Classicism - in relation to architecture and fine arts, it is a manifestation of the Enlightenment, intellectual and philosophical current, in Europe since the end of the century. XVII (in England) until the beginning of the century. XIX.
The philosophers of the Enlightenment - the rationalists - having rejected faith, assume, that the source of knowledge of the world is reason (ratio). The best Polish expert of this era describes the Enlightenment in a thorough and beautiful way, Wladyslaw Tatarkiewicz:
"In the concept of enlightenment, defined above all by the general philosophical and social attitude of the epoch, there are such things, such as ensuring people's fundamental rights to respect for their dignity, to take away the power of religion and the church over him, to adopt a temporal attitude towards the world and life, for a positive assessment of temporality, to the independence of the unit, to liberate her from public custody, to give reason precedence over instincts, to disseminate and popularize culture, to a materialistic understanding of the world and life.
Wladyslaw Tatarkiewicz: On Polish Art of the 17th and 18th Centuries. Architecture. Sculpture. Warsaw 1966.
The natural and mathematical sciences are entering a period of flourishing, knowledge about society is developing in the name of organizing life in the most socially perfect form. Due importance is given to science and public education, as a tool in the fight against backwardness, darkness and superstition. In Poland, these aspirations were reflected in the activity of the National Education Commission (1773—1794), of school reform, programs, teaching methods, educational ideals and expanding universal education.
In France, the ideology of the Enlightenment, adopted by the young bourgeoisie, it became in its hands a weapon against the feudal system and prepared the ground for the outbreak of the great revolution (1789 r.). The opposition of the young, the progressive bourgeoisie was awakened by everything, which was associated with feudalism as a model of social coexistence, so state inequality, dissolution of the upper classes, finally art, which in the Baroque era flattered the tastes of the aristocracy and consolidated the existing social order, and during the rococo period it served to illustrate empty court frolics and playful games.