The sciences and arts in dialogue, 1738.
3 4 c m
actual image size: 32cm x 26cm

The sciences and arts in dialogue, 1738.

© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library


Frontispiece to the the second edition of 'Cyclopaedia, or, An universal dictionary of arts and sciences', by Ephraim Chambers (c 1680-1740), published in London in 1738. In this frontispiece scholars of the sciences and humanities engage in dialogue. In the eighteenth century science and the arts were seen as virtually inseparable. The engraving is rich with detail and full of people using scientific instruments or discusing books or plans. It pays homage to past thinkers - each bust along the top of the building is named; some of those visible are Pythagoras, Epicurus, Plato, Cartes and Newton. An armadillo can be seen running up a pillar on the right. This frontispiece was altered and added to for later encyclopaedias.

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