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Heaven is where the police are British, the cooks are French, the mechanics are German, the lovers are Italian and the bankers are Swiss. Hell is where the police are German, the cooks are English, the mechanics are French, the lovers are Swiss, and the Italians the bankers” [...].

Triumph of Christianity by Tommaso Laureti (1530-1602), ceiling painting in the Sala di Constantino, Vatican Palace. Images like this one celebrate the destruction of ancient pagan culture and the victory of Christianity.
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Triumph of Christianity by Tommaso Laureti (1530-1602), ceiling painting in the Sala di Constantino, Vatican Palace. Images like this one celebrate the destruction of ancient pagan culture and the victory of Christianity.
This page Europe is part of the Ancient Rome series. Illustration: Antichita Romanae (1748) by Piranesi
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This page Europe is part of the Ancient Rome series.
Illustration: Antichita Romanae (1748) by Piranesi
1872 photograph of the western face of the Greek Parthenon
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1872 photograph of the western face of the Greek Parthenon

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Europe is one of the world's seven continents.

Europe, in particular Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome, is the birthplace of Western culture and high culture. It played a predominant role in global affairs from the 16th century onwards, especially after the beginning of colonialism. Between the 16th and 20th centuries, European nations controlled at various times the Americas, most of Africa, Oceania, and large portions of Asia. Both World Wars were largely focused upon Europe, greatly contributing to a decline in Western European dominance in world affairs by the mid-20th century as the United States and Soviet Union took prominence.

Contents

Culture

European culture, Dead white European males - Eurocentrism - European culture - continental philosophy

The culture of Europe might better be described as a series of multiple cultures, often competing; geographical regions opposing one another, Orthodoxy as opposed to Catholicism as opposed to Protestantism as opposed to Judaism as opposed to Secularism as opposed to Islam; many have claimed to identify cultural fault lines across the continent. There are many cultural innovations and movements, often at odds with each other, such as Christian proselytism or Humanism. Thus the question of "common culture" or "common values" is far more complex than it seems to be.

Upon the pagan cultures of aboriginal Europe, the foundations of modern European cultures were laid by the Greeks, strengthened by the Romans, stabilized by Christianity, added to by the rest of Europe, reformed and modernized by the fifteenth-century Renaissance and Reformation, and globalized by successive European empires between the sixteenth and twentieth centuries. Thus the European Culture developed into a very complex phenomenon of wider range of philosophy, Judeo-Christian and secular humanism, rational ways of life and logical thinking developed through a long age of change and formation with the experiments of enlightenment, naturalism, romanticism, science, democracy, fascism, communism, and socialism. Because of its global connection, the European culture grew with an all-inclusive urge to adopt, adapt and ultimately influence other trends of culture. As a matter of fact, therefore, from the middle of the nineteenth century with the expansion of European education and the spread of Christianity, European culture and way of life, to a great extent, turned into "global culture," if anything has to be so named.

By medium

European literature

European literature

European literature refers to the literature of Europe.

European literature includes literature in many languages; among the most important are English literature, Spanish literature, French literature, Polish literature, German literature, Italian literature, Greek literature, Latin literature, Russian literature. In colloquial speech, European literature often is used as a synonym for Western literature. European literature is a part of world literature.

European art

European art

European art is the art of the European countries, and art created in the forms accepted by those countries.

European prehistoric art started as mobile rock, and cave painting art, and was characteristic of the period between the Paleolithic and the Iron Age.

Written histories of European art often begin with the art of the Ancient Middle East, and the Ancient Aegean civilisations, dating from the 3rd millennium BC. Parallel with these significant cultures, art of one form or another existed all over Europe, wherever there were people, leaving signs such as carvings, decorated artifacts and huge standing stones. However a consistent pattern of artistic development within Europe becomes clear only with the art of Ancient Greece, adopted and transformed by Rome and carried; with the Empire, across much of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.

The influence of the art of the Classical period waxed and waned throughout the next two thousand years, seeming to slip into a distant memory in parts of the Medieval period, to re-emerge in the Renaissance, suffer a period of what some early art historians viewed as "decay" during the Baroque period, to reappear in a refined form in Neo-Classicism and to be reborn in Post-Modernism.

Before 1800s, the Christian church was a major influence upon European art, the commissions of the Church, architectural, painterly and sculptural, providing the major source of work for artists. The history of the Church was very much reflected in the history of art, during this period. In the same period of time there was renewed interest in heroes and heroines, tales of mythological gods and goddesses, great wars, and bizarre creatures which were not connected to religion.

Secularism has influenced European art since the Classical period, while most art of the last 200 years has been produced without reference to religion and often with no particular ideology at all. On the other hand, European art has often been influenced by politics of one kind or another, of the state, of the patron and of the artist.

European art is arranged into a number of stylistic periods, which, historically, overlap each other as different styles flourished in different areas. Broadly the periods are, Classical, Byzantine, Medieval, Gothic Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo, Neoclassical, Modern and Postmodern.

European music

European music

The music of Europe includes a number of kinds of distinct genres of music, including traditional and modern folk, rock and alternative music, and some of the most widely-recognized classical styles in the world. Its variety reflects the variety of Europe in general, and individual countries and their regions may have very different styles of traditional or more modern music.

European cinema

European cinema

The cinema of Europe has, compared to the cinema of the United States, the reputation of being more liberal when it comes to the representation of nudity and sexuality but less liberal when it comes to the depiction of violence. In the US, European cinema, like world cinema, is often shown in art house theatres.

Some notable European film movements include German Expressionism, Italian neorealism, French New Wave, Polish Film School, New German Cinema, Dogme 95, and Czechoslovak New Wave.

A key difference with American cinema is that its European counterpart is has traditionally been government funded, and is still so to a considerable degree.

Most articles on European cinema is focused on its "arthouse" cinematic merit rather than on its popular cinema.


See also




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Europe" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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