picryl logo
PICRYL
PICRYLThe World's Largest Public Domain Source

The 18th century lasted from January 1, 1701 to December 31, 1800. The term is often used to refer to the 1700s, the century between January 1, 1700 and December 31, 1799. During the 18th century, elements of Enlightenment thinking culminated in the American, French, and Haitian revolutions. During the century, slave trading and human trafficking expanded on a global scale. Revolutions began to challenge the legitimacy of monarchical and aristocratic power structures, including the structures and beliefs that supported the slave trade.

The period is also known as the "century of lights" or the "century of reason". In continental Europe, philosophers dreamed of a brighter age. For some, this dream turned into a reality with the French Revolution of 1789, though this was later compromised by the excesses of the Reign of Terror. At first, many monarchies of Europe embraced Enlightenment ideals, but in the wake of the French Revolution they feared loss of power and formed broad coalitions for counter-revolution.

18th century music includes works characteristic of the Late Baroque period (including Johann Sebastian Bach and George Frideric Handel) and the classical period (including Joseph Haydn and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart).

The Ottoman Empire experienced an unprecedented period of peace and economic expansion, taking part in no European wars from 1740 to 1768. As a consequence, the empire was not exposed to Europe's military improvements of the Seven Years' War (1756–1763). The Ottoman empire military may have fallen behind and suffered defeats against Russia in the second half of the century.

The 18th century also marked the end of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth as an independent state. The formerly powerful and vast kingdom, which had once conquered Moscow and defeated great Ottoman armies, collapsed under numerous invasions. Its semi-democratic government system was not robust enough to rival the neighboring monarchies of the Kingdom of Prussia, the Russian Empire and the Austrian Empire which divided the Commonwealth territories between themselves, changing the landscape of Central Europe and politics for the next hundred years.

European colonization of the Americas and other parts of the world intensified and associated mass migrations of people grew in size as the Age of Sail continued.

Great Britain became a major power worldwide with the French and Indian War in the 1760s and the conquest of large parts of India, especially Bengal. However, Britain lost many of its North American colonies after the American Revolution and Indian wars. In North America, the defeat of the British resulted in the formation of an independent United States.

In Central Asia, Nader Shah led successful military campaigns and major invasions, which led to the founding of the Durrani Empire.

In the Indian subcontinent, the death of the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb marked the end of medieval India. It marked the beginning of modern India and the era of extensive European intervention in the subcontinent. The victory of the British East India Company over the Nawab of Bengal and their French allies in the Battle of Plassey caused the deindustrialization of Bengal and the beginning of the British Industrial Revolution which radically changed human society and the environment. The British invasion expanded to cover much of South Asia.

French-Italian emperor Napoleon Bonaparte, formed one of the Franco-Indian alliances with the major economic power Kingdom of Mysore, governed by Tipu Sultan and his father Hyder Ali, who pioneered the use of Rocket artillery and the world's first iron-cased rockets, the Mysorean rockets, through the compilation of the Fathul Mujahidin. The Anglo-Mysore Wars were fought and the Treaty of Mangalore was initiated in 1784.

Western historians have occasionally defined the 18th century otherwise for the purposes of their work. For example, the "short" 18th century may be defined as 1715–1789, denoting the period of time between the death of Louis XIV of France and the start of the French Revolution, with an emphasis on directly interconnected events. To historians who expand the century to include larger historical movements, the "long" 18th century may run from the Glorious Revolution of 1688 to the Battle of Waterloo in 1815 or even later.

18th century Media

108,208 media by topicpage 1 of 1083
Ierusalem, cum suburbiis, prout tempore Christi floruit, accurate notatis omnibus insignibus et praecipuè iis locis... /

Ierusalem, cum suburbiis, prout tempore Christi floruit, accurate nota...

Relief shown pictorially. German. Titles in Latin and German. Shows Jerusalem during the time of Christ. Includes descriptive text in German. Available also through the Library of Congress Web site as a raster image.

Sublime and beautiful reflections on the French revolution, or the man in the moon at large

Sublime and beautiful reflections on the French revolution, or the man...

