The Enlightenment and Art Term Paper by scribbler

The Enlightenment and Art
A look at the impact of Enlightenment artists on politics and the later schools of art.
# 153055 | 1,424 words | 6 sources | MLA | 2013 | US
Published on May 02, 2013 in Art (History) , History (European)

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The paper looks at the origins of the Enlightenment and explains how it was a philosophical tradition that influenced the art and politics of its time. The paper then discusses how Enlightenment art provided much of the underpinnings of the American Revolution and the French Revolution; the paper shows how no leader of the French Revolution is memorialized in art in the same way that Washington, Jefferson, and Franklin are portrayed. The paper discusses the manifestations of government, science, and social class in Enlightenment art and also looks at how Enlightenment art led to both the Neoclassical and Romantic schools of art.

The Enlightenment and its Origins
Enlightenment Art and the American and French Revolutions
Enlightenment Art and Government, Science, and Social Class
The Influence of Enlightenment Art on Romanticism and Neoclassicism

From the Paper:

"Knowledge both formed and increased an individual's ability to reason. The British Museum's web site on the Enlightenment notes that, "Knowledge came to be understood as debatable, as growing from investigation and observation rather than being accepted on the basis of some long respected authority." Knowledge stems from science, or the scientific method, rather than from authority. No individual person, nor any societal institution, could rightly claim to teach or speak with authority, by virtue of position alone. Authority stemmed from right reason rooted in knowledge of facts.
"While the Enlightenment is an 18th century movement, flourishing in the 40 years between 1740 and 1780, its beginnings may be traced to the work of the Catholic theologian, Thomas Aquinas, five centuries previously. Aquinas, through his recovery of and reliance on the writings of Aristotle, the ancient Greek philosopher, began to bring reason, or more precisely, logic back. The humanists of the Italian Renaissance, epitomized by the genius of Leonardo da Vinci, built on Aquinas's recovery of reason. Using logic, "they argued that the proper worship of God involved admiration of his creation, and in particular of that crown of creation: humanity. By celebrating the human race and its capacities they argued they were worshipping God more appropriately." (Brians)"

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Brians, Paul. "The Enlightenment." Paul Brians' Home Page. 18 May 200. Web. 02 Dec. 2010. < >
  • "Colonial Art." Art Education for the Blind. n. d. Web. 02 Dec. 2010. < >
  • "Enlightenment Europe." The British Museum. n.d. Web. 02 Dec. 2010. < >
  • Gracyk, Theodore. "Hume and Kant: Summary and Comparison." Home Page of Theodore Gracyk. Minnesota State University. 2006. Web. 02 Dec. 2010. < >
  • "The Enlightenment on art, genius, and the sublime." The Open University. n.d. 02 Dec. 2010. < >

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APA Format

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MLA Format

"The Enlightenment and Art" 02 May 2013. Web. 10 December. 2023. <>