Uploaded by Rachelle Anne Lucasan


Early Modern Period
A Rake's Progress: The Gaming House by William Hogarth (1732-1735)
A Rake’s Progress takes us away from France and away from the upper classes. This
painting by William Hogarth shows the less refined society of Europe and comes to us
from England. The painting was originally an engraving, in a series of eight showing the
fall of an immoral man, or rake, into poverty and poor society. In this painting, the rake is
in a gambling houe, losing his fortune among other immoral men. The fact that the
paintings were engravings allowed them to be printed and widely circulated. This speaks
to the growing popular culture that was emerging during the time.
The field of early modern art history works on the artistic work of the early Renaissance
up to classicism. Architecture, sculpture, and painting form the focus of teaching,
especially the art landscape in Italy, France, Germany, and England from the fifteenth to
the nineteenth centuries. The beginnings of the Early Modern Period can be seen around
1500 in the reshaping and expansion of the 1 worldview of the Middle Ages that was taking
place. Despite symbolic dates such as the discovery of the New World by Christopher
Columbus in 1492 and the beginning of the Reformation in 1517, this transformation did
not take place abruptly but took the form of cumulative changes throughout the era.
The smooth transition from the Middle Ages to the Modern Age is conventionally fixed on
such events as the Reformation and the discovery of the "New World," which brought
about the emergence of a new image of man and his world. Humanism, which spread out
of Italy, also made an essential contribution to this with its promotion of a critical
awareness of Christianity and the Church. The Reformation eventually broke the allembracing power of the Church. After the Thirty Years' War, the concept of a universal
empire was also nullified. The era of the nation-state began, bringing with it the desire to
build up political and economic power far beyond Europe. The Americas, Africa, and Asia
provided regions of expansion for the Europeans.
Several of the female artists included here, such as Artemisia Gentileschi, Elisabeth Sirani
and Maria Sibylla Merian, were daughters of male artists, who trained directly with their
fathers. Though female artists in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries were regarded as
an exception to the rule, their careers were recognized by their male contemporaries.
Modern art begins with the heritage of painters like Vincent van Gogh, Paul Cézanne, Paul
Gauguin, Georges Seurat and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec all of whom were essential for
the development of modern art.
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