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Unit 4

4.5 18th Century Culture and Art in Europe

2 min readmay 11, 2020

bretnea-turner

Bretnea Turner


AP European History 🇪🇺

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Continuity and Change in Culture

Authoritarian governments still largely censored materials released, so intellectuals published under false names discussed their ideas in private conversations (like in salons or coffeehouses). Information began to circulate outside of private circles through newspapers📰, books📕, and pamphlets📑. 
Women were including themselves in the Enlightenment movement, being educated by their husbands who were politically involved, and were writing to advocate for their own rights. However, nothing had really changed in regards to their daily life.
Poor farmers left their farms to urbanize, and hopefully find jobs in the city, but quickly became unemployed, resorting to crime or prostitution for money, or apart of the working poor with low wages.
Intellectuals of the time were introducing new scientific ideas💭 about how our world works, but the daily lives of people did not change with this new information.
Intellectuals of the time were also researching best practices for the government and economy, but again, most people’s lives did not change until sweeping revolutions forced governments to pay attention to their citizens beginning in the 1830’s. 
Traditional authorities of the Catholic Church and monarchies were still considered experts in many ways, but the Scientific Revolution and the reasoning of humans supported by the Enlightenment began to change their traditional roles. Monarchs began supporting the studies of philosophers and scientists to increase their own power. With the Catholic Church losing authority, monarchs were able to gain more. 
🎥 Watch: AP European History - New Societal Order

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Baroque Art🎨

Until around 1750, Baroque Art was a symbol of authority, mostly used in religious imagery to convey power. Monarchs used baroque style to imitate the same power and authority. Baroque Art is characterized by extreme contrast of colors, emotions, movement, elaborate decor, and theatrical dramatics🎭.
Baroque Art is also characterized by the use of light to show contrast. Caravaggio, Rembrandt, and Gian Lorenzo Bernini are some of the most commonly known Baroque Names. Sculptures often were very ornate and depicted extreme movement and emotion as well. 
🎥 Watch: AP European History - Rocco Art
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Image Courtesy of Artsy

Neoclassicism

Neoclassicism is exactly what it sounds like. A new version of the Classics. Neoclassicism focused on the characteristics of the ancient classics- column based architecture, politically focused citizens, education, mythology, etc. The hues are often muted and the focal point is typically something historical or political.
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Image Courtesy of Useum

Leisure Activities

With more time on their hands and more people living in cities, a new consumer economy develops. Those who are unable to afford new consumer items like dishes, books, new clothing, cotton linens, mirrors, and other home decor, are often working at low wages to produce them🧵. Middle class people are able to afford these items and begin to take part in luxury items that were only available to the aristocrats of the time. Activities also developed- like going to the theater or opera, and engaging in sports such as horse racing🏇, boxing🥊, and cricket🏏.

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