Classical Music in Pictures Music in Pictures    

Lesson 3: Pictures at an Exhibition - Tuileries

by Modest Mussorgsky

Performer: Skidmore College Orchestra

    Classical Music in Pictures Music in Pictures    

Lesson 3: Pictures at an Exhibition - Tuileries

by Modest Mussorgsky

Performer: Skidmore College Orchestra


Study the musical selection for one week.

Over the week:

  • Each day, listen to the musical selection.
  • Read the synopsis.
  • Review the vocabulary terms.
  • Read about the composer and practice reciting his or her name and the composition title.
  • Complete the enrichment activities.
  • Study the review questions.


Each movement within Modest Mussorgsky's 'Pictures at an Exhibition' reflects a picture. Mussorgsky used music to represent himself wandering the halls of a museum and stopping to look at pictures of gnomes, gardens, and markets. The Tuileries public garden, located in Paris, France, stretches between a public square and a museum, called the Louvre. The park has walkways and foliage and water basins and even a moat. Parisians meet there, play there, and promenade there. Look at the painting 'Music in the Tuileries' by Édouard Manet and listen to the music. Imagine yourself in the painting, mingling with the native Parisians. Is the music scary and dark? Is the music happy and light? Does the music match what you see in the painting? Why or why not? Okay, ever onward. Do you like animals? Great, because next week we'll look at a painting of an ox.


Garden: An area of land used for growing flowers, fruit, or vegetables.
Public Square: An open (typically four-sided) area surrounded by buildings in a town, village, or city that is used for public gatherings and events.
Paris: The capital city of the European country of France.
Parisian: A person from Paris, France.
Museum: A building in which objects of historical, scientific, artistic, or cultural interest are stored and shown.
Exhibition: A public display of works of art or other items of interest, often held in an art gallery or museum.
Suite: A set of movements or musical pieces meant to be played in a specific order.
Movement: A smaller part of a longer suite or musical work with its own key, tempo, and structure.


  1. Modest Mussorgsky was born in 1839 in Toropets, Russia. See his picture below.
  2. Zoom in and find Mussorgsky's country of birth on the map of Europe below.
  3. Mussorgsky's mother was a pianist, and she taught him piano starting at the age of six. He published his first composition at the age of twelve.
  4. Mussorgsky went to military school and served in the military and as a civil servant.
  5. Mussorgsky suffered from alcoholism induced epilepsy, which eventually claimed his life at the age of 42.


Activity 1: Create Your Own Museum Exhibition

  • Over an 8-week period, you'll listen to compositions from Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition.
  • Each week, draw a picture to add to your exhibition.
  • At the end of the 8-weeks, you'll use your pictures to create your own museum show.
  • This week: Listen to the music, and draw, color, or paint a picture of a garden in any setting. Keep your pictures in a safe place until your exhibition.

Activity 2: Describe the Music

After listening to the music, describe and discuss what you heard.

Read the list of adjectives. Select those that describe the music or think up additional adjectives.

  • Cheerful
  • Mournful
  • Soft
  • Noisy
  • Vivacious
  • Soothing
  • Eerie
  • Threatening
  • Surreal
  • Whimsical
  • Rhythmic
  • Grand

Activity 3: Study the Painting

Examine the painting paired with the music.

  • After you study the painting, narrate the scene shown in the painting aloud using your own words.
  • Describe how the painting relates to the music.

Activity 4: Visualize the Music   

  • Listen to the music, and create your own beautiful Tuileries public garden.
  • Click the crayon to access templates of flowers, a tree, bees, and butterflies.
  • Use the templates, scissors, crayons or markers, and glue to create flowers, trees, bees, and butterflies for your garden.
  • Secure your plants and insects to a wall.
  • Keep your Tuileries garden up this week and visit it each time you play the music.

Activity 5: Map the Music

  • Study the map of Europe below.
  • Find France, which has the Tuileries garden in its capital city of Paris.
  • Find the capital city of Paris (red dot in France).


Question 1

What is the title of the music?
1 / 3

Answer 1

The title is 'Pictures at an Exhibition - Tuileries.'
1 / 3

Question 2

Who composed the music?
2 / 3

Answer 2

The composer is Modest Mussorgsky.
2 / 3

Question 3

What is the 'Tuileries?'
3 / 3

Answer 3

The 'Tuileries' is a public garden located in Paris, France.
3 / 3

  1. What is the title of the music? The title is 'Pictures at an Exhibition - Tuileries.'
  2. Who composed the music? The composer is Modest Mussorgsky.
  3. What is the 'Tuileries?' The 'Tuileries' is a public garden located in Paris, France.


  1. 'Modest Mussorgsky.' Wikipedia. n.p.
  2. 'Pictures at an Exhibition.' Wikipedia. n.p.