The sciences and arts in dialogue, 1779.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Frontispiece to the 'Cyclopaedia, or, An universal dictionary of arts and sciences', originally by Ephraim Chambers (c 1680-1740), here edited by Abraham Rees (1743-1825) and published in London in 1779. This frontispiece follows a common theme for encyclopaedias during this period. In the eighteenth century science and the arts were seen as virtually inseparable, so here scholars of all these subjects engage in dialogue. The engraving is rich with detail and full of people using scientific instruments or discusing the latest theories. In the foreground they are measuring a model of the Earth, while in the background a disection is taking place.