Blueprint: A Study of Diderot and the Encyclopedie Plates

Blueprint: A Study of Diderot and the Encyclopedie Plates
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  • ISBN-13: 9780917786969
  • ISBN: 0917786963
  • Publication Date: 1993
  • Publisher: Summa Pubns


Stephen Werner


The 2,569 engraved plates of the Encyclopedie are as central to its meaning as the articles or cross-references themselves. Plates change the discourse of "encyclopedisme" through a novel collaborative effort of written texts and pictures. With vignettes of Paris as their backdrop, they endorse an aesthetic of urban merveilleux. Ultimately they rewrite the encyclopedia genre. The Encyclopedie is far more than a traditional "illustrated" reference work; it is a modern pictorial encyclopedia. Its visionary or "blueprint" qualities are unique and were conceived by Diderot, the chief sponsor and architect of the plates. This work is richly illustrated with reproductions of the original plates. An exhaustive bibliography adds to the functional nature of this study. "Un petit livre tres excitant." --Dix-huitieme Siecle. "...this study is a fruitful examination of the Encyclopedie as an indisputable coherent fusion of the textual and the pictorial. It points the way to further investigation of what still remains a largely unexplored labyrinth of Enlightenment ideologies, values and concerns." --British Journal of Eighteenth-Century Studies.Stephen Werner is the author of 'Blueprint: A Study of Diderot and the Encyclopedie Plates', published 1993 under ISBN 9780917786969 and ISBN 0917786963.

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