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1830: the birth of the arts
as we now know them

(Sources: unless stated, all facts and quotations are from the New Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia 1995 and from the on-line Encyclopedia Britannica. Longer quotations are from the Britannica.)

1830: the birth of the mass media

"The invention of the steam-powered printing press in 1830 marks the beginning of the era of the mass media. The first U. S. mass circulation newspapers were published in 1833." (Grolier)

And what about the origins of electronic communication? Morse Code was invented in the United States by Samuel F.B. Morse during the 1830s.

The first cameras

"The earliest camera was the camera obscura, which was adapted to making a permanent image by Joseph Nicéphore Niepce and Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre of France in the 1820s and 1830s." (Britannica)

"Then, in 1839, Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre, a French painter, perfected the positive photographic process known as daguerreotypy, and that same year the English scientist William Henry Fox Talbot successfully demonstrated a negative photographic process that theoretically allowed unlimited positive prints to be produced from each negative."

The origins of motion pictures

From the Britannica:

"Early years: 1830-1910: Origins"
"Before the invention of photography, a variety of optical toys exploited this effect by mounting successive phase drawings of things in motion on the face of a twirling disk (the phenakistoscope, c. 1832) or inside of a rotating drum (the zoetrope, c. 1834)."

1830: the high point of the arts

Literature around 1830

Arguably the greatest novel in the English language, Wuthering Heights, had its origins at this time. (The Bronte's father took ill in 1830, leading to serious changes in the household. These contributed to the writing of the Bronte sisters' masterpieces).

This was a crucial time for Ralph Waldo Emmerson. He became a pastor and also married in 1829, but his wife's death in 1831 caused a crisis of faith. In 1832 he resigned, sailed for Europe, met William Wordsworth and Thomas Carlyle, and went on to become one of America's greatest authors. Edgar Allan Poe was at his creative peak at this time. Other significant works of this time include the Hunchback of Notre Dame in 1831. 1830 was also the birthdate of Emily Dickinson and others.

Circa 1830 was the "golden age" of Russian literature - with Pushkin, Gogol, Dostoyevsky Tolstoi and others all active.

Poetry around 1830

There is nothing more subjective than poetry. But to me, the greatest poet was Wordsworth. The 1830s were his high point. "by the mid-1830s his reputation had been established with both critics and the reading public."

Painting around 1830

It is difficult to choose a "best" period of painting, but Turner, "often regarded as the greatest of all landscape painters and an artist of uniquely varied ability", was at his peak around 1830. Turner was the greatest landscape painter, and landscape painting was the heart of the Romantic movement. Constable is equally well known, and was at his peak at this time.

Music around 1830

1830 saw the birth of the "Romantic" period of music (according to Grolier, circa 1830 to 1890). 1830 saw the completion of such masterpieces a Mendelssohn's Fingal's Cave.

Speaking of "The modern full orchestra", the Britannica notes:. "Berlioz, whose classic treatise on instrumentation and orchestration helped to give it definitive form, was also the first to exploit its resources to the full, in the Symphonie fantastique of 1830."

Probably the world's most famous composer was Beethoven, the great innovator and genius. Probably his most famous work was his ninth symphony - a good candidate for the greatest piece of music ever written? Its central theme, the "Ode to Joy" is now the official anthem of the European Union. It was completed in 1824, and gained in popularity over the next few years.

As for singing, the 1830s were the peak of the "bel canto" - "beautiful singing" style. "The bel canto ("beautiful singing") style, characterized by smooth, expressive, and often spectacular vocalism, also flowered in such works as Vincenzo Bellini's Norma (1831), La sonnambula (The Sleepwalker, 1831), and I Puritani (1835); and in Gaetano Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor (1835), with its celebrated "mad scene," and his comedies L'eliSir d'amore (Elixir of Love, 1832) and Don Pasquale (1843)." (Funk & Wagnall's encyclopedia)

Albert Roustit

Albert Roustit, a French doctor of musicology, he became convinced that the history of music mirrors that of spirituality. He concluded that between 1798 and 1844 there must have been a great outpouring of the Spirit. He later heard of the restored gospel and joined the Church. (Ensign Dec '74 p.30).

Opera, around 1830

This is a subject that everyone will disagree on, but which are the greatest operas? Call me a populist, but for my money, you cannot beat Rossini. The first audiotape I ever bought was called "Seven Rossini Overtures". Boy, that man could write! Maybe nobody can agree on artistic matters, but let's look at something that can be measured. Which is the best known operatic score? It surely must be the William Tell Overture (later made famous as the music of the "Lone Ranger". William Tell was Rossini's last and greatest opera, called "influential" and "a landmark in the history of romantic opera". It was completed in 1829.

1830 and the most beautiful dance

"By 1830, ballet had entered a new phase--romantic ballet. It was also during this phase that a wealthy new middle class came into prominence in France, and ballet began to appeal to a larger audience. Ballet now became the essence of grace; the ballerinas floated with fully developed technique, now en pointe, and romantic ballet, as a genre, reflected the emotional aspiration of the time and the yearning for life to be more romantic than it possibly can be."

