Enlightenment and Romantic Views on Nature

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The Enlightenment and Romantic periods had different views on nature through writings and paintings; however they also sought to recognize the limits in human knowledge through the study of nature.

The Enlightenment was a period where it tried to explain and study the true nature of mankind and how it progressed. Natural history was the science of Earth’s development. G.L Buffon was the foremost practitioner and he was able to produce a multivolume ‘Natural History of the Earth.’ Buffon tried to classify the data of nature and provided a description and theory of Earth’s development with the drawings of fossils. The Romanticism was a movement in philosophy and the arts which focused more on the traditional ideas of nature. There were many artists who arranged their paintings to look natural, with trees and with flowers of varied colors and heights. Theodore Gericault was a painter who emphasized vibrant colors in his paintings. Both Enlightenment and Romantic periods also had different religion views. The enlightenment saw God as rational and distant which led to the idea of Deism. The Deists views stated that the belief in God is based on reason rather than revelation. The Romantics disagreed with the deist views and explained events with their inner feelings and God was as human views

Both the Enlightenment and Romanticism periods sought to recognize the limits in human knowledge through the study of nature. There have been Romantic artists such as William Wordsworth whose work was inspired by his reverence for the natural world. Wordsworth always paid close attention to his surroundings. Also, Isaac Newton had made contributions to mathematics, physics, astronomy, and optics. Newton’s masterpiece, ‘The Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy,’ claimed that everything Newton said was proved by experiment or by mathematics.
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