From the Enlightenment to Modernism – A Whistle Stop Tour.
“The Enlightenment (French: Siècle des Lumières; German: Aufklärung; Italian: Illuminismo; Portuguese: Iluminismo) was an eighteenth century movement in European and American philosophy — some classifications also include 17th century philosophy (usually called the Age of Reason).”
“Romanticism is an artistic, literary, and intellectual movement that originated around the middle of the 18th century in Western Europe, during the Industrial Revolution. It was partly a revolt against aristocratic, social, and political norms of the Enlightenment period and a reaction against the scientific rationalization of nature in art and literature. It stressed strong emotion as a source of aesthetic experience, placing new emphasis on such emotions as trepidation, horror, and the awe experienced in confronting the sublimity of untamed nature. It elevated folk art, nature and custom, as well as arguing for an epistemology based on nature, which included human activity conditioned by nature in the form of language, custom and usage. It was influenced by ideas of the Enlightenment and elevated medievalism and elements of art and narrative perceived to be from the medieval period. The name “romantic” itself comes from the term “romance” which is a prose or poetic heroic narrative originating in medieval literature and romantic literature. The ideologies and events of the French Revolution and Industrial Revolution are thought to have influenced the movement. Romanticism elevated the achievements of what it perceived as misunderstood heroic individuals and artists that altered society. It also legitimized the individual imagination as a critical authority which permitted freedom from classical notions of form in art. There was a strong recourse to historical and natural inevitability in the representation of its ideas.”
“Modernism describes a series of reforming cultural movements in art and architecture, music, literature and the applied arts which emerged in the three decades before 1914. The term covers many political, cultural and artistic movements rooted in the changes in Western society at the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth century. It is a trend of thought that affirms the power of human beings to create, improve, and reshape their environment, with the aid of scientific knowledge, technology and practical experimentation. Modernism encouraged the re-examination of every aspect of existence, from commerce to philosophy, with the goal of finding that which was ‘holding back’ progress, and replacing it with new, progressive and therefore better, ways of reaching the same end. In essence, the modernist movement argued that the new realities of the industrial and mechanized age were permanent and imminent, and that people should adapt their world view to accept that the new equaled the good, the true and the beautiful. Modern (quantum and relativistic) physics, modern (analytical and continental) philosophy and modern number theory in mathematics are, however, also said to date from this period. Embracing change and the present, modernism encompasses the works of thinkers who rebelled against nineteenth century academic and historicist traditions, believing the “traditional” forms of art, architecture, literature, religious faith, social organization and daily life were becoming outdated; they directly confronted the new economic, social and political aspects of an emerging fully industrialized world. Some divide the 20th Century into movements designated Modernism and Postmodernism, whereas others see them as two aspects of the same movement.”
“PostModernism is a term applied to a wide-ranging set of developments in critical theory, philosophy, architecture, art, literature, and culture, which are generally characterized as either emerging from, in reaction to, or superseding, modernism. Largely influenced by the disillusionment induced by the Second World War, postmodernism tends to refer to a cultural, intellectual, or artistic state lacking a clear central hierarchy or organizing principle and embodying extreme complexity, contradiction, ambiguity, diversity, and interconnectedness or interreferentiality.”