Paris: City of Light

Enlightenment Ideas


Parisian Salons
 ~Salons of   Enlightenment
 ~Madame de   Stäel         
~Salons of the   Restoration
 ~The Salons of   Victor Hugo

Influence of Printed Materials
 ~Pre-Revolutionary   Timeline
 ~Post-Revolutionary   Timeline


Defining the Parisians
 ~Parisians Viewed   by Foreigners
 ~Parisians   Viewed by   Themselves
 ~Paris Fashion




Image 2.2 La Revolution francaise, A. Duplessis, 1790's, Musee de la Revolution francaise, Vizille, France (Hesse, 122).

The above engraving is one interpretation of the French Revolution as a turning point in the relationship between author and audience. The men walking in line are holding written materials, indicating that they are authors. Beams of light are reaching from the heavens, suggested by clouds and angels, towards the authors. This represents the process of enlightenment, where authors are the heros because they get the inspired ideas into the hands of the public. However, the turning point occurs when the true enlightened spirit of questioning becomes the focus, rather than the individual creator/author himself. This means that the reader has a crucial role to challenge the ideas and understand the writings for himself, instead of blind acceptance. Following the philosophies of Rousseau, the responsiblity is entrusted to the citizens of France.