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  • Classical Era The Age of Enlightenment

  • Things are a-changinBaroque EraLouis XIV, XVFrederick the GreatCatherine the Great

    POWERWEALTHClassical EraFrench and American RevolutionsMiddle class becomes more influential

    The first law is to enjoy oneself.

  • The EnlightenmentWhats IN?rational, logical, empirical, reasonedWhats OUT?Status quo, supernatural (What comes into question?) The brotherhood of man becomes a popular theme, and Freemasonry grows. Both of these are, to some degree, at odds with the principals of enlightenment thinking.Contradiction, inconsistency, paradox = quite acceptable, almost the norm.

  • The Classical EraEuropean society is becoming more cosmopolitan.

  • The Classical EraClassical, classic, classicism= very broad terms; not particularly well suited to describe this time in history. Interest in clean, simple lines of classical Greek architecture may provide connection.Approximately the 18th Century

  • Classicism DefinedThe period of the ancient Greeks and RomansA standard (enduring)

    Genre of musicTime period1750-1820

  • The Classical EraCultural, societal adolescence--much change (often violent) & growthIndustrial revolution:move from agrarian to industrial economymigration from country to citieshuge cities--e.g., 1800 Vienna = 250,000!!American and French Revolutions:Europe in turmoil caused by Napoleons expansionism after French Revolutionredefine relationship of government and people

  • The Classical EraHow is the relationship of government/aristocracy and common people redefined?IndIvIdual becomes central. Government exists to serve ME; I do not exist to serve government (and, no, I will NOT eat cake...).The American and French Revolutions illustrate the point.

  • The Rise of the Middle Classa VIMP sociological processindustrialization produces more money for lower classeseventually more wealth produces more leisure timemore leisure time leads to search for entertainment that produces . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .fundamental changes in the arts:music functions mostly as Entertainment (not worship as in Baroque era)

  • Classical ThinkingReason was supremeSought the perfect societyEnlightenmentBeauty Rules were valuable

  • Classical Period Art

  • RococoEmphasis on ultra beauty and natureLess dramatic (more sweet) than BaroqueThemes: aimed at the wealthy classLighter, frivolousPicnics, lovers, Greek godsPortraits

  • Jean-Honore Fragonard, The Swing, 1768-9

  • Art in the 18th CenturyBaroque had been the style from 1600 to 1750Elaborate, impressiveShow glory of church and/or stateNew direction was disputedBaroqueClassical (Simpler)Rococo (Sweeter, nature)

  • Jacques Louis DavidNapoleon Crossing the Alps

  • Jacques Louis DavidCoronation of Napoleon

  • Jacques Louis DavidNapoleonin his study

  • Sculpture and ArchitectureHoratio GreenoughWashingtonUniversity of Virginia (Designer T. Jefferson)

  • ArchitectureRecalled ancient classicalU.S. CapitalMonticello

  • Petit Trianon, Versailles, France 1764 (Louis XVI)


  • Fragonard,The Swing,1769Rococo

  • David, The Death of Socrates, 1787NEO-CLASSICAL

  • Date data1787



    Caravaggio, The Calling of St Matthew; Baroque beginningsHandels Messiah oratorioJ.L. David Death of Socrates (Mozart, Don Giovanni)1789 French Rev.1776 Amer. Rev.

  • Age of EnlightenmentLiterature and Philosophy

  • The EnlightenmentApplication of the scientific method to social problemsParallel to the scientific awakeningFoundation of Classical art and musicThe world behaves according to patterns and these ought to be obeyed

  • Basic PremisesScientific method can answer fundamental questions about societyHuman race can be educated and all people are importantEmergence of the middle classBelief in God based on reason

  • Growth of DeismIntellectuals believe in God but see him as a "watchmaker"Deists skeptical of organized religionCatholic church was attackedDeists struggle with personal standardsDenial of providence (Voltaire) disputed by others (Pope, Rousseau)Denial of evil

  • Thomas HobbesEmpiricism"All that is real is material, and what is not material is not real." Hobbes

  • Thomas HobbesGovernment"[Early man was] solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short... [and in a constant state of] warre, [living in] continual fear and danger of violent death. LeviathanAbsolute monarchy sent by God to help mankindHobbes' concepts used to justify colonialization

  • John LockeThe forefather of our forefathersAttacked by Charles IIFriend of NewtonInfluential in American revolution

