How did the Doctrine of Empiricism change the way artists created art?

Last Updated: 19 Apr 2023
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The term "empiricism" has a dual etymology, stemming both from the Greek word for "experience". (http://www. philosophybasics. com/branch_empiricism. html) The “Doctrine of Empiricism” changed the way artists created art. They went from an open-minded outlook on the way to express art to a more structured view. It vanished the idea of metaphysical, tradition, and myth and replaced it with critical thought, and the scientific method of experimentation and the knowledge through empirical data. (The Enlightenment) A philosopher that well represents empiricism was John Locke.

Portrait of John Locke, by Sir Godfrey Kneller. Oil on canvas. 76x64 cm. Britain, 1697. Source of Entry: Collection of Sir Robert Walpole, Houghton Hall, 1779 Locke believed that everyone was born with a “blank slate” and knowledge was obtained from experience. ( Theory of Knowledge, Empiricism) That changed the way artists created art because it gave them a more realistic view on how to express themselves. They took what they already knew and have experienced and started a whole new perception. Although this whole concept was new to everyone, not everyone agreed.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau argued the idea of perfection in progress and knowledge, but he still presented acceptable ideas because the philosophers of this period argued for the perfection of the natural. (The Enlightenment) Leonardo Da Vinci was an advocate for careful empirical observation and an early version of the scientific method, making him important to the development of both science and skepticism. Leonardo's emphasis on observation and empirical science was not separate from his art. ( Leonardo Da Vinci ; Science, Observation, Empiricism, and Mathematics) Vitruvius: Vitruvian Man, by Leonardo Da Vinci, 1490

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The Vitruvian Man was created using contour lines. The detail and shading is limited but portrays his interest in proportion and science. Da Vinci put a visual emphasis on the body itself using shapes to create what acts as a border. Empiricism was a breakthrough in the late 17th century and during the 18th. It took the endless possibilities of art and gave everything a new perspective. It is the theory in which everything comes from experience and evidence. It changed the way artists created art by giving them some insight and background before they ventured off into the divine world of art.
Works Cited The Neoclassical (The Enlightenment)

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