Art History the Values of Term Paper

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The rococo ethos symbolized this coming together of worldly knowledge and artistic accomplishment. It was a world of the few and the privileged, but in its promotion of careful inquiry and insightful debate, it was laying the groundwork for another era.

The works of the philosophes quickly turned to an out and out criticism of the status quo. Men like Voltaire and woman like Madame de Stael, pursued avenues of thought that lead directly, in their most extreme versions, to revolution. Diderot's Encyclopedie, and Johnson's Dictionary of the English Language, were examples of the strongly rational spirit that was emerging. Much as Socrates, Plato, Aristotle and other Classical thinkers had sought to probe and to understand the mysteries of the natural and human world, so too did the leaders of the Eighteenth Century hope to create a civilization that was based on rational principles and scientific investigation. Turning to examples from the Ancient World, Eighteenth Century artists and architects created works in a neoclassical style that embodied the extreme restraint, studied introspection, and balanced purity of the original Classical forms. England, with its developing democratic institutions, was a leading exemplar of the new outlook, producing such works as Syon House with its rigid Classical symmetry and central plan, and numerous Palladian manor houses, such as Woburn Abbey and Chiswick House. Stripped of the elaborate ornamentation of the rococo, the neoclassical decor featured large expanses of plain white walls, and in painting
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favored the Roman-inspired themes of David and Ingres - styles that continued standard through the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic periods. The era's leading minds consciously pursued the links between art and political and philosophical developments.

Neoclassicism concentrated especially on the ethics of the Roman Republic, that age's emphasis on duty to the state, selfless devotion to great causes, and Spartan simplicity according well with the hopeful rationalism of the American Revolution and the early phases of the Revolution in France. The political ideals of the Ancient republicans appeared to match the aspirations of their modern descendants. As well, the first beginnings of the Industrial Revolution could be seen as yet a further development of the Classical spirit of inquiry. Though Neoclassicism would not long survive the upheavals of war and social change, it would establish the artistic and intellectual foundations on which our own industrial and technological world would be built.

Works Cited

http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=15307981

Ramsey, Matthew. "6 Revolutionary Politics and Revolutionary Culture Shakespeare in France, 1789-1815." The French Revolution in Culture and Society. Ed. David G. Troyansky, Alfred Cismaru, and Norwood Andrews. New York: Greenwood Press, 1991. 57-65.

A www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=102842916

Wilson, Peter H. Absolutism in Central Europe. London: Routledge, 2000.

A www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=102843008

Peter H. Wilson, Absolutism in Central Europe (London: Routledge, 2000) 79. http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=15308054

Matthew Ramsey, "6 Revolutionary Politics and Revolutionary Culture Shakespeare in France, 1789-1815," the French Revolution in Culture and Society, ed. David G. Troyansky, Alfred Cismaru, and Norwood Andrews (New York: Greenwood Press, 1991) 58.

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Works Cited

http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=15307981

Ramsey, Matthew. "6 Revolutionary Politics and Revolutionary Culture Shakespeare in France, 1789-1815." The French Revolution in Culture and Society. Ed. David G. Troyansky, Alfred Cismaru, and Norwood Andrews. New York: Greenwood Press, 1991. 57-65.

A www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=102842916

Wilson, Peter H. Absolutism in Central Europe. London: Routledge, 2000.

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