Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Tanner on Hobbes

Hobbes and the State of Nature (Tanner Luffman)

The Battle of Edgehill

Source: https://athanasiuscmdotorg.files.wordpress.com/2015/11/edgehill_english-civil-war.jpg

Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) was one of the 17th Century’s greatest political philosophers. Hobbes is also one of the most prominent philosophes for the international relations philosophy called realism. Having lived through political disintegration, which ended up becoming the English Civil War, he sought to discover rational principles in order to construct a civil policy that would not be destroyed from within. One of his famous, controversial philosophical views was the state of nature.
To understand what the state of nature is, Hobbes invites us to imagine what it would be like to live in a society without any form of government. How would we fare in a state where we had to decide for ourselves on how to act? What would happen if a dispute occurred? Hobbes believes that people, no matter where their moral compass stands, would either act for themselves or for those that have a close relationship to them. This is what Hobbes calls the “the condition of mere nature”, a state of private judgment.

Hobbes believes that the state of nature is also a state of war because of each person’s bias towards their own well-being, which he calls “the right of nature”. The right of nature would inevitably lead to a divisive struggle over resources. Hobbes states that one might preemptively strike against another person in fear of their own resources being taken from them first. Also, disagreements over religious views, moral beliefs, and so on would only add fuel to the fire.

Without any common authority to resolve such disputes, Hobbes believes that the state of nature could easily become a state of war, or worse, a war of “all against all”.

The state of nature is something that Hobbes believes is condition that occurs “at the beginning of time” or in “primitive” societies (Hobbes thought that Native Americans lived in such a way). Hobbes also believed that a state of nature would occur in 17th century England if the king’s authority was ever to be undermined, with there was no suitable replacement to step into the King’s place.

As a result of his philosophy for the state of nature, Hobbes believes that people need to submit to absolute political authority in order to maintain peace. He reasoned that if there was a threat of a conqueror, people would submit to them in order to gain protection. Essentially, he believes that fear should be the means to control people, which leads into what he believes would be the ideal model to rule, an absolute monarchy.

https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/hobbes-moral/#StaNat http://www.iep.utm.edu/hobmoral/#H4 https://www.britannica.com/topic/state-of-nature-political-theoryhttps://www.britannica.com/topic/state-of-nature-political-theory http://cw.routledge.com/textbooks/alevelphilosophy/data/AS/WhyShouldIBeGoverned/Stateofnature.pdf

Aly-Als on Religion

Religion in the Enlightenment (Alyson Leedy)


Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Tara on Fashion in Portraiture

Fashion in Eighteenth-Century Portraiture (Tara Olivero)

Image: https://artuk.org/discover/artworks/thomas-clifford-16301673-1st-lord-clifford-lord-high-treasurer-16721673-77573

The subjects of Baroque (and later, Neoclassical) portraits did not often wear clothes they would typically wear in public, for two reasons. Firstly, fashion trends shifted so quickly that no one wanted to be painted in a style that would make them appear out of fashion. Subjects, and their painters, preferred that the work would be seen as “timeless” rather than confined to a specific decade or even year depending on the choice of clothing. Secondly, the elaborate clothing styles of the 17th and 18th centuries would be time-consuming to accurately paint because of the level of detail on both the clothing and the accessories. This limited the painter’s artistic output and negatively affected the painter from an economic standpoint. For these reasons, portraits often depicted the subject in simpler clothing that could not be pinned down to one time period.

Peter Lely, one of the foremost portrait painters in Restoration England, tended to paint his subject in varying forms of undress. Fashion was an important expression of one’s social standing, but undress was considered acceptable for portraits of aristocrats because wearing less formal clothing was a way to establish one’s superiority by proving they didn’t have to follow the rules of typical social decorum. Originally, portraits painted in less formal dress were kept in the court or in private only because they were seen as highly provocative, but this trend did catch on over the course of the late 17th and early 18th centuries as an acceptable fashion for portraiture.

In an attempt to create a sense of timelessness, men were often painted in Roman dress, such as by wearing Roman-style armor. Other popular men’s fashions were Arcadian vests (silk or velvet vests with a single row of fastenings down the front) or civic vests (similar, but with buttons down the front instead). Arcadian vests would be worn in real life on “pastoral excursions” but civic vests were worn only artificially, when sitting for portraits. An Indian gown was another popular fashion depicted in portraits, a long dressing gown made of silk or brocade that would be worn over a shirt and breeches when one was at home.

