Le siècle des Lumières Musée

Explore the world of the 1700's and witness history.


In the 1700s, the most popular form of music was Baroque Music. This form of music mainly focuses on being elegant and simple, yet people back then also thought of it as distorted and made of unnatural ornamentation. In fact, the word baroque is a french word meaning "Misshapen pearl." Some Famous Composers at the time were Johann Sebastian Bach, George Fredrick Handel, and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Johann Sebastian Bach was a German Musician and Composer born in Eisenach, Germany. He is famous for Piano and Organ pieces such as Jesu; Joy of Man's Desiring, Air on a G String, and Sheep may Safely Graze. George Fredrick Handel was a German-English composer born on February 23rd, 1685 in Halle, Germany. Some of his most famous pieces are Radamisto, Guilio Cesare, and the Beggar's Opera. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was an Austrian Musician born in Salzburg, Austria on January 27th in 1756. His most famous works are La finta giardiniera, Haffner, and Coronation Mass.


In the 1700s, people were beginning to move out of the Mannerist style of art (paintings that were more artificial and less realistic) and began using two styles- Baroque and Rococo. The Baroque style of art was known for sharp realism, dynamic lighting, sharp shading and bold foreshortening. Some famous pieces of art in the Baroque style are A Fantastic Cave with Odysseus and Calypso created by Jan Brueghel the Elder in 1616, Lord, Whither goest thou? created by Annibale Carracci in 1601, and Banquet Still Life created by Abraham van Beijeren in 1667. The Rococo style of art was mostly used for decorations, as it had a certain playful style, with lots of curves and forms of nature. Some famous pieces are Master Hare created by Sir Joshua Reynolds in 1788-89, La Bievre created by Hubert Robert in 1768, and Dancer with a Rose Decolletage created by Jean-Frederic Schall (date unknown).

Peasant Life

Everything about Art and Music in the 1700s were usually for the middle class, but the peasants were something else entirely. Unlike the Middle Class, the peasants were not very affected by the enlightenment, and continued living out their normal lives. Peasants usually either harvested and owned their own property or lived and worked on someone else's property for a share of the crops. However, in some places, mostly in Eastern Europe, most peasants would end up becoming serfs. Depending on what they grew, the average peasant had one of three diets. One of the average daily were 3 eggs, 3 cups of oats, 3 pints of ale, and 8 ounces of cheese per day, for a total of 3,515 calories per day. The second diet an average peasant would have is 2 cups of beans, 2 slices of whole wheat bread, 3 pints of ale, and 4 cups of turnips, for an average of 4,358 calories per day. The third diet for an average peasant is 8 ounces of pork, 2 and 1/2 pounds of rye bread, 3 pints of ale, and 2 cups of cabbage, for a total of 4,081 calories per day. Taking into consideration the amount of work they had to do per day, these amount of calories were just barely enough to meet the amount one should get per day. Though work was tough in a peasants life, they still had time to enjoy themselves on occasions. Dancing and Music were very common forms of entertainment, as well as the opera, painting, sports, fights, and even public executions.
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