Also in the 1830s the prototype of the Romantic tutu was introduced by Marie Taglioni.

1830: the birth of modern theater

"In England the first professional director to coordinate the acting, decor, sound effects, and lighting of a production without also performing in it was probably Madame Vestris, who in 1830 controlled the Olympic Theatre in London. At her injunction, the company abandoned certain restrictive traditions of dress that had encouraged staginess and artificiality by inhibiting individuality of characterization. At the same time, she introduced varying degrees of realism into her productions, such as interior settings with real doors and windows (instead of painted ones) and sophisticated stage machinery."

Architecture in 1830: the origins of art nouveau

"Art nouveau... represented the culmination of a search for a new style adapted to new materials and new institutions that commenced around 1830 with the work of romantic rationalist architects in Great Britain, France, and Germany."

The arts in France

May people see France as the home of art. So when was the greatest era of French art? French art seems to be tied up with French politics. It can be no accident that the July Revolution of 1830, and the beginnings of the new French colonial empire (in Algeria) coincided with the height of the Romantic movement:

"The romantic tendencies implicit in the 18th century had by 1830 become a full-fledged and triumphant movement affecting every area of French letters--poetry, drama, the novel, history, and criticism... the literary giants of the age [were] Hugo, Balzac, Michelet, and Zola, each endowed with a prodigious productivity"

"Stendahl's' The Red and the Black', published in 1830, is often cited as being the first modern French novel."

The origins of "realism"

The later 'realists' "built on ground already broken by the painters of the Barbizon School. Théodore Rousseau, Charles-François Daubigny, Jean-François Millet, and others in the early 1830s settled in the French village of Barbizon with the aim of faithfully reproducing the local character of the landscape."

And not just "highbrow" arts either:

1830 was a highpoint in ALL forms of culture - including popular culture:

1830: the birth of the social sciences

1830: the birth of sociology

"More than anyone else, it was Comte who heralded the idea of the scientific treatment of social behaviour. His Cours de philosophie positive, published in six volumes between 1830 and 1842, sought to demonstrate irrefutably not merely the possibility but the inevitability of a science of man, one for which Comte coined the word "sociology" and that would do for man the social being exactly what biology had already done for man the biological animal".

1830: a high point in historical discovery

From the Trojans to Jurassic Park

In archeology, the 1830s was a very important period. The pieces began to come together that identified the Indo-Europeans as a major group, the ancestors of modern Europe. ("In Search of the Trojan War" by Michael Wood. London: BBC, 1985., p.170). The times of the Gentiles had reached its climax.

The name "Jurassic Period" was first introduced by the French geologist Alexandre Brongniart in 1829.

Uncovering the classical world

"The foundation of the Instituto di Correspondenza Archeologica in Rome in 1829 provided an international center for archaeological studies in Italy, which now progressed rapidly. Eduard Gerhard (1795-1867) founded the study of Greek vase painting as a scientific discipline; his report on the numerous Greek vases excavated from the Etruscan necropolis of Vulci (1831) was epoch-making. In Bonn, Welcker built up the first large collection of plaster casts of Greek sculpture. Another pioneer of the study of Greek art was his colleague Otto Jahn (1813-69), also an excellent Latinist. After the establishment of the Greek kingdom in 1830 the various European nations set up schools in Athens as they had done in Rome, and excavations on a large scale took place not only in Greece but all over the eastern Mediterranean world."

The "first" Hindus

The term "Hindu" (originally, the inhabitants of the land of the Indus River) was introduced in about 1830 by British writers. (Britannica)

The high point in an age of discovery

In The Royal Geographic Society was founded in 1830, the year that the source of the Niger was discovered.

"Systematic explorations of the Mayan sites were first undertaken in the 1830s".

This was also the key date for the modern antiques trade. "The U.S. Tariff Act of 1930 exempted from duty specified antiquities and objects of art produced prior to 1830, and that year became more or less internationally accepted as an appropriate terminal date in defining "antique."

And in the late1830s, the last great unknown country was uncovered, as the U.S. Navy's Exploring Expedition proved that Antarctica was a continent.

The man who knew

And what of ancient American discovery? The Mayan Dresden Codex was first published in 1830, by Edward King, Viscount Kingsborough, in Antiquities of Mexico (1830-48). The Dresden codex is the origin of the Maya's reputation as astronomers.

"Antiquities" was his life's work. It drove him to bankruptcy, an he ended up in a pauper's prison in 1837, the same year the restored gospel came to Britain. Why was he so determined to publish at any cost? Perhaps because he had come to the conclusion, purely from the ancient Mexican records, and without ever seeing the Book of Mormon, that Jesus Christ had visited the ancient Americas.


And more important than all these things put together...

The gospel of Jesus Christ was restored to the earth in 1830, after 1260 years of absence.

Right on schedule!


the bottom line

As Oliver Cowdery later wrote (see the small print near the end of the Pearl of Great Price), "these were days never to be forgotten".


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