Light of the World: Shifts in the Meaning of Light through the Early Modern Period
Joanne Carrubba

The massive population decrease in Europe due to plague in the fourteenth century led to more flexibility in terms of social status, as well as a rise in the interest in learning and availability of education. With this, as well as the rise of humanism and calls for religious reform, people began to rethink explanations of phenomena in the natural world and the centrality of religion to daily life. As scientific theories were explored and proven throughout the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the reconciliation of science and art can be tracked in the means by which artists used light as a metaphor, shifting from religion to science. This paper will focus primarily on the shifts in meaning of light in the art of Europe, primarily that of Italy, Spain, and England from the pre-modern period through the eighteenth century, considering the impact of the plague and social shifts in the period.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/rah.v11n1a2