Women often wore more romantic attire in their portraits: softer garments that were more flowing and much less formal than their usual decorative fashions. Intricate details such as lace edging or fanciful cuffed sleeves were often left off in favor of a simpler depiction of the clothing. Women often wore nightgowns, any form of long, loose clothing worn indoors. Because women did not wear stays with their nightgowns, they were less rigid than formal attire and allowed women to be portrayed in a softer, more feminine light. The color palette of the clothing was often confined to a few major colors, usually some variation of blue and white. Again, because of this simplicity, their portraits seemed timeless; often, the only way to tell what year a woman’s portrait was painted would be to identify it by her hairstyle.

In general, the subjects’ states of undress presented men and women in a form of organized carelessness that was desirable at the time.

Visual Component


De Marly, Diana. “Undress in the Oeuvre of Lely.” The Burlington Magazine, vol. 120, no. 908, Nov. 1978, pp 749-751. http://www.jstor.org/stable/879393.

Ribeiro, Aileen. “Some Evidence of the Influence of the Dress of the Seventeenth Century on Costume in Eighteenth-Century Female Portraiture.” The Burlington Magazine, vol. 119, no. 897, Dec. 1977, pp. 832-840. http://www.jstor.org/stable/879032.

Tayla on Georgian Architecture

Georgian Architecture (Tayla Skidgel)

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Rachel on the South Sea Bubble

The South Sea Bubble (Rachel Vachon)


Alicia on Women Writing: Mary Wollstonecraft

Mary Wollstonecraft (Alicia Shupe)

Painting by John Opie c. 1797

Born April 27, 1759 to Edward John Wollstonecraft and Elizabeth Dixon, Mary was the second of seven children. Mary’s father was a violent man who bullied and abused both herself and her mother. Mary began to earn her own living at nineteen years old, and worked as a lady’s companion in Bath. When her mother’s health began to fail, Mary returned home to nurse her, and after her death, she lived with her good friend Fanny Blood’s family. In 1783, Mary helped her sister Eliza escape from an unhappy marriage by hiding her sister until a legal separation could be obtained. After which, the sisters, along with Mary’s friend Fanny, established a school in Newington Green. Mary’s experiences as a schoolteacher would eventually be drawn upon to write Thoughts on the Education of Daughters: With Reflections on Female Conduct, in the More Important Duties of Life (1787).

In 1787-88, Wollstonecraft began working in London as a literary translator for Joseph Johnson, who had published Thoughts. Johnson was a publisher of “radical” texts, and it was in his employ that she began writing and publishing her own radical intellectual works concerning the treatment and education of women. Her novel, Mary, A Fiction was published in 1788 and is still considered one of her most radical texts. In it, she considers marriage as a patriarchal institution which diminishes rather than enriches the women who participate in it.

In accordance with her gender and station in life as a child, Mary did not receive an extensive formal education, however, her time spent as a literary translator and reviewer coupled with her own curiosity helped to introduce her to a world of authors, including Leibniz (plato.stanford.edu). Wollstonecraft contributed to Joseph Johnson’s Analytical Review both as a reviewer and as an editorial assistant. It was in the course of this work that in 1789 she reviewed a speech given by her friend Richard Price to the Revolution Society. His speech was later attacked by Burke in Reflections on the Revolution in France, and those attacks prompted Wollstonecraft to take up her pen in Price’s defense in A Vindication of the Rights of Men (1790). The publication of Vindication marked the beginning of Wollstonecraft’s career as a political writer, and in 1791 she began writing A Vindication of the Rights of Woman: with Strictures on Political and Moral Subjects.

To date, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman remains Wollstonecraft’s most famous and influential work. In it, she critiques the notions of women as helpless and argues for equality of the sexes. Wollstonecraft noted that women were often allowed to become silly and foolish and that this plight could be remedied if they were allowed an education equal to that of the men. “Education held the key to achieving a sense of self-respect and anew self-image that would enable women to put their capacities to good use” instead of becoming frustrated by their marital captivity and becoming tyrants to their children and servants (historyguide.org).

