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About the values of Enlightenment and Romanticism through painting - Essay Example

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About the values of Enlightenment and Romanticism through painting

History has shown us that man moves in pendulous ways. From nature to divine, from reason to feelings, from private to public, from objective to subjective. Art is the ideal illustration for these movements, and this essay will discuss the contrasting values manifested in two paintings belonging to the historical movements of the Enlightenment and Romanticism: William Blake's Newton (1795), and Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog by Caspar David Friedrich. Although Blake is considered usually a romantic precursor in art, in this particular painting, he depicts precisely the most characteristic values of the Enlightenment era. I will also include a typically enlightenment-era painting, Mr and Mrs Andrews by Thomas Gainsborough (1748-49), in order to directly contrast the different movements.The Enlightenment era, which belonged to the Age of Reason, describes a historical intellectual movement of the 18th century, which advocated rationality as a means to establish an authoritative system of ethics, aesthetics, and knowledge. "The intellectual leaders of this movement regarded themselves as courageous and elite, and regarded their purpose as leading the world toward progress and out of a long period of doubtful tradition, full of irrationality, superstition, and tyranny now denominated as the Dark Age". (Cassirer, 1992).The Enlightenment believed in a rational, orderly and comprehensible universe. It extolled the ideals of liberty, property and rationality which are still recognizable as the basis for most political philosophies even in the present era. ...Show more


History has shown us that man moves in pendulous ways.From nature to divine,from reason to feelings,from private to public,from objective to subjective.Art is the ideal illustration for these movements,and this essay will discuss the contrasting values manifested in two paintings belonging to the historical movements of the Enlightenment …
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