Print shows Edmund Burke sitting at a desk on a crescent moon, holding a quill pen, an open "pamphlet" and an inkwell are on the desk, broken chains hang from his wrists; a scene on the front of the desk, label... More

Detail from BL Burn 32, f. 3

Detail from BL Burn 32, f. 3

Text written in a 13th-century hand and with an added foliate blue border (18th century). Image taken from f. 3 of Pauline Epistles. Written in Latin.

Detail from BL Burn 32, f. 3

Detail from BL Burn 32, f. 3

Text written in a 13th-century hand and with an added foliate blue border with devices of the Visconti family (18th century). Image taken from f. 3 of Pauline Epistles. Written in Latin.

Pentecost

Pentecost

Beeldengroep van eikenhout met de twaalf apostelen biddend en omhoogkijkend, in een cirkel gegroepeerd rond Maria; de twee voorste apostelen (links Jacobus, rechts mogelijk Petrus) zitten op gotische krukjes. I... More

Jonas, Justus

Jonas, Justus

Verleger: Braun, Johann Friedrich Verlagsort: Leipzig

Spalatin, Georg

Spalatin, Georg

Stecher: Brühl, Johann Benjamin Verlag: Braun, Johann Friedrich (Erben) Verlagsort: Leipzig

[Madonna and child]

[Madonna and child]

This record contains unverified, preliminary data. Title from P&P Bradley collection inventory card. Attribution on Bradley collection inventory card: Titian (1477-1576). Inscribed in pencil on back of drawing ... More

Plate
Dagger
Boleyn, Anne

Boleyn, Anne

Stecher: Houbraken, Jacobus Verlag: Knapton<London> faktischer Entstehungsort: Amsterdam Erscheinungsort: London

Chemnitz, Martin

Chemnitz, Martin

Verlag: Buchladen bey der Real=Schule Verlagsort: Berlin

Chemnitz, Martin

Chemnitz, Martin

Verlag: Buchladen bey der Real=Schule Verlagsort: Berlin

Chemnitz, Martin

Chemnitz, Martin

Verlag: Buchladen bey der Real=Schule Verlagsort: Berlin

Chemnitz, Martin

Chemnitz, Martin

Verlag: Buchladen bey der Real=Schule Verlagsort: Berlin

Chemnitz, Martin

Chemnitz, Martin

Verlag: Buchladen bey der Real=Schule Verlagsort: Berlin

Ontwerp voor een zoutvat

Ontwerp voor een zoutvat

Linksonder de tekening een schets, vermoedelijk van later datum (vroeg 18de eeuw?), van een gedeelte van een altaarfront.

Sword of Jacob Cabeljauw

Sword of Jacob Cabeljauw

In 1573 the town of Alkmaar was besieged by Spanish troops. The Dutch commander Cabeljauw led the forces that defeated this attack and forced the Spanish to retreat. He was promoted to military governor of Alkm... More

Ewer
Wild Boar (Sus scrofa)

Wild Boar (Sus scrofa)

When the Bruges mayor Joseph van Huerne rebound the albums from the Historia Naturalis in the early 18th century, he had the drawings mounted on folios with ruled borders, with the name of each creature written... More

Scarlet Macaw (Ara macao)

Scarlet Macaw (Ara macao)

The ‘three large books’ assembled by De Boodt must have comprised a book each for plants, animals and birds. Many bird studies have a loss at one corner, and damage suffered by that book may have prompted the 1... More

Greater Flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus)

Greater Flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus)

When the Bruges mayor Joseph van Huerne rebound the albums from the Historia Naturalis in the early 18th century, he had the drawings mounted on folios with ruled borders, with the name of each creature written... More

Noctule Bat (Nyctalus noctula) and Brown Long-eared Bat (Plecotus auratus)

Noctule Bat (Nyctalus noctula) and Brown Long-eared Bat (Plecotus aura...