In 1792, Wollstonecraft met Gilbert Imlay, an American merchant and author, in France. The two began a romantic relationship the result of which was the birth of Mary’s daughter, Fanny, who was named for her friend Fanny Blood, in 1794. However, Mary and Gilbert were never married and the relationship was a miserable one which eventually ended in Imlay rejecting Wollstonecraft completely. In 1795, one year after Fanny’s birth, Mary attempted suicide twice due to her chronic unhappiness, but it was spring of 1796 before she and Imlay ended their relationship for good. Later that summer, Wollstonecraft met William Godwin whom she would marry in 1797. Godwin was the father of Mary’s second and most famous daughter, author Mary Shelley. Shelley was born August 30th 1797, however, Wollstonecraft suffered complications and died ten days later.

Wollstonecraft was a true feminist radical in her time, and the arguments of her Vindication would later set the doctrine for the women’s rights movement with the work returning to prominence during the second wave of the feminist movement in 1960s and 1970s (thefamouspeople.com).


Thursday, October 19, 2017

Megan on British Slavery in the Eighteenth Century

British Slavery in the Eighteenth Century (Megan Baeumler)

For about 300 years, European countries forced Africans onto slave ships and transported them across the Atlantic Ocean. With Portugal being the first nation to engage in the transatlantic slave trade in the late 1400’s.
First Trader
 The first known English slave trader was John Hawkins (talk more about him later on). John left England in 1562 on his first slaving voyage, with his second in 1564 and his last voyage in 1567. In total he captured around 1200 Africans and sold them as goods in the Spanish colonies in America.
Before Slave trade
Originally, British interests were on the African produce not the slave trade. In fact several charters were made between 1553 and 1660 that granted merchants to establish settlements on Africa’s west coast. This was to supply goods like ivory, gold, pepper, dyewood* and indigo. So, with al theses supplies conflict was bound to happen. Rivalry between Portugal, Holland, Denmark and Sweden eventually broke out and all sustained significant losses in their companies. This rivalry continued to increase one plantation slavery was introduced in America.
Origins and Growth
In 1640’s Dutch merchants introduced sugar to Barbados and showed the planters how to grow and process sugarcane. Along with the knowledge to grow sugarcane the Dutch supplied the Barbadian planters with Africans, officially introducing plantation slavery. The sugar ended up being sold in Holland. Sugar was a hot commodity and when the faming of sugar went from the English style (Small farms) to a few landowners growing sugarcane and monopolizing the land.  It took a large number of laborers to grow, harvest and process sugarcane, so planters initially employed convict and indentured servants from Britain and a few African “servant”. Later on convict labor didn’t meet planters growing needs anymore, and the Dutch supply of African laborers seemed unending, beginning the English involvement in the trade of slaved Africans. Barbadians were soon employing a large number of African Slaves and passed laws to restrict their rights as slaves (calling them property)
Estimated 70% of all Africans transported were by Portugal and Britain (most successful). In fact the exact number of British ships that took place in the slave trade is not known, but there is an estimated 10,000 dispatched voyages to Africa for slaves. Only the Portuguese carried more slaves than Britain carrying on another 50 years after the British abolished its slave trade. So from 1640 to 1807 Britain dominated the slave trade. Many British Ports profited from the slave trade none more so than London, Bristol, and Liverpool. And under the Slave Trade Act of 1799 slave trade was restricted to these ports
In 1672 the Royal African Company was established and that formalized the slave trade under a royal charter and gave a monopoly to the port of London. The other ports lobbied to change the charter and in 1698 the monopoly was taken away. Other companies were set up under the Royal charters were involved in the slave trade, one being the East India Company who was part of the East African slave trade but also collected from the West coast of Africa.
British Abolishment 
The abolition of the British slave trade affected not just the trade in British and colonial ships, but the supplying and fitting of the vessels by British workers, the British sailors manning the ships, and the insuring of the slaving vessels themselves. Ships that were clear to leave ports before May 1st 1807 could trade until March 1st 1808.  During the Abolition of the Slave trade act and the tightening of monitoring and suppressing the trade and international treaties gave Britain a new job, International Policeman. British naval squadrons were made to patrol the Coast of West Africa and the Caribbean to look out for illegal slavers. This also encouraged the navy to explore the coastal rivers and waterways, barding slaving settlements, making treaties with friendly African groups and found other forms of trade. In the end Britain’s diplomatic role led to treaties with slave owning and slave trading countries to stop the slave trade or to at least manage it better.

