Culture and art in the XVIII century
1. Culture and art in Europe
- SCIENCES. The principles of observation and experimentation are developed.
+ Astronomy. The main figure was Laplace, with his famous theory about the origins of the Earth. Herschel discovered the planet Uranus.
+ Physics. Important inventions were made, like the thermometer (Celsius and Farenheit), the lighting conductor (Franklin) and, above the rest, the steam machine (Watt).
+ Chemistry. The main driver was Lavoissier, who formulated the principle of conservation of mass.
+ English Positivism. English philosopher Locke, being based on Descartes’ rationalism, gave to his philosophy a positivist sense, searching functional purposes for it: political freedom, religious tolerance and rational education.
+ French rationalism. Their intention is to destroy previous ideas and create a new State, a new religion and a new society based on the reason. These ideas carried them to scepticism, ateism and materialism. Important names were Montesquieu (author of Spirit of the Laws), Voltaire and Rouseau, advocate of social equality (author of Emile and The Social Contract).
+ The Encyclopaedia. It pretended to be a summary of all the knwoledge of its times, and it was the main tool of the revolution. The work was directed by Diderot and d'Alambert.
- LITERATURE. The great genious of its time was Goethe, writer of Faust. In England a relevant figure was Daniel Defoe, with his famous Robinson Crusoe.
+ Architecture. Following the baroque arrived the rococo, which mainly used curved lines. It was inmediately followed by the neoclassical, a return to the calm, peaceful spirit of ancient times and the use of straight lines.
+ Painting. In France the main names were Boucher and David; in England, Reynolds and Romney; in Italy, Tiepolo and, in Spain, Francisco de Goya.
+ Sculpture. The best sculptors were French, like Pigalle, Falconet and Hondon. In Spain the most important name was Salcillo.
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