When the Bruges mayor Joseph van Huerne rebound the albums from the Historia Naturalis in the early 18th century, he had the drawings mounted on folios with ruled borders, with the name of each creature written... More

Hoopoe (Upupa epops)

Hoopoe (Upupa epops)

De Boodt probably assembled his ‘three large books’ as followed: one for plants, one for animals and one for birds. The latter was apparently damaged (many of the bird studies have a loss at one corner), which ... More

Two Cranes
Beddenpan met bloemenvaas en vogels

Beddenpan met bloemenvaas en vogels

Het voorwerp bestaat uit zes delen: de smeedijzeren ring, de bak, het deksel, het scharnier en de houten steel. Bak, deksel en scharnier zijn gemaakt van koperplaat. Het bolle deksel, waarvan het centerpunt zic... More

Flower Study

Flower Study

Yun Bing (Chinese, active late 17th– early 18th century) Qing dynasty (1644–1911)

Design for a Clasp or Buckle

Design for a Clasp or Buckle

Anonymous, Italian, 17th or 18th century

Design for a Carriage with a Variant for the Decoration

Design for a Carriage with a Variant for the Decoration

Anonymous, Italian, 17th or 18th century

Pendant in the form of a cock

Pendant in the form of a cock

In the 16th century, large, irregularly shaped pearls often served as the point of departure for a jewellery design. In this case, the pearl forms the body of a cock. Its head, tail and feet are made of gold. T... More

Executioner’s sword used to behead Oldenbarnevelt

Executioner’s sword used to behead Oldenbarnevelt

While this is certainly an executioner’s sword, it is highly doubtful whether it was used to behead Johan van Oldenbarnevelt. The provenance of this murderous weapon goes back no further than the 18th century. ... More

Design for an Entrance Arch

Design for an Entrance Arch

Anonymous, Italian, 17th or 18th century

Ornamental Theater Scene with Trees

Ornamental Theater Scene with Trees

Anonymous, Italian, 17th or 18th century

Trade Card of Samuel Spencer, Furniture Maker

Trade Card of Samuel Spencer, Furniture Maker

Samuel Spencer (British, late 17th–early 18th century)

Design for a Frame Surmounted by a Lamp, Showing Two Alternative Ideas
Esther before Ahasuerus

Esther before Ahasuerus

Anonymous, French, 18th century

Flower Study

Flower Study

Yun Bing (Chinese, active late 17th– early 18th century) Qing dynasty (1644–1911)

Pieta

Pieta

Anonymous, German, 17th century (?)

Putti Supporting Coat of Arms above Archway

Putti Supporting Coat of Arms above Archway

Anonymous, Italian, 17th or 18th century

Carriage Design

Carriage Design

Anonymous, Italian, 17th or 18th century

Reverse ogee frame

Reverse ogee frame

Southern Italy (late 17th– early 18th century)

Four Designs for Buckles or Clasps

Four Designs for Buckles or Clasps

Anonymous, Italian, 17th or 18th century

Helmet (Hoshi- Kabuto) in the 16th-Century Style

Helmet (Hoshi- Kabuto) in the 16th-Century Style

The overlapping edges of the iron plates form ridges (suji). Sixty-two of the paltes have star shaped rivets known as hoshi, giving the name of the helmet-bowl type (hoshi-bachi). Inscribed by Saotame Iesuek (J... More

Roman Capriccio with Terrace

Roman Capriccio with Terrace

Anonymous, Italian, 17th or 18th century

Design for a Cartouche

Design for a Cartouche

Anonymous, Italian, 17th or 18th century

Design for an Altarpiece

Design for an Altarpiece

Anonymous, French, 18th century

Helmet
Coin
Standing Beauty

Standing Beauty

School of Kaigetsudō (Japanese, active late 17th–early 18th century) Edo period (1615–1868)

Standing Beauty

Standing Beauty

School of Kaigetsudō (Japanese, active late 17th–early 18th century) Edo period (1615–1868)

Beauty with Letter

Beauty with Letter

School of Kaigetsudō (Japanese, active late 17th–early 18th century) Edo period (1615–1868)

Young Actor in Male Role

Young Actor in Male Role

School of Kaigetsudō (Japanese, active late 17th–early 18th century) Edo period (1615–1868)