The Modernity Of Paris In The 19th Century

Great Essays
In the nineteenth century, Paris became the epitome of the modern city, at least in the eyes of its upper class bourgeois elite and the tourists who visited the modern marvel. This “modern vision” of Paris was developed by people willing to look at and into their surroundings and themselves critically. In fact, it is those people looking at themselves and others in a critical sense and being conscious of the effect their way of seeing the world can have on others that drove who Parisian modernity. These modernizers, especially bourgeois male professionals and managerial or educational elites saw how they could impose their “modern vision” on others and acted upon it. The Parisians utilized different visuals to advertise this “modern vision” …show more content…
The Parisians acquired “modern vision” because they were now being constantly encouraged through external visual stimuli and more intense, internalized visions to think critically and use these thoughts constructively to make changes to their surrounding landscape and what they classified as “art.” These ideas that came from critical visualized thought were exploited into furthering political views and into changing the very look of the city in which the Parisians lived. For instance, people in charge of the monuments in Paris thought critically about what they wanted their citizens to think about on a daily basis and reflected that in their inescapable public statuary. Additionally, “it is also important to note that the vast majority of the French capital’s highly legible monuments refer not just to the city itself but to both Paris and something grander, such as humanity… [and] a monument in the capital of France must also be national or international.” Haussman also thought critically about how Paris should look and the myth of what Paris looked like to make the reality of Paris and the myth of Paris coincide as much as possible. “It was thanks to him that, consciously or not, every twenty-first century [and nineteenth century] Parisian must daily negotiate the distance between reality of contemporary Paris and its underlying myth. In a …show more content…
They saw a rise of a new way of thinking that allowed them to make significant changes in their world and they recognized that if they were going to become a part of this “modern vision” that they better make their ideas visibly known to the general public. It was a freedom to express new ideas in a way that left a visual mark on society and that was exciting to the now textually and visually more literate people of Paris. Once “modern vision” was introduced the public developed an innate thirst for it. “The literate—though not necessarily cultivated—public, which increasingly meant the middle classes, demanded succinct, incisive, and entertaining work,” from the developers and artists that had helped make “modern vision” legible to the public. Once modern vision was introduced, it allowed people to see into their own imagination and then put their thoughts into action. Modern Parisians did this “by utilizing strategies an techniques—for example, compositional or physical—that express progressive values…[like] the dominance of human will over matter, embodied by creative gestures and transformative calculus of human productivity,” to move their ideas form their imagination to reality. “Modern vision” also compelled and forced people to see things in a different way because it became a part of their everyday lives. Also, “in

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