Denis Diderot (1713 – 1784 )

A French philosopher, art critic and writer. He was a prominent figure during the Enlightenment and is best known for serving as co-founder, chief editor, and contributor to the Encyclopédie along with Jean le Rond d'Alembert.

Diderot's literary reputation during his lifetime rested primarily on his plays and his contributions to the Encyclopédie; many of his most important works, including Jacques the Fatalist, Rameau's Nephew, and D'Alembert's Dream, were published only after his death

Encyclopedia:
A landmark work of the Enlightenment that depicted nature, the arts and sciences, and the tools and methods of artisans and trade people in a methodical and thorough way. The entire encyclopedia was published between 1751 and 1772, and comprised 17 volumes of text and 11 volumes of plates. The marvelously detailed plates show how everything in the period was made. It had a huge impact on its own time, and is highly valued by present-day historians as a record of the techniques and vocations of the pre-Industrial world. It is also a great resource for collectors, art and craftspeople.   Francois Nicolas Martinet was a French engraver and draughtsman. In 1756 he was working for the court of France as Graveur du Cabinet du Roi, under the auspices of the Menus Plaisirs du Roi, making engravings after drawings by others of such subjects as the May Ball at Versailles during the Carnival of 1763. At the same time Martinet produced illustrations for plays or comic operas by such contemporaries as Marmontel, Voltaire and Philidor. Some of these he engraved himself, while others were drawn by him but engraved by his sister Thérèse Martinet (born c. 1731). He is best known for his engravings of birds for Comte de Buffon's, Histoire Naturelle Des Oiseaux published in Paris from 1770-86. He also engraved portraits, landscapes and genre scenes.

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