Did aristocrats work?

Sep 2008
Orkney, United Kingdom
If I'm not over simplifying (which I am) the easiest approach is to divide people into managers and workers. Using your hands was not something an aristocrat would do. Musicians and painters were not allowed to be titled e.g. because they used their hands. Musicians, such as Mozart, were treated as human juke boxes. (For you young guys a juke box was the forerunner to the 'walkman'.:) which I suppose is the forerunner to something I am not aware of.) The great Spanish painter Velazquez desired membership in the upperclasses but was at first turned down because he was ' a mere common artisian'. He eventually made it by claiming that painting was only a past time and presented documents to prove that he had never made a living at art. (Humm...sounds familiar.:)) Aristocrats spent their time philosophizing about things such as 'life, liberty, and the pursuit of property'.
They used their hands alright, how do you think the young maidens became no longer maidens:D .


Forum Staff
Mar 2008
On a mountain top in Costa Rica. yeah...I win!!
Sir Joshua Reynolds?;)
I guess Sir Joshua was an exception. Consider the long list of great men of the time (Dr. Johnson, Boswell, Romney, etc.) who did not get knighted. Maybe George III was having one of his episodes that day.:)
Sep 2008
Melbourne, Australia

russian asistocrats had extra large cuff buttons so signify that they did not use their hands for work

as informed by Tolstoy :)


Forum Staff
Jan 2007
Sure, the aristocrats swung into action whenever the Mongols or the French reared their ugly heads. They'd grab their swords and jump on their horsies and ride into glory. But after the introduction of the levée en masse, what was the point? Who wants to get killed by his social inferior?