire.
The expansion of European empires and trade allowed for the Ottoman Empire to also benefit from the Europeans especially when it came to trade and artistic traditions. Much like the European desire for Chinese porcelain saw a heavy increase in popularity, so too did the Ottoman Empire experience this increase in the desire for ceramics.
The surge in popularity for goods such as ceramics and textiles benefited the economy and also introduced artists of the Ottoman Empire to European art and design. For example, Iznik potters would often draw inspiration for their designs from Italian ceramics.