Libby, Susan H. “The Mechanical
Plantation: Picturing Sugar Production in the Encyclopédie.” Studies in Eighteenth-Century Culture, vol. 47, no. 47, Johns Hopkins University Press, 2018, pp. 71–88. Project MUSE, doi:10.1353/sec.2018.0007.
In the era in which the Encyclopédie
was published, France still owned colonies in the Caribbean who contributed to the economy through crop plantations. Libby, in this article, asserts that the plates on agriculture and the plantation scenes help connect mainland France to its colonies by providing a visual system of vignettes on the activities on the colonies. Looking to emphasize the positive impact of technology on the French economy, the plates on the colonies demonstrate their importance to economic functions as well as the increasing favor towards colonialism. Containing a background on the Encyclopédie and its plates, including visual properties, strategies, and organization, the article focuses on the art of sugar production, especially man’s possession over nature through machinery, using the sugar series to analyze the rhetoric of the plantation plates. Libby describes the process of production while also analyzing specific details of the images and what they indicate about Encyclopedist views, aims, and advances in technology.
Country of Publication: United States
Main Classification: Plantations, Plates
7/13/2020: Created page.