Redefining Childhood in 18th-century art

0 out of 5


In this lecture, we will discuss the transformative impact of philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s ideas on the portrayal of children in art during the 18th century. Rousseau’s revolutionary concepts challenged conventional notions of childhood, advocating for the innate goodness and innocence of children, as well as the importance of nurturing their natural instincts and emotions. Through an analysis of art from the era, we explore how Rousseau’s philosophies inspired artists to depict children with newfound authenticity, emphasizing their purity, spontaneity, and inherent connection to nature. Moreover, we examine the  influence of these artistic representations on shaping the concept of the ‘ideal childhood,’ which emerged as a cornerstone of French revolutionary thought. By tracing the evolution of childhood depictions in art, we gain valuable insights into the intersection of philosophy, art, and societal change during this pivotal period in history.



This video is free of charge for our members. If you are a member, please, use this link to access the free version. If you want to become a member – here you will find more details about our plans and will be able to join us!


SKU: Rousseau Category: Visual art




Speaker: Sarah Jaffray

Sarah Jaffray holds a BA and MA in Art History with an emphasis in 19th/20th century France and a minor in the Italian Renaissance. She holds a second MA in Cultural Theory from Goldsmiths, University of London. Sarah was a lecturer for several colleges and universities in the Los Angeles area before relocating to London in 2012. She has worked in curatorial roles at the British Museum and Wellcome Collection. Sarah is currently a lecturer at the University of Arts London and Coordinator for City Lit’s Art History programme. Her art historical practice focuses on experimental narratives, artistic process, art pedagogy, politics and philosophy. Sarah’s current research is focused on translation and empathy.

Find inspiration from the comfort of your own space:

  • ~50 mins of lecture material

  • professional speaker and captivating presentation

  • easy to follow: no previous knowledge needed

  • unlimited access: pause and continue anytime

Thinking of purchasing more than one lecture? – Consider getting a membership and enjoy hundreds of videos from our archive!


There are no reviews yet.

Be the first to review “Redefining Childhood in 18th-century art”

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Copy link
Powered by Social Snap