Web Quest: Seventeenth Century European Culture

The religious and political conflicts of 17th-Century Europe were reflected in the art, literature and political thought of the time. Art produced during the movements of Mannerism and baroque aroused the emotions. Political thinkers debated concerns about power, order and the purpose of government.

Follow the Web Quest below to learn about 17th-Century European Culture. Be sure to complete the accompanying worksheet.


  1. Define Mannerism
  2. Read about El Greco, then list 3 facts about his life & art


  1. Define Baroque
  2. List 3 main characteristics of Baroque painting
  3. Use the website for #2 to describe the main difference between baroque and Renaissance art.
  4. Who was Gian Lorenzo Bernini?
  5. What is the name of one of Bernini's most famous designs, where is it located, and what is its purpose?
  6. For how long did Bernini work in St. Peter's and what was his last work there?
  7. One of the most famous Baroque artists is the Italian painter Caravaggio. Look at his painting "The Conversion of St Paul" then discuss which Baroque characteristics you see in the painting. (for an explanation of what is going on in the painting, click on the "more" hyperlink at the top of the art page).
  8. Read about Artemisia Gentileschi and answer the questions below. Click on the letter next to the question for your link to the answer:

a. Who was Artemisia's father and what did he do for a living?
b. What Baroque artist was a friend of the Gentileschi family & influenced Artemisia?
c. Was there discrimination against women in the art world? Give an example to support your answer.
d. Look at "Susanna and the Elders." What, according to the author, is the main difference in how Gentileschi painted Susanna and how her male counterparts did? Why was this?
e. Artemisia Gentileschi is called the first feminist painter because many of her paintings portrayed men, submissive, at the hands of strong women. What traumatic event in her life may have influenced her paintings this way?

THINK About It...

Look closely at Caravaggio's and Gentileschi's "Judith Beheading/Slaying Holofernes." It is the same subject matter and both are strong examples of Baroque style. However, the emotion and drama of the moment are different. Compare the artistic style (i.e. which Baroque techniques do you see in each), then contrast the emotion portrayed in each using facts to explain why they are so different.


  1. What is the name of the most famous book Thomas Hobbes wrote?
  2. According to Hobbes, what is a “social contract” and how does it work?
  3. In Hobbes' theory, what will happen once the power is given to the state?

  1. What is the name of the radical book in which John Locke anonymously expresses his views about government?
  2. According to Locke, what was the government morally obliged to do and how would it accomplish it?
  3. What type of government did Locke favor?
THINK About It…
In your opinion, whose political ideas were more compatible with absolutism? Support your answer with 2 facts you read.


Kony 2012

This is Joseph Kony. Let's make him the most famous man in the world!
Scroll down to find a suggested script for calling your representatives!
Video: Kony 2012

Organization: Invisible Children

Campaign: Kony 2012 (sign the pledge here)

Profile: Joseph Kony

Profile: Uganda

Profile: LRA (Lord's Resistance Army)

LRA Crisis Tracker

Legitimacy: Invisible Children's Response

Suggested script when calling Representatives: 
Hello. My name is _______ and I live in _________. I am calling to ask if Senator Casey/Senator Toomey/Representative Marino is aware of the Kony 2012 Campaign? (if yes, skip to next paragraph. if no continue: Joseph Kony is the leader of the Lord's Resistance Army in Uganda and is #1 on the ICC's list of war criminals. He has kidnapped over 30,000 children and turned them into child soldiers. He has raped and murdered his way through Uganda and into neighboring African countries. The Kony 2012 Campaign seeks to bring him to justice by maintaining the 100 US military advisers currently in Uganda until he is captured).

I would like to encourage (state the name of the representative here)  to do everything in his power to support the continued stay of the US advisors in Uganda until Joseph Kony is captured.
What will YOU do?