* refers to a number of varieties of wood which provided dyes for textiles and other purposes. Old Fustic from India and Africa, producing a yellow dye.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Paige on Voltaire

Voltaire (Paige Hill)

Voltaire, or François-Marie Arouet, was born November 21st 1694 in Paris France and died May 30th 1778. However, Voltaire himself said that his birthday was actually February 20th.  He did not feel any particular familial attachment toward his father or brother, and his mother died when he was seven years old. He did go off to college at the Louis-le-Grand in Paris in 1704 where he would discover a love for literature, especially the theatre. However, the religious aspect of the college he scorned and mocked, being very skeptical. He soon would begin to focus on literature rather than law as a career. He would publish a wide variety of writing from poetry to historical texts. Some of his major works include The Age of Louis XIV (1751), Essay on the Customs and the Spirit of the Nations (1756), Candide (1759), which was a satire and novella. In 1726 he would be arrested and held for a small amount of time before he would decide to be exiled to England rather than remain in jail. He would be in England for nearly three years where he would be inspired by the ideas that were being spread throughout the country because of its own Enlightenment. He would encounter such figures as Alexander Pope and Jonathan Swift.  His stay in England would so inspire him to go back to France and suggest “England as a model to his compatriots” (ww.britannica.com/biography/Voltaire#toc59164). He would also be introduced to the tragedies of William Shakespeare while there. Later he attempted to emulate that style of tragedy in his own plays. One of his plays that would become a success was Zaire. although his play Brutus,which was his attempt at emulating Shakespeare, would find hardly any success. Looking at his values and beliefs, he was a deist and considered established religion to be far from rational. He also did not approve of democracy, believing that “an enlightened monarchy, informed by the counsels of the wise, was best suited to govern” (http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Voltaire). Moreover, his rejection of the church and its dogma would allow him to have an affair with the married Émilie du Châtelet for fifteen years. He would escape to her home in Cirey-sur-Blaise after his Letters on the English (1733) really provoked the French church and government to anger. His mistress was also a progressive thinker of the time, being interested in metaphysics and the sciences. They would spend considerable time at her home, studying intensely and even writing literary pieces together. He would also remodeled the chateau with his own money. Voltaire was considered the representative thinker of the French enlightenment. He believed in freedom and progress, being influenced by what he experienced on his trip to England and the work of John Locke. He would ultimately use his wit to criticize unjust institutions as well as the Church and established religion, pushing humanistic virtues and reason over emotion. He really fought against and challenged the current establishments in France. However, what he wrote would also play a very significant role in the French revolution, and would even continue to influence individuals of the nineteenth century such as Karl Marx and Charles Darwin.   


Monday, October 16, 2017

Chris on Baroque Music

Baroque Music (Chris Graham)

* Baroque Music of the 17th and 18th Century
* Composed from 1600-1750
* Derived from Portuguese barrocco, meaning “oddly shaped pearl”
* Many critics described as being overly ornamental
* Composers
* Majority of composers came from three countries
* Italian origin
* Famous Forms
* Opera
* Oratorio
* Cantata
* Sonata
* Concerto
* Suite
* Baroque In Popular Culture
* Sources http://classicalwcrb.org/post/monteverdis-final-masterpiece-coronation-poppea#stream/0 http://classicalmusicinconcert.blogspot.com/2015/06/charpentier-cantiques-pour-un-prince.html https://earlymusicmuse.com/baroquemusic/ https://www.baroque.org/baroque/whatis

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Kathye on John Flamsteed

John Flamsteed (Kathye Macias-Ramirez)

