User:Jahsonic/AHE/The 18th century: Eros Enlightened/France: The land of love
From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
The German philosopher Immanuel Kant - the "Pope" of the Enlightenment - has little affinity Eros, he even has a problematic relationship with the God of Love, likening sexually desiring someone to squeezing them as a lemon. This same lack of eroticism is indeed typical of the Age of Enlightenment itself, which is more readily engaged with the 'man is a machine' trope than the mysteries of love. When Immanuel Kant says "dare to know", he certainly does not mean "unravel the mysteries of love and have a better understanding of the opposite sex."
Not surprisingly, Germany is conspicuously absent from 18th century eroticism. The erotic gravitational point of this century will remain France, and more particularly the capital of love Paris. The country is now a superpower and goes through a period of light-hearted freedom in the arts embodied by the painters Watteau (1684-1721), Boucher (1703-1770) and Fragonard (1732-1806).