  • John LockeGovernmentSecond treatise of Civil GovernmentChaos without governmentGod gave mankind natural rightsLife, liberty, pursuit of propertyInnate goodness of mankind led to formation of governmentsGovernments, which were formed by the people, must guarantee the rights of the peoplePeople have a right to rebel against tyrannies

  • John LockeTheory of KnowledgeEssay Concerning Human UnderstandingReasoning puts man above animalsRejected concept that ideas are innateOuter ideas from experienceInner ideas from contemplationMankind can attain all knowledge

  • Alexander PopeEnglish PoetContributed to political thought and love of languageBelieved that God was in control of the earth and that all things were ultimately for our goodEssay on ManEssay on CriticismMany famous sayings came from these books

  • Trust not yourself; but your defects to know,Make use of every friend and every foe.A little learning is a dangerous thing;

    Alexander Pope from Essay on Criticism

  • Jonathan SwiftHated injusticePolitically activeSatiristGullivers TravelsA Modest Proposal

  • For of what use is freedom of thought if it does not produce freedom of action?

    Swift, On Abolishing Christianity (1708) [Quoted in Barzun, From Dawn to Decadence, 2000, p.273]

  • PhilosopheFrench name for philosopherEnlightenment reached height in France

  • VoltairePen nameCritical of Catholic churchInfluenced others by lettersDenied writings to avoid problemsExiled to England for a whileReturned to live on Swiss border

  • The individual who persecutes another because he is not of the same opinion is nothing less than a monster.


  • I do not agree with a word you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.


  • Jean-Jacques RousseauContest: "Does progress in the arts and sciences correspond with progress in morality?"No!As civilizations progress, they move away from moralityExamples: Romans, Greeks, EgyptiansCivilization itself leads away from true fundamentalsTechnology and art give false desiresSocial ContractNoble Savage

  • Jean-Jacques RousseauInfluence on French and American revolutions"Liberty, Equality, Fraternity"Invest all rights and liberties into a societyCompare to a corporation

  • Man is born free, yet everywhere he is in chains.


  • Summary of Rousseau's Teachings

  • Denis DiderotEncyclopediaTeach people how to think criticallySolicited articles from many expertsControversial articles brought criticismOverall, moved forward the ideas of Enlightenment

  • "The good of the people must be the great purpose of government. By the laws of nature and of reason, the governors are invested with power to that end. And the greatest good of the people is liberty. It is to the state what health is to the individual."

    - Diderot in L'Encyclopedie: Article on Government, quoted in Barzun, Jacques, From Dawn to Decadence, Perennial, 2000, p370.

  • Immanuel KantFrom GermanyStrict habitsThe Critique of Pure Reason and Practical ReasonWeakness of EmpiricismTranscendentalismEmpiricism and other knowledgeEx: infinityCategorical Imperative

  • "You should behave with only those types of behavior that are dictated by the absolute nature of the basic principle on which the act is based.""Act as if your actions would become a moral maxim (principle or model) for all others and at all times."

    From Immanuel Kant's Categorical Imperative

  • David HumeScottish philosopherLeader of empiricism movementGrew to distrust all

  • Adam SmithScottish professorWealth of Nation (1776) Free trade/capitalismDevised capitalismLaissez Faire la natureLiterally, "let do": a philosophy that advocates minimal government interference in the economy.

  • Edward GibbonDecline and Fall of the Roman EmpireUrged reform in EnglandAnti-religious bias

  • Effects of the EnlightenmentEnglandCivil war and establishment of a limited monarchyAnger in the colonies because they are treated differently than "mother England"France No immediate change but seething discontent that will lead to revolutionOther countriesAttempts to adopt Enlightenment principles

  • Enlightened DespotsFrederick II of Prussia (r. 1740-1786)Rebelled against fatherLater developed finest armyBuilt Sans Souci (Potsdam)Invited Voltaire to the court

  • Enlightened DespotsCatherine the Great of Russia (r. 1762-1796)German born wife of Czar Peter IIIControlled government after Peter IIIs accidental(?) deathIncreased European culture in RussiaPeasant ReformsTerritorial ExpansionCorresponded with Diderot

  • Enlightened DespotsGustav III of Sweden (r. 1771-1792)Forced Parliament to accept new constitutionStimulated literature

    Charles III of Spain (r. 1759-1788) Bourbon familyImproved life for SpanishSuppressed Jesuits

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