Pinault, Madeleine. “À propos des planches de
l’Encyclopédie.” Editer Diderot, Voltaire Foundation, 1988, pp. 351–62.
Pinault’s essay is divided into two sections, the first introducing the plates and the artists, and the second providing examples on source material for the plates and their descriptions. She explains how most of the Encyclopédie’s artists were closer to artisans than to professional artists, partially due to their contributions to the Encyclopédie’s text (both the text volumes and the descriptions to the plates). A brief description of the main artists for the Encyclopédie follows (Goussier, Lucotte, and Radel) as well as their typical usage of source material for their work. Pinault then moves to section two and gives specific examples of the close resemblance between the Encyclopédie’s plates and various pieces of source material. These sources came from more than just Chambers’s Cyclopaedia and the Royal Academy of Sciences Description des arts et métiers, but also from royal libraries and from individual experts. She focuses mainly on épingler (pin-making), forage (drilling), and ardoiseries d’Anjou (slate mines in Anjou) giving specific examples of the Encyclopédie’s heavily reliance (sometimes with near-exact replication) on these sources. There is also mention of the Description des arts et métiers’s use of the same sources. Together, she states, detailed studies on source material helps us to understand how the contributors to the Encyclopédie worked as well as the similarities between their methods and those of contributors to other works. Here, it can be seen that the contributors to the Encyclopédie did not visit the artisan workshops; instead, they relied on the writings and plates of preexisting works.
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Main Classification: Plates, Source Material
1. Following the essay are images of some of the source material for the Encyclopédie. Compared with the Encyclopédie itself, it is possible to see the similarities.
6/26/2021: Created page.