The seventeenth century, considered as one intellectual time, can be divided into two parts: 1° the time of Richelieu and Mazarin; 2° the "Century of Louis XIV." - 1° the time of Richelieu and Mazarin is that of the creative geniuses: in the literature, Descartes melts French philosophy; Pascal writes the Provincial ones and the Thoughts; Crow gives to France its more beautiful tragedy, Cid, and its first comedy, the Liar.
In art, Nicolas Chick and Lesueur are our first great painters.
2° the "Century of Louis XIV" is extraordinary by the number of the men of genius: in the literature, Racine gives tragedies such as Andromaque, Britannicus, Athalie, etc, and a comedy, the Litigants; The Molière, largest of the comic poets, gives the Misanthropist, the Sanctimonious hypocrite, the Middle-class man gentleman, etc; Boileau writes the Poetic Art and of the Epistles; The Fountain, of the Fables; Mrs.
de Sévigné, of the Letters; Rochefoucauld, Maxims; the Heather, Characters.
Bourdaloue, Bossuet, Massillon, Fénelon, are the largest speakers of the pulpit.
In arts, Claude Lorrain is the first of the landscape designers; Puget and Coustou of large sculptors; Mansard and Perrault, of large architects; Lully creates the Opera.