J. D’ALEMBERT

Description
This half-length engraved portrait of Jean LeRond d’Alembert (1717-1783) shows this French mathematician and philosophe sitting with quill pen in one hand and dividers in the other. Papers, books, and other drawing instruments are strewn across the desk in front of him, and more books, a rolled chart, and a globe sit on the cabinet behind. The text at bottom reads: “Dessiné par M. R. Jollain, Peintre du Roi, et Gravé par B. L. Henriquez, Graveur de S. M. I. de / toutes les Russies, et de l’Academie Imperiale des Beaux Arts de St. Petersbourg.”
This image was published in Paris in 1777, along with similar portraits of Montesquieu, Voltaire, and Diderot, the other principal authors of the Encyclopédie. The prints were commissioned by Charles-Joseph Panckoucke, the Paris bookman who was then producing a Supplément to the Encyclopédie. They sold for three francs each. Nicholas-René Jollain was an artist in Paris. Benoît-Louis Henriquez was an engraver in Paris.
Ref: Thomas L. Hankins, Jean d’Alembert. Science and the Enlightenment (Oxford, 1970).
George B. Watts, “The Supplément and the Table Analytique et Rainsonée of the Encyclopédie,” The French Review 28 (1954): 4-19, on 16.
Object Name
print
date made
1777
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 14 in x 9 1/2 in; 35.56 cm x 24.13 cm
overall: 18 in x 13 1/2 in; 45.72 cm x 34.29 cm
place made
France: Île-de-France, Paris
ID Number
PH*329189
accession number
280072
catalog number
329189
subject
Prints from the Physical Sciences Collection
Science & Mathematics
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Physical Sciences
Prints from the Physical Sciences Collection
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

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