John Flamsteed was a leading figure in astronomy during the rule of King Charles II. Born a sickly child in Denby “at 7:16pm on the 19 August 1646” to a moderately wealthy family in a two story house that was later demolished “between 1866-80”. Flamsteed’s father “owned a lead mine” in a town that was known for its “coal and iron”. His mother died at the age of 3, and his father remarried to Elizabeth Bate who also left his father widowed and then lastly to Katherine, in 1654. Flamsteed’s health problems caused him to experience “chronic arthritis of his knees and ankles, weakness in his legs, and frequent headaches” signs that today point to rheumatic fever. Having only attended school until the age of 14, Flamsteed self taught by “teaching himself Latin and reading mathematical books” both of which helped him later in life.
            During the rule of Charles II there was an increase in world trade--this trade however was only possible by sea. There was an understanding of the north and south latitude that was not there in  longitude--necessary to move east and west. Given the ruler that Charles II was, he was easily inspired by the action of Louis XIV to “celebrate[ed] italian astronomer G-D Cassini as Director of the Paris Observatory” and celebrated Flamsteed by appointing him as the first Astronomer Royal. The Royal Observatory at Greenwich, designed by Sir Christopher Wren, had to be placed on royal land and given a set budget. Flamsteed was given €500 and “bricks from Tilbury Fort where there was a spare stock” the rest had to be provided by Flamsteed himself. He remained Royal Astronomer from the age of 28 to 72. Today two centuries later Martin John Rees continues the fill the position.
            Flamsteed’s observations were done with the most modern of scientific instruments. He was always determined to gather the most accurate information and looked on ways to improve and perfect. This determination lead him to find the practicality of combining a telescope to a sextant--which made the image smaller while still keeping the original appearance. These observations were also important to Newton who required their calculations for his own study of the lunar theory. Flamsteed was not willing to publish his unperfected observations which lead Newton to persuade the “queen to appoint him as inspector in charge of the Observatory” making Newton, Flamsteed’s boss. Flamsteed’s observations were then pirated by Edmond Hally who “published 400 copies in 1712”. Later after Flamsteed’s death Edmond Hally received the title of Astronomer Royal. Hally changed the “names and numbers of stars” and recalled Flamsteed as “lazy and [a] mediocre astronomer”. It was not until 1725 with the work of “two colleagues, Joseph Crosthwait and Abraham Sharp” and his wife published his observations.

Main Source

Allie on Puritans

Puritans (Allie Bennett)

·         Puritan Beliefs- Puritans considered the Bible as the true law of God that provided guidelines for church and government. They wished to shape the Church of England to meet their ideals. They also called for less priestly churches that emphasized preaching. They also believed that all Christian churches should be organized through councils called presbyteries or church courts rather than bishops, like the Church of England. Puritans also believed that the congregation was a complete church its self and should have control over the churches affairs. They emphasized Bible reading, prayer, and preaching in worship services. Puritans in both Britain and British North America also sought to cleanse the culture of what they regarded as corrupt, sinful practices. They believed that the civil government should strictly enforce public morality by prohibiting vices like drunkenness, gambling, ostentatious dress, swearing, and Sabbath-breaking.
·         John Wycliffe- Puritan beliefs developed from Wycliffe. He was considered Oxford University’s leading philosopher and theologian. Wycliffe challenged indulgences, repudiated confessions and reiterated the biblical teaching on faith. He also believed that every Christian should have access to scripture, so he started translating the Bible into English. The church opposed his translating the Bible.
·         John Calvin- Calvin's ideas where humans cannot be saved by our deeds, but only by the grace of God. This was totally opposite to what the Church wanted, as they insisted that it was necessary to partake in chores such as confession, indulgences, etc. to gain eternal life. Calvin also placed an important emphasis on the importance of the Bible, and that scripture was the ultimate authority. A controversial Idea that Calvin promoted was that of Predestination, in which the future of one’s life and salvation has already been determined by God as he is omniscient. Predestination was an important concept in Puritan belief. 
·         Why are they called Puritans? - They got the name puritan because they wanted to “purify”, or simplify the Church of England. Some Puritans, called Separatists formed their own churches because they believed they wouldn’t be able to ever change the Church of England.
·         Closed theaters- The major banning of the theatre was put into place by Oliver Cromwell, at the start of the English Civil War, on September 6th, 1642 by an act of Parliament. This meant specifically the great play houses in London; many that which survived the Elizabethan age. There reasoning for closing the theatre was because it seemed “unseemly” during turbulent times; but of course, the real reason was because they had become the meeting places of Royalists. Their puritan rivals, who controlled parliament, simply couldn’t have that going on so they banned the theatres. They remained illegal until the end of the Interregnum in 1660, when the Puritans lost power and the monarchy was restored.
·         Other rules forced by Cromwell- One of the main beliefs of the Puritans that if you worked hard, you would be able to go the Heaven, pointless enjoyment was frowned upon. Cromwell shut many inns and theaters down; he also banned most sports and if boys where caught playing football on Sunday, they were whipped for punishment. Swearing was also punished by fine, and if you kept the vulgar language up, you would be sent to prison. Cromwell also believed that that women should dress how they Bible told them to, so he had Puritan leaders and soldiers would roam the streets and scrub off any make-up and too colorful dresses were banned.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Tanner on Leibniz

Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646-1716)  (Tanner Luffman)

Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/07/Leibniz_Hannover.jpg
Note: This bibliography barely scratches the surface of what Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz did throughout his life, and is exclusively focused on significant works directly or indirectly related to his notion of monads.

Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz is considered to be one of the great philosophical thinkers of the seventeenth and eighteenth century, among many other accolades he achieved throughout his life. Throughout his life, Leibniz contributed to an astonishing amount of fields of study such as metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of religion, logic, mathematics, physics, geology, jurisprudence (philosophy of law), and history. Rightfully so, the Stafford Encyclopedia of Philosophy names him as the last “universal genius”.
            Born on July 1, 1646 to Catharina Schmuck and Friedrich Leibniz in Leipzig, Germany, Gottfried was born into a Lutheran family of educated elites on both sides of his family. Leibniz’s father died in 1652, when Gottfried was 6, so the majority of his upbringing and education was facilitated by both his mother, his uncle, and himself. Leibniz’s father left an extensive library behind, filled with ancient history that he studied on his own until going off to the University of Leipzig.
            Germany was not incredibly influenced by modern philosophy during the time, so Leibniz’s philosophic education was primarily scholastic in its nature. It’s also important to know that Leibniz was practically isolated from the intellectual circle, and only had limited contact with other great minds during the time, with most exchanges happening through letters. During his stay at the university, he began to form his notion of what a “monad” is. In the summer term of 1663, he went to Jena to study. There, he learned the importance of numbers and their relationship with philosophy, which he then used for his dissertation for his Master’s Degree in philosophy.
            In 1666 Leibniz made one of his major philosophical publications, Dissertatio de arte combinatorial (Dissertation on the combinatorial art). The premise Leibniz aimed for was to reduce all reasoning and discovery to a combination of basic elements such as numbers, letters, sounds and colors.
            Later on in 1675, Gottfried laid the foundation for differential and integral calculus, which supported his idea of monadology because he didn’t consider time and space of substance anymore. In 1679 he continued to work on the groundwork for his theory of metaphysics, which attempted to reduce reasoning to an algebra of thoughts, with him eventually publicizing Discours de métaphysique (Discourse on Metaphysics) in February 1686.
            Much later in life, in 1714 Leibniz synthesized his notion of monads and published Monadologia. This was one of the last works published before his death on November 14, 1716.


Aly-Als on Enlightenment Anthropology

Anthropology in the Enlightenment (Alyson Leedy)

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Tara on Baroque Art

Baroque Art (Tara Olivero)

Although (or perhaps because) the Baroque artistic movement was born from the European tensions between Catholicism and the Protestant Reformation, Baroque paintings became distinctly less focused on religion when compared to the previous period of Renaissance art, especially in England. European art in the Renaissance was often created for a purpose, to either teach a moral or tell a story, and Catholic countries especially encouraged art which had the sole purpose of stimulating piety. In the Baroque period, the Enlightenment’s spirit of independence began to allow artists the freedom to paint the images that interested them. These were often subjects more associated with ordinary life than any lofty religious ideals; landscapes, still lifes, and portraits became the common subjects for Baroque paintings. In some cases, these subjects were not chosen due to freedom, however; they were also popular in countries like the Netherlands where artists, because of Protestant discouragement of religious imagery, needed to turn to secular subjects in order to have anything to paint at all.

In terms of style, Baroque paintings became significantly more dramatic in their portrayal of subjects’ facial expressions. Chiaroscuro, the interplay between light and shadow, helped to make these paintings more theatrical in nature and convey much more vivid emotion. Renaissance painters were also much more engaged with portraying their images with a balanced, symmetrical composition, but Baroque painters imbued their art with more realism. Subjects were portrayed as they existed in the real world rather than appearing as idealized versions.

The Dutch painter Jacob van Ruisdael was one of the stars of landscape painting, and the Dutch painter Jan Vermeer is most renowned for his paintings of ordinary life. One of the most well-known still life artists was the French painter Jean Chardin. Rembrandt van Rijn, another Dutch painter, is also considered a master of the Baroque style of art. England, unfortunately, didn’t have many prestigious painters during the Baroque era, but the closest would be Peter Lely, a Dutch portrait painter who relocated to England. He became the Principal Painter of the English court in 1661 and essentially had no competition for years; some of his most famous subjects were James II and Charles II.


Tayla on S. Paul's

S. Paul's Cathedral (Tayla Skidgel)