Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Hot chocolate and coffe at 18 century




Since I studied Art History I love reading critiques of paintings. Especially 18th and 19th century paintings. One painting had caught my eye last year and I become a fan of it when i read the story behind the painting. It is a painting of Francois Boucher called The Breakfast (above). When we look at the painting a far it looks like a 18th century family having a breakfast but with what?
The drink at the painting is thought to be hot chocolate. In 18 century hot chocolate w as made from cacao, cinnamon, sugar and vanilla. It was a drink that aristocracy enjoyed. Cocoa was first imported to Spain from South America in 16th century. It was Spanish Princess Anna of Austria in 1615 introduce chocolate to French court.
On the other hand Coffee become famous in Europe after the siege of Vienna by Turks. It was a drink usually Protestant regions preferred. 1732 Johann Sebastien Bach compose a piece for its praise. Coffee considered as healthy by doctors. It though to clean blood, straitened the liver and calmed the stomach.
Back to the painting in this painting what is fun for me is this young man. As i first thought he was a member of the family. But as the book I am reading suggest it was the waiter from the chocolate shop. In 18th century people were calling hat chocolate from the window. HOT CHOCOLATE! and then hop here he comes to serve your delicious hot chocolate. Lovely. Take away in 18th century.

Reference:

Hagen, R. M. Hagen, R. 2000. What Great Paintings say volume 2. Taschen: Koln